Gangubai Kathiawadi Review: Alia Bhatt Shines In Loosely Built Plot

CastAlia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz, Shantanu Maheshwari, Seema Pahwa
DirectorSanjay Leela Bhansali
Kiddaan Rating

Every cinema lover waited for the release of Gangubai Kathiawadi. This Alia Bhatt starrer movie is actually a biopic of Mumbai’s mafia queen of 60’s; Ganga Harjeevandas. Ever since this movie was announced, it stayed in highlights, and immediately became the talk of the town when it’s trailer was released. The film has started its business now as it has been released and garnering mixed reviews from fans and critics. We surely liked the movie, but cannot say it was at par with our expectations.

The movie stars Alia Bhatt in the titular role, while actors like Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz & Seema Pahwa are also seen playing impressive and pivotal characters. Starting with the story as it is the most important part of any movie, it starts with a plot introducing Alia Bhatt as Gangubai and narrating her story. It begins as a reverse tale for sometime, before the story heads forward. The plot of the movie is all about the story of Ganga who is fooled by her lover, sold for 1000 rupees, turned a prostitute, her meeting with Lala, and how finally she becomes the great and respected Mafia Queen Gangubai Kathiawadi. The story of Gangubai is known to all, but this movie has presented a visual representation of what all Gangubai went through. Apart from her journey of rising to fame & popularity, this movie also highlights the love story of Gangubai, and we must say, Alia-Shantanu chemistry is not only fresh, but also looks super adorable on screen. 

Talking about the acting skills of the characters, we are 101% sure that no one doubts Alia’s caliber. She undoubtedly is super promising when it comes to her performance, but apart from Alia in the titular role, another character that steals the show is Ajay Devgn as Rahim Lala. We need to take out a whole special moment to appreciate the contribution of this man in making the movie a treat for fans. From his looks, to dialogue delivery and his walk, body language and attitude, everything about him was enough to make the audience crazy. Everytime Ajay was on screen, he made us crave for more of him, which means it would have been amazing if he was given better screen space. And just like this, one more character that caught our attention was Raziabai played by Vijay Raaz. We can bet that Vijay had the power to turn the tables upside down. His character was strong but wasn’t developed enough to fulfill the desires of the fans. Only if it was introduced a little earlier, left an impact on Razia’s power on the audience, it would have made a huge difference. And not to forget, Jim Sarabh also leads the way to make the story rehold its grip and makes it rise once again. 

Now, keeping the story and actors aside, what makes the movie beautiful is its excellent cinematography, art direction and musical supremacy. Amazing & dramatic shots, background scores, songs, costumes, choreography and the shooting sets, all together makes the audience go gaga. All this is worth the appreciation, and you won’t also be able to take your eyes off the beautifully captured long shots of Alia’s monologues, romantic scenes and dance sequences. And this also reminds us of mentioning that not the story, but the dialogues of the film are extremely well written. They are impactful, strong and hard hitting. 

The movie has succeeded in collecting a 3/5 star rating from Kiddaan which signifies that it surely is good and worth a watch, but there are points which were neglected and resulted in demolishing the overall review of it. Writing about what could have been better in the movie, we have to mention how it was difficult for us as an audience to understand the time window in the movie. It starts when Alia as Ganga was young, but reaches to a level when she’s 27 and fighting for the rights of other women, without making the audience realize the same. Her looks in a different age should have been in the maker’s minds. Apart from this, we feel the movie lacked emotional connectivity. There were abrupt and unacceptable moments which were supposed to be emotional, but turned out to be bland. And, the most important being the real story of Gangubai Kathiawadi. The people who know about what struggles she faces in her life, the tales related to her, will leave the theaters unsatisfied. The movie tries to touch almost every perspective of Gangu’s life, but in the efforts of covering as much as possible, the makers missed to include small yet impactful details. 

Overall, Gangubai Kathiawadi has turned out to be a bit below when compared to what we expected it to be like. It surely could have been better and stand out being a typical Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial, but it somehow missed the chance. No doubt Alia has achieved a new feature to flaunt in her hat, Mr. Bhansali has let down a part of fans inintedly. You can give this movie a try for cinematic excellence, musical bliss for your soul, a fresh chemistry between Alia & Shantanu, and most importantly to know who Gangubai Kathiawadi was. 

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