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Oct 03, 2011 10:45 AM 15160 Views





Tigmanshu Dhulia - Not many maybe familiar with this name but he’s the one who has given consistently well-crafted films, so what if these films weren’t commercially successful. From Haasil to Charas to Shagird, the maverick filmmaker has never taken viewers for granted and has ensured that audiences get their money’s worth. He continues his trend with Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, a thriller based in the hinterlands (just the kind I like!) on the lines of Vishal Bhardwaj classics like Ishqiya and Maqbool. The film has some wonderful twists with unpredictability being its major strength!

The story of the movie: Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill) is on the verge of bankruptcy and depends on the financial help given by his stepmother (Kanika Dang). Yet, he commands considerable respect in the area as he belongs to a royal family. He has a mistress Mahua (Shreya Narayan) and gets immense satisfaction from her, which leaves his wife Madhavi (Mahie Gill) dejected. Aditya’s rival Gainda Singh (Vipin Sharma) plants Babloo (Randeep Hooda) as Aditya’s driver. Babloo is expected to leak out the inside info of Aditya and in return Gainda will bail him out of a criminal case. Madhavi however falls for Babloo. Babloo too gets charmed by Madhavi, resulting in a complex situation of love, lust, deceit and betrayal.

The splendid writing and direction ensures you get instantly drawn into the intriguing world of the film’s characters. Aditya Pratap Singh’s dilapidated ancestral bungalow has the markings of mystery and the past glories and one can’t help but feel awed by it. The beginning portions were quite alright with the film getting on track with Madhavi’s entry. The complex relationship shared by the characters is well executed, whether it’s the Saheb-Biwi, Saheb-Gangster, Biwi-Gangster, Saheb-mistress, Saheb-Kanhaiya (Saheb’s only trusted aide), Saheb-Gainda Singh and even Gangster-Kanhaiya’s daughter.

While the first hour is out of the world, it’s the second half which sadly has few glitches. Saheb learning about Babloo’s motives and jailing him seemed too sudden and out of the blue. Babloo’s rise in Saheb’s ranks again was too quick. The climax is no doubt nail-biting but I wish it was slightly better. Nevertheless, the film doesn’t disappoint because thankfully the plusses outweigh the minuses. The film is embellished with terrific confrontational sequences and rich dialogues which makes Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster a highly entertaining fare.

Another major strength of the film is that everyone looks their part well without having to make extra effort. Jimmy flawlessly looks like an aristocrat, so does Randeep as rustic goon and for that matter, Deepal Shaw as a maid (no offence)! Jimmy Shergill gives one of the best performances of his career. I was his huge fan once upon a time but he disappointed many after delivering some really pathetic films. But after his performances in A Wednesday, Tanu Weds Manu and now Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, he has become the best all over again! He has the voice, personality and looks to play the part of Saheb and fully succeeds. A performance to watch out for!

Mahie Gill too has in it to play the seductress and hence, it wasn’t difficult to imagine Randeep falling for her like crazy! She was no doubt sizzling but her role wasn’t only about skin show-it was rather difficult and she plays it with aplomb! Randeep Hooda shines and in many ways, was the soul of the film! Deepal Shaw (Suman) was damn cute.

Deepraj Rana (Kanhaiya) was natural. Shreya Narayan was topnotch as Saheb’s mistress. Vipin Sharma comes up with yet another brilliant performance. Kanika Dang excels. Rajeev Gupta (minister) was hilarious! Sitaram Panchal (driver), Sonal Joshi (Rukma), Mukesh Tyagi (Jaiswal) and Sharad Kakkar (Tandon) play their part well.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’s music is surprisingly brilliant. It’s a pity that it isn’t promoted. Whether its Jugni, Saheb Bada Hatila, Chu Chu, Ankhian, Raat Mujhe, Main Ek Bhanwra and I Love To Love You, every song is melodious and worth giving a shot! Background score was effective. Aseem Mishra’s cinematography was flawless. Dhananjay Mandal’s art direction was impressive, especially the fading walls of the mansion and the colourful room of Mahie (watch out for the ‘modified’ kerosene lamp with a bulb).

Sandeep Chouhan-Tigmanshu Dhulia’s story was loosely inspired from the classic Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam but the overall storyline was drastically altered to suit the modern times and also to accommodate the politics of love, sex and mafia. Dialogues are worth remembering and cherishing! Screenplay was terrific in majority of the scenes; but disappointing at few places. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s direction is effective and it’s worth appreciating the little nuances he has thrown in at places. Whether it’s the black and white stones in Mahie’s room, Saheb’s stepmother reading The Last Mughal or Biwi paying the mobile bills of the mistress (the last one was damn interesting!), the filmmaker impresses a lot. If only the flaws were taken care of, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster would have been in an altogether different league!

Some of the best scenes:

  1. Biwi and Gangster’s entry

  2. Babloo arrives at the mansion

  3. Babloo meets the Biwi for the first time

  4. The song Chu Chu

  5. Saheb at the minister’s office (terrific!)

  6. Biwi tells Gangster to kill Mahua

  7. The scene at Tandon’s house

  8. Saheb’s dog goes for a murder

  9. Suman’s birthday

  10. The climax

On the whole, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is a fine tale of love, lust, betrayal and deceit. The unpredictable twists, well-executed sequences, award-winning performances and witty dialogues ensure you get your money’s worth, even though the film isn’t devoid of flaws. Go for it and enjoy the Royal Threesome!

My rating- ½

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