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Gulabo Sitabo: A well-acted, refreshing comedy

  • Published at 05:28 pm June 19th, 2020

All the actors did justice to their characters and played very well

How can you judge the value of something when you don't have the knowledge or the moral courage of having gratitude towards the betterment? That would be again thoughtless to expect something like that from a miser named ‘Mirza’ (Amitabh Bachchan) and a tenant like Baankey Rastogi (Ayushmann Khurrana) who is teemed with family responsibilities. 

They are the Gulabo sitabo, which refers the name of traditional glove puppet theatre from Uttar Pradesh in north India, living under the same run-down mansion called Fatima Mahal  owned by Fatima Begum (Farrukh Jafar). In spite of knowing she is 15 years older than him, Mirza wedded her in the longing for the mansion. He didn’t have kids, didn’t care to do anything with this obsession of being the owner one day. He even finds the most pleasure in hearing the words, “haveli tumhari” which means the mansion is yours. 

His another irresistible impulse is to garner money in every possible way as he steals bulbs, bicycle bells and money from his own wife. His temper gets scowling whenever he sees Rastogi and his family, for not paying the rent for several months. Using diatribe, cutting electricity or locking the spare bathrooms never paves his way to evict them. 

On the other hand, Rastogi has this incessant mission of never leaving the mansion or paying more as a token of rent. He didn’t get the chance of educating himself because of his father’s early death, became the only bread earner of the family. His battle with Mirza escalates when he incidentally breaks the bathroom wall.

In the meantime, a lawyer and a government archaeologist gets involved who has their own plans for Fatima Mahal. In this belligerent situation, the future of the mansion looks threatened, which is the real star of the story.  

Set in old Lucknow, Gulabo Sitabo is beautifully pictured by cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay. Perhaps seems like Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing made the job easy for him, though the online release diminishes its cinematic grandeur. 

All the actors did justice to their characters and played very well. But the script and its pace lacked somehow. Director Shoojit Sircar took it very long to establish the situation and stretched unnecessarily. This was his second work with the maestro of acting, Amitabh.

Over all the character based comedy, Gulabo Sitabo, seems refreshing for its witty dialogues and splendid cinematography. Nothing more to have a rewatch!