In the time of coronavirus, cinema seems to be a perfect escape route from hard realities. And with theatres closed, the Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms seem to be making big moolah. Many movies have decided to debut on the OTT platforms and one of them is Gulabo Sitabo, the first digital release.
Starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khuranna, the film was released on Amazon Prime on 12 June. Writer Juhi Chaturvedi tells a poignant story of a landlord named Mirza (Amitabh Bachchan) and his tenant Baankey Ayushmann Khuranna) sparring over Fatima Mahal. Meanwhile, the archaeological department, a local politician and a builder too have their eyes on the old haveli.
The movie is a satire on Lucknow, its people and their language. Diction reigns in this movie. A combination of Hindi, Urdu and Awadhi, in which the star cast quarrels and converses, is delightfully penned by Chaturvedi and brought to life by director Shoojit Sircar, who in the past has made masterpieces like Vicky Donor, Piku, Pink and October. Some scenes stand out because of the war of words. Although greed of the characters makes them stoop low, still their language is refined. Lyrics are in tune with the script. The haveli scenes have been thoughtfully shot and beautifully showcase its intricacies.
Gulabo Sitabo is a melancholic tale as well as a biting satire. The subtle gender play is one of the many twists it offers. Though the movie has two top-league male actors in Amitabh and Ayushmann, the former especially is in top form, it has strong women characters too. Srishti Srivastava and Poornima Sharma have done complete justice to their characters. Gulabo Sitabo is a tale of love, longing and letting go.