Gangubai Kathiawadi first reviews out, hailed for ‘storytelling killer instinct' | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Gangubai Kathiawadi first reviews out, Alia Bhatt-starrer hailed for ‘storytelling killer instinct’, ‘great cast'

Feb 24, 2022 12:14 PM IST

Gangubai Kathiawadi will hit the theatres on February 25. The film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, has received positive responses from critics.

Alia Bhatt-starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi is scheduled to hit the theatres on February 25. The film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, has received positive responses from critics and viewers in their reviews.

Gangubai Kathiawadi releases in theatres on February 25.
Gangubai Kathiawadi releases in theatres on February 25.

The film is an adaptation of chapters from Hussain Zaidi's book Mafia Queens of Mumbai and stars Alia in the title role. The story revolves around a young woman who was forced into sex trade and how she became a prominent and celebrated figure in the Kamathipua red-light district of Mumbai. 

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Alia Bhatt-starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi is scheduled to hit the theatres on February 25. The film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, has received positive responses from critics and viewers in their reviews.

The film is an adaptation of chapters from Hussain Zaidi's book Mafia Queens of Mumbai and stars Alia in the title role. The story revolves around a young woman who was forced into sex trade and how she became a prominent and celebrated figure in the Kamathipua red-light district of Mumbai. 

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According to The Guardian's review by Peter Bradshaw, the film has “storytelling killer instinct." The review reads, “…when Gangubai finally evolves from being a mafia queen into a revered Mother India figure, blessed by smiling sex workers all around Mumbai, the movie loses a bit of its voltage. But there is terrific verve and audacity in this picture and some spectacular fantasy-musical setpieces. In fact, it is the streak of schmaltz within the gruesomeness which gives the story its outrageous energy. There is an entertainingly brazen quality to this movie, a brashness and recklessness to go with the mawkishness: it has a storytelling killer instinct.”

 

Another review by independent critic Alicia Haddick, which was shared on LetterBoxD, reads, “A big-budget Indian blockbuster screened as a Special Gala proved to be a surprisingly-engrossing biopic on the titular character and her growth from a young girl forced into prostitution to a leader that helped bring about the first laws legalizing the service in the country. There’s an argument that in the purpose of transforming Gangubai into a #girlboss figure that some of the teeth of their story has been lost. Yet what’s the most impressive thing about the film is how it embraces this over-extravagant sincerity to thrive as a grandiose retelling of a tale that so rarely gets this sort of big-budget retelling. Great casting assists in this. ”

A review by Moviepilot, translated from German to English, reads: “Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali creates thrilling underworld drama that packs a punch.”

In a review shared by Lida Bach on Cinemagicon, the film was called ‘downright revolutionary.’ An excerpt from the review, which is originally in German, translates to: “With its spirited and radiantly beautiful heroine, decades-spanning story and classic mix of adventure, music and dance, epic drama and romance, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's biopic appears as the quintessence of a big-budget Bollywood film and as a classic contribution to the mass entertainment-oriented Berlinale Special Section. But the positive portrayal of sex work in the title character, who was born Gangubai Harjivandas and based on the eventful life story, is downright revolutionary.”

Read More: Gangubai Kathiawadi: Supreme Court suggests to change the name of Alia Bhatt-starrer film

Apart from Alia, the film also stars Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa and Shantanu Maheshwari.

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