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Gulabo Sitabo

Star Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Farrukh Jaffar, Vijay Raaz; Director: Shoojit Sircar
Release Date: 12 Jun, 2020
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hour:40 minutes
Movie Type: 2D
Industry: Hindi Film Industry
Cinemas: Running On


In this movie, two scheming men get caught up in a game of one up-manship, each one attracting other members to his clan and each one with an agenda of his own !! It was set in Lucknow, it stars Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana and Farrukh Jaffar in leading roles !!

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this film was not released theatrically (in cinemas), but only on Amazon Prime Video worldwide on 12 June 2020 !!

This comedy-drama film was directed by Shoojit Sircar !! 

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Expert Review & Rating

"Gibo Sibo is such a cute cute film. It’s like a feel good ride with some really good actors playing very engaging characters. Leaves you with a ‘beautiful’ feeling. @ShoojitSircar and @juhichaturvedi what a sweet world you created on screen. Congratulations @ronnielahiri #Sheel. @SrBachchan is so adorable ! @ayushmannk is that lisp for real!?

#Srishti #VijayRaaz #BrijendraKala so so good you all are
#GulaboSitabo" - Actor Taapsee Pannu

Gulabo Sitabo Movie Review - Filmfare Devesh Sharma, July 1, 2020

Life, or something like it

In UP folk culture Gulabo Sitabo are depicted as two puppets. They are often sisters-in-law who are always squabbling with one another. Their fights aren’t serious. They fight because they are family. It’s an all bark, no bite scenario. Also, the fate of the puppets is controlled by the puppeteer. And veers towards the unexpected. Taking inspiration from this traditional art form, director Shoojit Sircar and writer Juhi Chaturvedi have woven a tale revolving around greed, around human fallacy and also our love for walls, for objects, that sadly far outweighs our love towards human beings.

Baanke (Ayushmann Khurrana) is one of the tenants of Mirza (Amitabh Bachchan). His wife Fatima Begum (Farrukh Jafar), is 15 years elder to him and is the real owner of the sprawling mansion that must have been beautiful once but now resembles a crumbling ruin. Baanke and the other sundry tenants pay a pittance -- a mere 30 rupees or so -- and have been living there for decades. Mirza doesn’t have any money as a result. He’s always hocking small objects stolen from his own property in the market to earn some pocket money so he can indulge in his small vices -- paan, chaat and chai. Baanke hasn’t studied beyond 6th and runs a flour mill. His three sisters, especially Guddo (Srishti Shrivastava), the eldest, constantly make fun of him over that. Baanke has a running feud with Mirza over non-payment of rent. He doesn’t want to pay even the paltry sum of 30 rupees. This irks Mirza a lot. He would ideally like his tenants to pay the market rate. He and Baanke have constant stand-offs where they threaten each other with dire consequences but never actually come to blows. A shrewd employee of the archaeology department Gyanesh Mishra (Vijay Raaz), comes to know of the mansion and feels he has got a scoop on his hands. He wants to declare it as a heritage building and takes Baanke’s help in it. Mirza is fed up of being bullied by his wife and his tenants and takes a lawyer Christopher Clark’s (Brijendra Kala) to sell-off the mansion. What Baanke and Mirza both don’t know is that their helpers might have hidden agendas of their own. 

The film was shot totally on location in Lucknow. The city becomes a silent player of sorts in this satire, thanks to Avik Mukhopadhyay deft camerawork. Some of the scenes involving Bachchan’s walks in the market feel like they were shot guerilla-style. Lucknow is known for its culture, its tehzeeb and that’s evident in the film. Even when they’re fighting Mirza and Baanke never cross the boundaries of civility. The film treats us to a way of life that’s slowly fading away. The faded mansion stands for many things. It’s a constant reminder to Baanke that he’s only a tenant in this sprawling house. Mirza, who dreams of owning it one day, is reduced to the status of a mere caretaker. For the Begum, it’s a place filled with half-remembered memories. Everyone is looking for a way out. Perhaps the most interesting character is that of Guddo, who tries to cut a deal both with Gyanesh and Christopher. 

There are no heroes and villains in the film. Everyone is shown to be a victim of their circumstances. Both Baanke and Mirza aren’t in sync with changing times. And the lessons they learn come too late. They aren’t bad people. And can’t understand why they are dealt an unfair hand. The only person who is able to break from the past and forge ahead is the Begum, who makes most of her life even at 95. 

Some may complain of the slow pace of the film but it’s sort of perfect for the subject matter and the milieu. The tale unfolds in an unhurried manner. Director Sircar treats us to a variety of characters which sound real. He serves us a slice of life and wants us to form our own conclusions about it. This sort of narration wouldn’t have been possible without the set of talented actors he has assembled. Ayushmann Khurrana has time and again proven his credentials as an actor and stands tall in his confrontation scenes with Amitabh Bachchan. It’s no mean feat indeed and he should be lauded for it. He has always done unusual roles and Baanke is really a unique portrayal. Srishti Shrivastava is a screen-stealer as the feisty Guddo and so is Farrukh Jafar, who plays Mirza’s wife. Vijay Raaz and Brijendra Kala are in fine fettle as well. Our only complaint is that Amitabh Bachchan has been put under too much of a get-up. But such is his calibre as an actor that after a while, you forget the beard and the prosthetics. Mirza’s quirks grow on you. He’s a lost soul which might never find a way home and Bachchan acquaints us with all that and more... 

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