Gulabo Sitabo Review: Bold Experiment, Low Entertainment
Climax says it all
Gulabo Sitabo movie is amongst those multi-layered films that look simple on the surface but are so complex on the inside that the film-makers need to dumb it down for the audience in the climactic sequences.
The final scene Gulabo Sitabo and the few shots right before the titles roll basically explain the intention of the film-makers in its entirety.
I take this aspect of the film as my first point because this is the lens through which I will be critiquing Gula Sitabo movie.
Wholesome Experiment Focussed on The Genre
Very few Bollywood movies can be defined by specific genre as they rarely adhere to a specific or a hybrid of specific genres. Most Bollywood movies, especially with the start-laden ones, are a mutant hybrid of various aspects from multiple genres mixed together to make the most of the celebrities starring in them.
So I was quite surprised to see that Gulabo-Sitabo movie does not bank upon the fact that it has two celebrities who are character actors and most fetched after stars at the same time.
The writer Juhi Chaturvedi has stayed true to the genre in the first place and even director Shoojit Sircar has focussed on attempting to create a wholesome film that brings out the dark humour embedded within the script without making the Golabo Sitabo a film about Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana.
Big B rocked; Ayushmann Did Average
Both Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan have brought brilliant character acting to the table, moulding not only their appearances but also their language, voice and emotional dispositions to fit their characters.
However, I personally feel that Ayushmann’s acting in Gulabo Sitabo movie was mechanical at best. There are multiple occasions where he broke the bearing of his role and let the Ayushmann seep through. Even the attitude that he lent to his character in the film has become overused in his previous films.
His performance was splendid in Gulabo Sitabo, no doubt there but I would have appreciated a fresher portrayal; considering that the film-makers gave him that opportunity.
Amitabh Bachchan, on the other hand, has completely altered his persona to bring his role to life. Never ever from the first frame up until the last frame that he is in, does he let the grandeur of his name and his background seep into the movie. And that is actually a great thing because he is playing a character in Gulabo Sitabo movie that is a stellar opposite to his real-life persona.
Music and Songs Perfectly Supplement Gulabo Sitabo’s Philosophy
Songwriters Dinesh Pant, Puneet Sharma and Vinod Dubey have written lyrics of Gulabo Sitabo with the intention of portraying the core philosophical aspects of the relevant scene. Even the music and background music by Anuj Garg, Abhishek Arora and Shantanu Moitra bring out the subtleties of the characters and sequences while also helping the story move forward.
Gulabo Sitabo – Cinematography and Art Director’s Film
With a clear and vision of what he wants the film to look like after the edit Art Director Pradip Jadhav has created stellar backgrounds for every scene in this movie. Further, the Cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay utilises these Art Director’s stellar creations and merges them with the natural and man-made beauty of Lucknow city to bring forth the core philosophy of Gulabo Sitabo movie.
Special Mention for Gulabo Sitabo Colourist
The Colourist Andrey Mesnyankin deserves a special mention in this review. A colouring can either bring out the hard work of the cinematographer and the art director or can turn it into a disaster. Most Bollywood films are focussed only on generalising and normalising the overall tone colour-tone of the movie. However, as Shoojit Sircar intends to tell a wholesome story, he has also given a lot of thought to the colours in Gulabo Sitabo movie.
Further, Sircar’s vision is turned into reality by the informed work of Andrey Mesnyankin. He has quite skillfully brightened and contrasted the background when needed, in line with the cinematographer’s and art directors vision. But, most importantly, he has not to sacrifice also made sure to dull down those aspects of the film that need to express a sad and melancholic tone in Gulabo Sitabo movie.
The ability to do both these things while taking into consideration the work previously put in by the rest of the crew certainly deserves a special mention for colourist Mesnyankin.
Lack of Emotional Involvement – Maybe Intentional – But Makes gulabo Sitabo Less Entertaining
Despite the overall beauty of the film, there is an apparent lack of scenes that would let the audience get emotionally involved in the characters. However, I wonder if Shoojit Sarcar did this on purpose in line with the genre of Gulabo Sitabo movie.
There are many scenes in the movie which have the potential of getting the audience emotionally involved in the characters’ struggles. However, these scenes seem to be intentionally snipped before they could have that sentimental effect on the viewers.
Maybe this was a part of the experiment. Or maybe it wasn’t. However, the lack of emotional involvement, that the Bollywood audience is otherwise used to, turns Gulabo Sitabo into a film that lacks the entertainment factor that Indian audience looks for in a movie for it to become a box-office success.
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