Bollywood can finally congratulate someone without spending much on the PR!
Bollywood was feeling the heat like no other movie industry in India for almost 2 years. The movies from Mumbai’s grand industry didn’t win the hearts of fans as much as the South Indian movies did. There were several movies slated to be released during January month but the Omicron threat put a break on theatre releases. Whatever movies released during the pandemic didn’t get the HIT status for Hindi. All the eyes were on Bollywood’s top actress Alia Bhatt. My first impression is she has brought back much-needed repute to ‘Bollywood’.
Casting of Gangubai Kathiawadi:
- Director – Sanjay Leela Bhansali
- Alia Bhatt as Gangubai
- Shantanu as Afsaan
- Vijay Raaz as Raziabai
- Ajay Devgan as Rahim (Karim) Lala
- Jim Sarbh as Journalist Faizi
The story of a Sex worker and a Mafia Don!
Gangubai Kathiawadi is a story of a sex worker who once dreamt of becoming a Bollywood actress and acting along with Dev Anand. Like many who get into this profession, Gangubai alias Ganga was cheated by her boyfriend Ramnik Lal. Born in a rich Gujrati Kathiawad family, Ganga never expected her life to change upside down. At the tender age of 16, Ganga fell in love with Ramnik and expected him to help her in becoming an actress. Instead, Ramnik Lal sells Ganga to a brothel in ‘Kamathipura’. She had no other option but to accept fate. Ganga took the bold decision and changed herself to ‘Gangubai’. This conscious acceptance of her fate made Gangubai strong and unregretful of the events that have happened with her.
While fulfilling her role as a sex worker, Gangubai wanted to bring changes in the treatment of the sex workers. She was a strong woman with the views like none other. Not a single-sex worker would stand up and ask for their rights. But, Gangubai was the first one to put up requests, demands and orders as per the need and requirement. She faced hardships as part of her profession and to deal with one such instance, she meets Rahim Lala. Rahim Lala was the mafia don who supported her after one of his gang members attacked her. Since then, Rahim Lala takes great care of Gangubai, not the usual style but just like the mafia-style. The connection with Rahim Lala took Gangubai places. She was able to win the area elections and became the president of Kamathipura. That way Gangubai got the power to do whatever she wanted and she got respect from the sex workers. She made sure the children of those in prostitution get equal respect and admission into schools.
My take on the movie and the issue:
Much of the issues about prostitution and the respect for sex workers was achieved by the Gangubai Kathiawadi. While she was alive, she didn’t let things go wrong and even now she is worshipped as the leader for those living in Kamathipura. But not everything is fine. The government did bring the concept of legalising prostitution and have allocated red light areas. But due to various reasons, some people get involved in prostitution without getting licenses. Those people are raided and that’s what we see on the news channels.
Alia Bhatt was exceptional in her acting. I felt she might not be the right choice for the role of Gangubai. She proved me and many of the critics wrong with her acting display. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for movies with the historic theme and this time once again it paid off. Surely the ‘Dholida’ song will be top grosser in this year’s Navaratri celebrations.
While these are the pluses of the movie. The minuses are the topic itself. During and after the movie, there are chances for a person to feel low and down. Sex workers’ problems are plenty and showing it on the main screen means a challenging task. While it is a treat to watch Alia’s performance, people will expect more from her in the ‘RRR’ movie.
On the box office front, the movie is doing exceedingly well. Made at a budget of 160+ crore, the movie has made around 40+ crore in 4 days. Not many movies are going to hit the Hindi market till March 11th. Radhe Shyam and Kashmir Files will be released on the 11th. So, there is still a room of 10 days for Alia’s Gangubai Kathiawadi to make money.
To conclude, Alia has brought back the charm and magic of Hindi cinema to an extent. All thanks to Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It will be interesting to see the future of Hindi cinema from here…