Based in a small town in the Northern part of India, Sahib Biwi aur Gangster is a story packed with intrigue betrayal and ambition between a beautiful Begum, her Nawab husband and an ambitious young boy.
Based in a small town in the Northern part of India, Sahib Biwi aur Gangster is a story packed with intrigue betrayal and ambition between a beautiful Begum, her Nawab husband and an ambitious young boy. less
“Inspired from the 60's hit film 'Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam', this royal threesome keeps the audiences engrossed with its well defined, intriguing characters, an awe-inspiring plot and a couple of powerful performances. Go for it!”
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Since the time I saw the trailer, I couldn't wait for this one. More than the apparent premise, it was the inspired casting which made me keener. And so it turned out I never had so much fun watching and devouring a film in a long, long time.
With impeccable writing that reveals itself equally in the dialogue and plot, Sahib, Biwi aur Gangster has a powerhouse of actors to complement the two.
Tigmanshu Dhulia whose first screenplay was for Mani Ratnam's Dil Se, directs this one which comfortably resides on the framework of Guru Dutt produced (some claim he ghost-directed) Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam, but has a refreshing treatment, terrifically well-drawn plot, and haunting characters so ambitiously detailed, they better be deemed memorable with immediate effect.
Where the film initially poses as a politically motivated drama, it later takes a delightful detour revealing its actual emotionally-tangled stature. So essentially the film tells the story of a discontent wife craving for her redundant-as-prince husband's affection - largely physical, and when it is not attainable - she forges a liaison with the newly employed driver. And thus unfolds a classic tale which goes far beyond the traditional triangle, exploring archaeological depths that has the rare potential of getting classified as historic.
Crowded by a number of characters - all of whom are defined clearly, effortlessly organic to the plot, the film doesnt waste time lingering around inconsequential diversions. Instead, within a matter of minutes, it swiftly settles down, only to strategically uncover the layers of each of its sinister players.
Set in the grainy lands of Northern India, the prevailing royalty is quickly losing its hold (mainly due to financial concerns) the primary reason between the tension-fused relationship of the Nawaab - Jimmy Shergil and his Begum Mahie Gill. When issues get highly politicized, Jimmy jumps into the bandwagon to reaffirm his clout, which has been drastically depreciated over a course of time, with only one trusted aide by his side.
To gather information of his next strategic move, the rival political goon Genda Singh, puts a rat right at the centre of royalty, in the form of Randeep Hooda - the petty thug who plays driver and passes on details, mostly turning useless. When the hysterical Begum indulges in a perilous liaison with the driver, purely to satisfy her sexual desires, she highly underestimates how encouraging it turns out for him, who so far wasn't even worthy for a civilized affair.
The film has plot points more than the standard twin, and thus its direction spins on a totally new motive a few times. Although risky, the treatment is so superbly concise; you sit in the halls not anticipating where the film is headed, but how it is going to reach there.
The characters are loaded with fine nuances that expand through escalation. This is especially valid for Bubloo - the gangster-driver, who enters as a ploy, turns into a besotted lover, and ends up being a frighteningly imposing figure whose naked ambition surpasses lengths he himself couldn't foresee. This is shockingly sensed by the Begum who abruptly jumps into damage-control mode, further entangling herself in a royally frenetic chaos.
There are again, finely written subplots involving the mistress, and the political scenario of the local area, but all of it knits so seamlessly within the basic storyline, it seems integral rather than extensionally distractive.
Another highlight is the action, which isn't high-voltage but incredibly well-crafted, rendering the fiction the required aura of believability. Which is only furthered by supporting fillers, their naturally untouched conduct, lack of any sort of forced sophistication, their aspiration to speak convincing English, and such tiny details.
In its entirety, the film maybe telling a simple tale in a complex fashion (the shots jump into each other, which is implied-reality), but it doesn't shy away from some purely sensational themes which mostly consists of strong societal bias. Then there is moral corruptness for the undying hunger of power, monetary greed, and individual tendency of inflated-ego. Basically, every element to leave you satisfied and compelled. Moreover, the lines are stuff legendary dialogues are made of.
Although it is universally a terrific cast delivering their career-best enactments, Randeep Hooda's Lallit aka Babloo is an indisputable front runner for awards glory, for his maniacally powerful supporting act. Jimmy Shergil, initially doubtful, covers up dramatically. Mahie Gill, seductively appealing in traditional couture performs the part with a charming magnificence.
Sahib, Biwi aur Gangster for me surpasses most films released this year, to attain the top position thus far. And that is does with enough reason.
It dwells into multi-hued elements of greed, both sentimental and tangible, of the uncertainty that hides in our own choices and most of all the spontaneous reaction to conflict which is universal irrespective of societal strata. Hooda's inferiority coming out of a downward upbringing meets him heads-on at every stage, so do the ghosts of collapsed royalty to Jimmy Shergil's redundant-Nawaab. Both the extremes refuse to confront the tinted reality emitting similar frustration.
Corresponding background tracks reflect the prevailing naked veracity of them all.
This film is rare by to come. And when it has, let it revel in its own brilliance. While you all prop the royal fiesta by cramming the turnstiles. Go watch it now.