Release Date : Mar 07,2014
Gulaab Gang (aka) Gulab Gang review
Review by : Prathap
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Production: Abhinay Deo, Alumbra Entertainment, Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, Mahi Gill, Tannishtha Chatterjee
Direction: Soumik Sen
Screenplay: Anubhav Sinha, Soumik Sen
Story: Anubhav Sinha, Soumik Sen
Music: Soumik Sen
Background score: Soumik Sen
Dance choreography: Shifu Kanishka Sharma

Watching Gulaab Gang unfold, you realize why Sampat Pal Devi – the founder of the original Gulabi Gang the movie is based on – had to move to the court to obtain stay order against the movie’s release. She must have seen it coming – that Bollywood and its predilection with dramatization will make Madhuri (and probably Juhi too) the face of their activism. For all its declaration that the movie is a work of fiction, Gulaab Gang (starting with the name) is inspired by the women vigilantes in its entirety. It is Bollywood’s take on feminism – women who fight for the right but they do it amid some well-choreographed dance sequences, all the while decked in pink glory.


But the real surprise element in the movie is Juhi. The sweet as hell Juhi you have seen so far turns brutally heartless in the movie as the morally bankrupt politician Sumitra, ready to surpass any obstacles for power and money. In one scene, she asks her secretary as a way of offering compensation for a raped minor; "Aaj kal rape ka kya rate chal raha hai, Sharmaji?" It is a Juhi peeled off her inherent sweetness and smile, it is the sort of performance that we never thought Juhi will be offered or even existed in her portfolio.


On the other hand, Madhuri is sort of the movie’s lead. She is the strong willed Rajjo who fights for justice and against violence and corruption along with her motley crew of women. They are as resolute as Rajjo but the problem with Gulaab Gang is that it is hard to take a movie seriously when women who live and work for such causes as corruption and rape break into dance sequences during their job. Can they not have some fun while empowering women? They sure can but the songs only hamper the movie’s narrative flow and render the plot a shallowness that is impossible to ignore.


Madhuri’s Rajjo is powerful and she is impeccable but there is only so much she can do to uplift a script that is written like a test in a script writing workshop. The moments that could have made the movie memorable – such as the meeting of Rajjo and Sumitra – fizzle and fall flat without much ado because there is an overdose of dialogue spewing and over the top dramatization.  All said and done though, the movie does feature some fine performances - prominent of them Divya Jagdale and Priyanka Bose who have put in brilliant performances.


Also, despite being so obviously inspired by the real life Gulabi Gang founder Sampat Pal Devi, director Soumik Sen deliberately avoids an acknowledgement choosing to brand it as fiction. We know it is too much to ask for such moral obligations from Bollywood but a director making a movie about women empowerment ought to have considered that.


As you would have been recommended by countless reviews by now, do watch the Gulabi Gang documentary based on Sampat Pal who is behind the organization. Gulaab Gang is neither impactful, nor entertaining. Watch it, if you must, only for Juhi and her transformation as an evil politician – a role that seems to have brought out the invisible layers of her performance.

Verdict: Watch if for Juhi, if you must
( 2.0 / 5.0 )


Gulaab Gang (aka) Gulab Gang

Gulaab Gang (aka) Gulab Gang is a Hindi movie with production by Abhinay Deo, Alumbra Entertainment, Anubhav Sinha, direction by Soumik Sen. The cast of Gulaab Gang (aka) Gulab Gang includes Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, Mahi Gill, Tannishtha Chatterjee.