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Movie Review: 'Gulaab Gang' redefines 'women power'

Starring: Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla

Directed by Soumik Sen

I can still remember one of the interviews of SRK which he gave just before the release of 'Chennai Express' where he tried to largess his respect for women fraternity, by declaring that from now onward his name would be preceded by his heroine's name in his films. At that time probably SRK would not have been aware of the possibility that the year ahead will be marking the commencement of an era, which will be giving a thorough prominence to the "women centric" movies. 

After witnessing the advent of so many cine flicks centered around the female leads in the recent past, now one thing has becomes quite conspicuous that our Bollywooders have finally realized the relevance of women centric cinema and at the same time have also learnt the art of tailoring them in a maven manner. And probably this Friday which preceded "Women's Day 2014" will turn into one of the most memorable Friday of Indian cine history where two women centric movies i.e. Kangana's 'Queen' and Juhi and Madhuri starrer `Gulaab Gang` made it to big screen and received a good response on their release. 

On one hand where 'Queen' received thumbs up from critics, even 'Gulaab Gang' after swimming through the marshes of controversy, finally made its way to cineplexes and secured a decent footfall at its opening.

Anyhow rest of the things apart, let's have a look at the premise of "Gulaab Gang". Plot of the "Gulaab Gang" has its roots embedded in the central region of India and taps various social as well as issues pertaining to fairer gender. 

Premise of Gulaab Gang showcases the tug of war between a fire brand rural activist Rajjo (Madhuri Dixit) who in order to curb some of the social and societal evils like domestic violence, dowry, rape, electricity, education doesn't mind adopting the revolutionary ways with the help of his `pink brigade` known as 'Gulaab Gang'. As the frames roll ahead Rajjo has an unholy rendezvous with a shrewd power hungry politician Soumitra (Juhi Chawla). With story proceeding further situation gets nastier and a war like situation between Rajjo and Soumitra marks its onset. To know what follows next, watch this action packed drama. 

Although in the past so many years numerous movies tried to put forth the issues pertaining to women, be it 'Mother India', 'Chandni Bar', 'Godmother' or 'Kahaani' every movie has tried to portray women's life in a different light and so has 'Gulaab Gang'.

Reportedly, inspired from the pink revolution of Sampat Pal, 'Gulaab Gang' certainly has got a somewhat different premise. But on the whole this entire cine saga can't be quoted as something out of the box. And that's because it's been ages since we are watching the clash of good and evil dabbled in the treacle of drama, powerful rhetority, songs and of course the high voltage action. But the only difference which 'Gulaab Gang' have from all those cine flicks of the past is that, here it's a war between two divas. 

If we go by the storyline and scripting of 'Gulaab Gang' then in the absence of anything exceptional in the offering, it looks like more of an over glorification of a women power. Undoubtedly Soumik has tried to pull out something innovative from his cine intellect, but in the absence of some mandatory additives the entire story-line of 'Gulaab Gang' ends up being a run of the mill kind cine tale.

But yeah, there is no denying the fact that dialogues of the movie certainly leaves an impact on the viewers and that too without any gawky pigment glued to them. Besides what supplements the impact of dialogues is the outstanding lingo of the protagonists, which further adds to the magnificence of the onscreen proceedings. 

As far as flow of the narration and screenplay is concerned then, first half of 'Gulaab Gang' is solely dedicated to the introduction of the characters on center stage. On the one hand where screenplay adroitly highlights the plight of women belonging to a particular region, but at the same time it thoroughly succeeds in sending across a broader message too. 

Although in the first half in the absence of many twist and turns you may feel that it is dragging, but due to dauntless flow of narration you get completely enveloped in the onscreen proceeding. 

But it's the second half where some major action takes place and 'Gulaab Gang' regains its momentum. And what further adds to the glory of the plot is ongoing tug-of- war between Madhuri and Juhi. And if talk about the cinematography of Alphonse Roy and editing of Cheragh Todiwala, then it to well complements the overall onscreen proceeding. 

Well, as far as the music of 'Gulaab Gang' is concerned then this passable commodity knitted in the movie is something unwanted, and that's because it not only diminishes the impact of onscreen proceedings, but also fails in leaving any impact on the viewers too.

But the things which thoroughly keeps you engrossed in the movie is the performances of, Madhuri and Juhi. Ever since the first frame it's Madhuri who occupies the centre stage and keeps your attention fixated to her. On the other hand Juhi tries her level best to slip under the robe of a 'devilish diva', but somewhere down the line she fails in flaunting that sarcasm which needs to be doned while performing such roles. Rest of the supporting cast comprising of Divya Jagdale, Priyanka Bose and Tannishtha are simply first rate. 

To sum up, 'Gulaab Gang' certainly leaves an impact on the viewers and up till great extent succeeds in convincing them by its bold content, but due to half cooked story-line it fails in leaving the impact which it could have. So I am going ahead with two and a half stars and keeping in view the performance of Madhuri and convincing appeal of 'Gulaab Gang'.


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