Gulaab Gang (2014)

Debutante director Soumik Sen took on a huge task to show women’s struggles in villages and vigilantes who protect them. It was a casting coup, with Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla coming together on the screen for the first time. The subject is tricky and not a sure fire hit with the audience and it bears a striking resemblance to the Gulaabi gang lead by Sampat Pal Devi. A court order which put a stay on the release which was lifted on Thursday, confused viewers and really hurt Friday numbers.

The film shows us an anarchy of power, where women have strength but don’t seem to train for it. They sing and dance as merrily as they mete out justice. They weave saris, string baskets, teach the alphabet and are every bit the alpha male, who comes away unscathed from a fight scene.

Madhuri serves us several shades, a handful of which we haven’t seen before. She is powerful, yet soft, strong yet emotional, a total contrast to what she should have been shown as, to believably play Rajjo. Juhi on the other hand, is a consistent negative character. She serves us with shocking lines and crude actions in her trademark sickly sweet style and is a revelation. She clearly stole the show.

Overall the film is peppered with predictable events and some un-required dances. How they dole out punishment is fun to watch. Released at an appropriate time, it just may meet with an audience who appreciates it in parts.

Happy Women’s Day!

2.5/5

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