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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009

    Default Movie Review: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster

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    Story: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, as the title suggests, is the story of a royal- Nawab Saheb (Jimmy Sheirgill), his Begum Biwi (Mahie Gill) and Gangster (Randeep Hooda). Nawab and his Biwi live a very fake life of royals and in fact, have nothing in real to boast about. Neck deep in debts, Nawab canít do without his royal taste, especially that of having mistresses. His intimacy with a mistress causes distress to his Begum, who becomes the victim of hysteria. A ray of hope comes in her life in the form of a Gangster, who pretends to be a driver. Neglected Biwi finds solace in arms of the Gangster for sometime, but it is the latter who falls in love with her. Biwi, in order to get rid of the mistress and attain the attention of the Nawab, plans the mistressí death with the gangster and in return, gives him a false promise of a relationship. Now, will the Gangster kill the mistress and whether the Nawab will catch his Begum and Gangster red-handed, is the rest of the story.

    Story Treatment: A well-woven tale of love, lust and betrayal, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster strikes the right chord. A close to flawless attempt, the film has everything in it to make an impression. From brilliant characterisation, correct doses of sarcasm in dialogues, titillating intimate scenes and above all- some marvelous twists that keep one at the edge of the seat. Despite having sub-plots, the narration doesnít lose threads even once, minus the last 40 minutes which could have been tighter.

    Star Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill delivers an unbeatable performance as Nawab. He springs up a surprise with his extremely brilliant dialogue delivery. Mahie Gill switches lanes from being a mad to a clever woman with ease. She complements both Jimmy and Randeep Hoodaís character. Randeep gives an effortless performance thus, proves his acting-prowess marvelously. Deepal Shaw and Vipin Sharma are flawless in their effort and completely natural.

    Direction: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is absorbing from the word go, something which says a lot about what an intelligent director Tigmanshu Dhulia is. His efficiency lies in the fact, how tactfully he unfolds each plot in the film. Be it, the unmasking of the gangsterís character or the mistressí death or the final blow in the climax, when the Begum shows her true colours. An extremely crisp screenplay adds on to the strength of this power-packed venture.

    Music/ Cinematography/ Dialogues/Editing:Music completely complements the theme of the story, especially the title song, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, which rings a bell. Cinematography is ĎAí class. Camera without going over-board, captures the essence of the film quite aptly. Dialogues are the soul of the film, which further enhance the narration. Editing, especially in the second half could have been crispier.

    3 Ups and 3 Downs: A powerful storyline, crisp screenplay, hard-hitting dialogues and impressive performance make Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster a delightful watch. Slightly dragged second half and editing are weak points, but can be ignored.

    Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is surely a milestone in Tigmanshu Dhulia's career, that he will cherish both as a director and producer. So will the cine-goers, who wonít be disappointed. This one's highly recommended!

    Critic Rating:

    ...being a human...

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009

    Default 'Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster' is over-simplistic

    Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Randeep Hooda and Mahie Gill

    Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia

    In a nod to the Guru Dutt classic from which it derives its title, director Tigmanshu Dhulia's 'Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster' explores the premise of a married woman's isolation in a sprawling estate, and the unlikely relationship she forms with a devoted male help. Sadly that's where the comparisons must end. For where 'Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam' was the poignant portrait of a complex friendship, Dhulia's film is an over-simplistic and somewhat predictable tale of love and betrayal.

    Mahie Gill is the mentally fragile wife of Jimmy Shergill, a former royal struggling to keep up appearances in hard times. Unloved and neglected by a husband who spends more time conspiring against his enemies or in the arms of his mistress, Mahie finds herself seduced by the charms of Randeep Hooda, her scruffy driver. Randeep, incidentally, is working as an informant for her husband's rival, who is making plans to take down the royal.
    The film opens intriguingly and maintains an even pace, but it's betrayed ultimately by a confused script that hobbles around in all directions, never quite finding its rhythm. Dhulia knows the milieu, so the film has an earthiness that is attractive, and much of the dialogue is clever. Yet, key dramatic scenarios are handled amateurishly - like a sequence in which a simple misunderstanding causes Jimmy to cut off the mistress he's so vulnerable to. Or one in which Mahie pours her heart out to her husband from the other side of a curtain; only turns out it isn't her husband on the other side. It's lapses of logic like these that are unforgivable.

    'Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster' is ambitious in its idea, and the dynamics of the relationships between its central characters are nicely handled. But Dhulia slips up in the tiny details. An uncomfortable tension between Jimmy's character and his step-mother is never convincingly justified, and no adequate explanation is provided for Mahie's delicate mental condition. The film's music score, attributed to as many as seven composers, is terrible to say the least, barring the spirited Jugni track.

    The film is saved to some degree by the credible performances that Dhulia extracts from his lead actors: Mahie Gill, Jimmy Shergill, and particularly Randeep Hooda whose rakish charm is his character's strongest weapon. The solid acting keeps your interest grounded in the film, despite the script's shortcomings.

    I'm going with two-and-a-half out five for Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster - it's inspired by a classic, but let down by its own triteness. Not a perfect film, but one that has its moments.

    Rating: 2.5 / 5
    ...being a human...

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009

    Default Review: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is gripping

    Borrowing liberally from the Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth, Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster owes more to Vishal Bhardwaj's Maqbool than Guru Dutt's Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam. It tries to be both, balancing its personal homage spirit with a gripping tale of intricate politics, love and betrayal set against a decadent royalty that's rapidly losing touch with the realities of modern-day existence.

    It's fascinating to see how Dhulia doesn't succumb to the idea of doing this as an expose film on the hypocrisy that breeds within royal mansions; neither does he develop the crime angle, a move that partially subverts this film's obvious direction towards the crime genre. Instead, he plays it straight with single-minded focus on the development of his characters and the impact they would have on the plot.

    Dhulia lacks the stylistic qualities of Bhardwaj and Anurag Kashyap, both directors from small-town India like him. On the surface, you may be tempted to ally Dhulia's themes with those of Kashyap and Bhardwaj's but the director of films like Haasil and Charas truly belongs to the line of filmmaking that someone like Sudhir Mishra represents. That's why when you see a ruthlessly ambitious Babloo (Randeep Hooda rising through the ranks, you know the real influence for this character is Shiney Ahuja's Vikram in Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and not Irrfan Khan's Miyan Maqbool in Maqbool.

    There's also a bit of Gulaal here, Anurag Kashyap's finest film yet, in which he looks at the royalty with contempt. Kashyap doesn't do a Bunuel in Gulaal; Bunuel was charmed enough by the bourgeois to take gentle digs at them, while Kashyap sears through their charade. Dhulia adopts the same apparatus in Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster. His saheb (Jimmy Shergill ) begs with his step-mother for whatever little scrap he could partake. Those in the inner circles know that the glorified story of these opulent mansions where milk and honey flows is untrue. Saheb wishes to enter politics because it would help him retain his respect and save him from abject penury. His feisty wife (Mahie Gill as Chhoti Rani) is neglected but she is in no way the coy and faithful Chhoti Bahu from Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam. In fact, Chhoti Rani and Chhoti Bahu represent two opposite ends of the spectrum, a contrast that symbolises the changing social position of women in royal families. When Saheb tells her he's travelling to the city and if she needs anything, she shoots back mockingly, "Bring me back my nights if you can." Chhoti Bahu wouldn't do that with such stridence even in her dream.

    Dhulia shapes the character of Babloo (Hooda) as an outsider, who is scorned by his lover for being too "cheap." He suffers the same fate at the hands of Chhoti Rani. Betrayed by Chhoti Rani, he loses self-respect, power, money and a small chance at true love (Saheb at one point suggests he marry Deepal Shaw , daughter of his trusted aide). When Babloo arrives at the mansion, he becomes privy to its loss of glory. He knows there's a lot he can do here. This loss of glory forms the paradox for his own defeat, a tragic consequence he hadn't accounted for.

    Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is made with the production values of the 90s. Such films ought to create a sense of mystique, if not larger-than-lifeness. Maqbool was classy because Bhardwaj made excellent use of mood and setting, and took his time to introduce elements into the plot. It must be pointed out that Bhardwaj had Gulzar for its music and actors like Pankaj Kapur, Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri

    Dhulia, on the other hand, looks like someone who's operating with bare minimum. However, he uses his actors well. Jimmy Shergill, Randeep Hooda and Mahie Gill fill this film with restless vigour.

    Dhulia is certainly an under-rated director who seeks inspiration from small-town India and its crime and political scene. If he is to emerge as a key figure in this movement led by Bhardwaj, Kashyap and others, he must make more films like Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster. Better films, one may say.

    ...being a human...

  4. #4

  5. #5


    It looks interesting !!



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