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03-09-2013, 08:58 PM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Returns: worth a return!
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan
Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Returns is one of the quickest made sequels in Bollywood. Moreover it isn't typically thematic in treatment like almost all sequels but takes the characters and chronicle from the prequel ahead. One wonders then if the film is more of a commercial consideration but the tag of Tigmanshu Dhulia that comes along gives a certain sense of assurance on content. And while the sequel may not be as imaginative and immaculate as the original, it remains true to the genre and holds enough promise of its own.
Saheb (Jimmy Sheirgill) is now wheelchair ridden but the royal blood inside him refuses to bow down. Evidently he now detests his Biwi, the manipulative Madhavi (Mahie Gill) and to take his legacy forward decides to forcibly marry Ranjana (Soha Ali Khan), another woman from royal lineage. But Ranjana loves Inderjit Singh (Irrfan Khan), who has his own scores to settle with Saheb.
While the sequel practically starts from where the prequel ended, the state of affairs isn't as one might have expected. The original elegantly ended with Madhavi taking over things in her hands, but she happens to be helpless here in a cash-strapped state inside the royal house. It might have taken some gumption for Dhulia to instantly annihilate something that he had created as a climactic high in his prequel. But by doing so he, more or less, brings back the character conflicts to where it all started in the original. That gives fuel to initiate another dense drama on similar lines.
The title characters are promptly introduced and reintroduced and the story moves forward at restless pace. Like in the original, the three title characters have shades of grey but are so strongly developed that you don't know who to root for. Irrfan Khan's Inderjit Singh symbolizes the gangster here and, like the gangster in the prequel (Randeep Hooda), even his intentions are to get his ladylove Ranjana out of Saheb's clutches. But his manipulations and political modus operandi seem too intricate and often makes the narrative confusing. Add to it, his character is equally convoluted which makes his intentions impaired.
A constant political undercurrent in the narrative makes the film more perplexing and less palatable. Also some smaller subplots in the second half wander from the central storyline and add to the mayhem. But after a drawn-out second half, Dhulia salvages the film with a capable culmination. That's also because unlike standard Bollywood template, there is no hero or villain here, so the end often comes as a surprise.
Dialogues essentially are a mainstay of Tigmanshu Dhulia's film and this is one department where the sequel is at par with the prequel. Also the subtle sense of humour surfacing from the screenplay, which otherwise has a somber tone, is simply amazing. Like the scene where Irrfan, posing as a journo, interviews a naive MLA who can't turn off porn playing on his laptop, is hilarious. The director also aptly sets up the backdrop of royal families through polo matches, jazz music and political aspirations and at the same time displays the decline in imperialism over decades that is making the royals insecure and susceptible.
Expect nothing but the best acts from Dhulia's dramas. While Jimmy Sheirgill largely plays a crippled character, he continues to be as much commanding as Saheb. Irrfan Khan, along with intensity, brings in a lot of hilarity through his acts and expressions. He is just brilliant and you just can't get enough of him. Mahie Gill intentionally goes over the top while playing her loud, seductive, inebriated and insecure character. Soha Ali Khan is perfect in her part.
Pravesh Rana makes a decent big screen debut and, despite a short role, has good screen presence. Raj Babbar does fine and Deepraj Rana rightly reprises his role of Saheb's silent sidekick. Rajiv Gupta deserves a special mention for his hilarious portrayal of MLA Tiwari.
Overlook a few technical tortuousness and you certainly don't mind returning to Saheb Biwi aur Gangster under Dhulia's direction. As for another swift sequel, the story continues to have, both, possibility and potential!