However, many film critics point out that Gulabi Talkies is a true masterpiece from the director, who deals with some contemporary issues like consumerism, economic reforms and social discrimination, which are rarely touched upon in modern Indian movies. The film also has a powerful impact on the viewers with its authentic narration.
Gulabi Talkies is based on a short story written by well-known Kannada writer Vaidehi. Shot in the coastal towns of Kundapura and Kasaravalli, it revolves around Gulabi, a Muslim woman who is an expert midwife. She leads a lonely life after her husband Moosa leaves her and marries another woman. But Gulabi is cool and tries to be happy.
Gulabi is a passionate film viewer who goes to the nearby town by boat to watch movies. She does not even mind ignoring her work to catch up a movie. She brings a colour TV in her house with a cable connection; it changes the villagers' perception about her. They now begin to maintain a distance from her.
Slowly, one after another in her neighbourhood, especially children, break their resolve and start thronging her house to watch films. Even her husband Moosa (who deserted her) visits her house to watch TV. Veteran actress Umashree convincingly depicts Gulabi and can truly call the portrayal of Gulabi as her best performance. Krishnamurthy has excelled in the role of Moosa.
Kasaravalli has also been successful in conveying how the Kargil war cast a shadow on the village and what role religious fanaticism plays in such situations. The dialogues in the native Kundapura accent are the best part of the film, which reflects the emotions of the people. Gulabi Talkies is a remarkable film in many ways, including the way the director has shot the film in authentic locales in the visually spectacular coastal belt of Karnataka.