If you are planning to watch Gulabo Sitabo, watch only for its ending. It had all the elements required to make a film superhit. It shocks you, surprises you, makes you laugh, makes you sad (like really sad for Mirza), it makes you scratch your head; in short, as I said, it has all the elements a film needs to become a hit.
But unfortunately, Gulabo Sitabo is a flop. Why? Because only the end is interesting and it cannot make you forget the torture the film puts you through for 2 hours. It’s so slow that even the first half an hour looks like forever. If you have been facing sleep issues due to lockdown, watch the film so that you fall asleep quickly and almost immediately. If you don’t sleep in the first fifteen minutes and somehow manage to watch it for half an hour to one hour, aapne ghode bech ke sona hai, trust me on this.
The weak point of the film is its writing. Gulabo Sitabo is more of a dialogue-based film which is why its writing should have been powerful. The humour was completely dependent on what the characters are saying and how they are saying it. The dialogues did not make you laugh. In fact, the conversation between Mirza and Baankey had all the potential to turn the movie into a laughter riot. So many chances have been missed. On top of it, even the direction was weak. You might feel that I am exaggerating but trust me, I am not lying; I kept checking the progress bar every 2 hours only to notice that the film has moved ahead only by 10 minutes.
Speaking of the story, it truly was unique. It mainly revolves around Mirza who is waiting for his wife to die as only then will the Fatima Haveli be entirely his. After his wife, there is another obstacle that stands between him and his haveli, the tenants. One of the tenants who is actively fighting with Mirza for the space he occupies in the Haveli is Baankey, played by Ayushmann Khurrana. The banter between these two could have been so much fun and entertaining. It would have left the audience wanting for more of the duo, only if its writing would have been effective. Another excellent opportunity to turn Gulabo Sitabo into a hit film missed by the writer. I won’t reveal the story further because if you are planning to watch the movie, you might just watch it till the end to know how the story unfolds. I won’t let the makers’ efforts go down the drain by revealing the story.
And yes, if you manage to watch Gulabo Sitabo past half an hour, then please watch it for Begum. Whenever she comes on screen, you either go aww or laugh. Only her gestures are enough to crack you up. Don’t miss the scene where she shows Mirza all of her 10 bandaged fingers when he comes back for her thumb impression. She is a cutie pie, truly a sweetheart. Second in line is our very own, Mr Amitabh Bachchan. Watch it for him. He is outstanding. His body language, the way he speaks, and the walk that he has maintained throughout the film – all of this has blown life into Mirza. At times, you wonder how cunning this old man is and at times, you feel sad, worried for him. And when the tables turn, he is the only man you sympathize with, no matter how greedy and evil he has been all the while.
And yes, again, if you manage to watch the entire film, observe the scene where Mirza is pulling his chair while leaving the haveli. It reminded me of Scrat and his acorn from the Ice Age. Remember how he pulls the acorn out of the ice when the ice starts melting? The similarity between these two characters and their pitiful state was hilarious.
Speaking of Ayushmann, his performance was disappointing. His acting and the characters, all look repetitive now. I couldn’t differentiate Baankey of Gulabo Sitabo from Dum Laga Ke Haisha’s Prem Tiwari. His mannerisms, dialogue delivery, frustration, all looked just the same. So yes, I wouldn’t say that Gulabo Sitabo is Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s film, I would say it was Amitabh Bachchan and Farrukh Jaffar’s (Begum) film. How I wished to see more of Mirza and Begum all the while. At least that would have saved the movie.
Even after having the best of actors, wonderful characters, and an unusual, unique plot, Gulabo Sitabo has been royally screwed.
Verdict: Not worthy of your invaluable time.
P.S: If I had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it 1.
Where to Watch? Amazon Prime Video