Gulaab Gang, directed by Soumik Sen, stars Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in the lead. The film is based on Gulabi Gang, a group of Indian women vigilantes and activists dressed in pink saris, fighting against the social injustice and operating in the Bundelkhand region of central India.
Gulaab Gang, even with its hundred flaws, is a cinematic experience you cannot afford to miss. But it is also one of the finest examples of how one shouldn't treat a very serious subject in the most irresponsible manner. Bollywood is proving it again and again that it doesn't have enough directors to treat hard-hitting subjects in a way they deserve to be filmed.
Instead of a heart-wrenching watch, Gulaab Gang ends up more like a masala flick with a fake label of realism and feminism attached to it. Some of the scenes are marred with so much melodrama that you may think of those bad 80s run of the mill films.
Bollywood filmmakers are so carried away by Madhuri Dixit's dance numbers that they often force properly choreographed songs even after intensely serious scenes, which destroys the make the 'make-believe' aspect of the film. But the film still re-infuses the cliché idea that the women who can defeat men in a physical fight only are entitled to be called "strong women." This is a fake take on feminism and the film's pretentious treatment of Gulaabi Gang is just an attempt to tap the box office with the sentimentalism attached to the subject in recent times.
Even though the director has given all the 'confident, winning dialogues' to Madhuri's character, Juhi Chawla in a killer performance diffuses all her charm and dominates the scene, which is pleasurable to watch. Thanks to Soumik Sen, Juhi has a killer intro where she sends a cop who doesn't touch her feet for a 'lambee leave' (suspension). To compare Gulaab Gang with a gritty and very realistic film like Bandit Queen would be a grave sin. Soumik Sen as a director does not reflect any maturity; instead he becomes one of those pretending pseudo intellectual faces of Bollywood.
We consider it very 'over the top' and silly when Gulaab Gang cult dances with perfectly choreographed movements, after each killing and torture episode. When will our cinema grow up? When will we learn to make a realistic film? It is sad that director Soumik Sen couldn't convince Madhuri Dixit to appear without makeup. When a hard-working village woman appears in each and every frame with full makeup and no sweat, it reminds you that you are indeed watching a film!
Fights in the film are a challenge even for Rajnikanth. The Gulaab gang has a special skill to fly when they fight. The villains wait patiently to get punched and stabbed because Gulaab Gang actors are slow in their action movements! Ninety five percent of male characters in Gulaab Gang are born to rape or abuse women and all of them happen to be cowards. There is a constant and deliberate attempt to cash in on the feminist wave that is sweeping the country these days, but the director doesn't seem to have a clear understanding of feminism.
The only saving grace of the film is Juhi Chawla who sizzles with her career best performance. Madhuri's performance pales in contrast to that of Juhi's. Juhi has become the character instead of 'playing' it. She is only 'realistic element' in the whole film.
Continue to read the Gulaab Gang movie review below...
Madhuri Loaded With Make-Up
One interesting thing is that Juhi, donning the role of a politician, doesn't wear the kind of make-up that Madhuri wears, considering that she is just a common villager!
Death Scenes - Gulaab Gang
The death scenes of each and every gulaab gang members are made shamefully melodramatic, which makes you think that you are watching the 80s run of the mill films!
Soumik Sen Lets You Down!
Soumik Sen destroyed the possibility of making a very good film out of a real story.
Juhi Is The USP Of Gulaab Gang
The film works because of Juhi Chawla. This is easily her career best film so far.
Director's Distorted Perception Of Feminism
Soumik Sen believes that fighting with men, defeating them in it, making fun of them and using cuss words are the traits of feminism.
Gulaab Gang - Just A Pretence
You can see a man's intellect in all these scenes because these are what uncivilised men were doing to women in the past days. Now, the director is reversing the genders without thinking about the moral credibility of those actions. It is not revolution, but just pretence.
Juhi Chawla, The Perfect Vamp!
Juhi Chawla looks extremely convincing as a shrewd politician and will easily find her way into your hearts.