Movie Review Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns: Jimmy Shergill fits his part well
- Union Minister VK Singh's wife files complaint against man alleging extortion, blackmail
- Villagers in dark about why PM Narendra Modi said they have power
- Kashmir: Two soldiers, one policeman killed as militants attack army convoy in Baramulla
- Supreme Court directs Unitech to refund Rs 15 cr to investors
- PV Sindhu stuns world No.2 Wang Yihan of China; win away from medal
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Soha Ali Khan, Mahie Gill, Raj Babbar, Rajeev Gupta
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
IE rating: ***
There is a brilliant sequence in the first half of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns where a small-time politico is wrestling with a laptop he doesn't know how to switch off. His visitor lets the 'chutbhaiya neta' get red-faced at the blue film, and only then reaches across and finds the right button, both for the machine and the man. In this brief joust, Tigmanshu Dhulia shows just how good a director (and writer; the dialogues are his) he can be: here are characters being played to the top of their strengths, speaking in a tongue they own, leaving us smiling with pleasure.
If Dhulia had been able to maintain the pitch and balance of this memorable bit, the sequel to his 2011 Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster would have been a triumph. The 'return' is a better film, but it stops short of being excellent. The smooth build-up in the first half leads to a confused, too-crowded second, which lets the film, and us, down.
But while the going is good, it is all most gripping. The sequel starts from where the first film had left off . Saheb ( Sheirgill) is now a cripple, bound to a wheelchair. Biwi ( Gill) spends her time being soused, having become adept at negotiating the curves her bitter spouse throws at her while displaying all hers. And Gangster ( Irrfan) is the interloper who turns up to make things more interesting.
The story-telling in the first half is so seamless that you overlook the things that had been a problem the first time around. This is UP, we are told ( Irrfan's character is even called, ahem, 'Raja Bhaiyya' ) but we never really know where exactly; there's a whiff of several neighbouring states in the 'rajwada' and their polo matches and their parties : the pretty young princess ( Ali Khan), who is adored by Raja Bhaiyya, and who becomes barter in the battle for power between him and his mentor ( Babbar), and Saheb, is generic North Indian. So is the walk-on cast , which includes the superb Rajeev Gupta as the fumbling-watcher-of-porn-on-laptop.
- Playing the Baloch card: We have acknowledged that India, Pakistan are deeply hyphenated
- Sharmila is the doer who breaks a grand vow to protect the greater common good
- Seventy years later, the sedition law is cramping all our freedoms
- Prepaid electricity in Manipur reduces power theft; improves supply
- Prime Minister’s I-Day speech was a spectacle that didn’t hold together
- Linking PoK with Balochistan could undermine India’s high moral ground vis a vis Pakistan