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Gulebaghavali movie review: Prabhudheva, Hansika Motwani film is a flawed entertainer

Prabhudheva made a great comeback into Tamil films with Devi. And now he follows it up with Gulebaghavali, a heist comedy, which will leave you in splits.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 12, 2018 09:33 IST
Karthik Kumar
Karthik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Gulebaghavali movie review,Gulebaghavali,Tamil movie reviews
Gulebaghavali movie review: Watch out for Revathy in a film that stars Prabhudheva and Hansika Motwani.

Film: Gulebaghavali
Director: Kalyaan
Cast: Prabhudheva, Hansika Motwani, Revathy, Yogi Babu, Anandraj, Mottai Rajendran and Muniskanth
Rating: 2.5/5

After making a strong comeback to Tamil cinema with horror-comedy Devi, which was well received by audiences and critics alike, Prabhudheva is back with Gulebaghavali, a madcap heist comedy that rises above its flaws, thankfully. While the writing is not great to rave about, what does work in the film’s favour is some comic stretches that entertain in a peculiar way. Who would’ve imagined a scene where a group of men fighting over human skeleton - for a reason -- can turn out to be so funny? If not for scenes such as this, it would’ve been a tedious process to sit through Gulebaghavali.

The story follows Prabhudheva, Hansika, Muniskanth and Revathy on a mission to unearth secret treasure and their encounters along the way. Although the premise is very similar to last year’s adventure comedy Maragatha Naanayam, which left audiences in splits and high spirit, Gulebaghavali, unfortunately doesn’t quite meet the expectations set by the former. Nevertheless, this Prabhudheva starrer has moments that will make you cheer and laugh out loud, especially some portion featuring Revathy and Rajendran.

Before talking about anything else in Gulebaghavali, it’s worth taking a minute to appreciate the director for giving a veteran like Revathy a role to remember for a long time. Revathy has a whale of a time playing a character who cons people for a livelihood and the best part is that we don’t get to hear a sad back-story to justify her actions. In the film, she’s the first main character to be introduced and she steals the limelight from early on. Similarly, Rajendran gets his share of spotlight and the portion featuring mother sentiment is a laugh fest. Yogi Babu, too, shines in a few scenes but wish his character was given more scope, given that he’s terrific with his comic timing.

Prabhudheva plays his part aptly, making us root for him in songs and action. Hansika looks good as usual, but yet again disappoints with her performance. Despite being in the industry for over a decade, she still can’t perfectly lip sync to her dialogues. She plays someone who is forced to join the mission because she’s in desperate need of money. It’s only when she says so do we realize that because she never looks the part.

Gulebaghavali, despite being flawed, works to an extent, thanks to the comic angle it brings to the proceedings. If only it showed more creativity in writing, especially in the first half hour, it could have ended up as a worthy competitor to Maragatha Naanayam.

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First Published: Jan 12, 2018 09:33 IST