Gulaab Gang Movie Review

Our Rating

14mar_GulaabGang-MovieReview01“There are a number of reasons why you may be tempted to watch Gulaab Gang. They include the fact that it is a women-oriented film; the powerful action sequences that have been displayed via the promos; as well as the fact that it brings two legends of Indian Cinema together for the first time. Starring Madhuri Dixit Nene and Juhi Chawla in the leading roles, Gulaab Gang did have some enjoyable moments, but it is ultimately a film that was not as exciting. It’s disappointing to have to report this, given that there is so much excitement surrounding this film in particular. I very much appreciate women-oriented films as they are integral in the shaping and development of Indian Cinema. Past contributors include Mother India (1957), Pakeezah (1972), Chandni (1989), Zubeidaa (2001) and Kahaani (2012). I really wanted Gulaab Gang to be on the list of the greatest women-oriented films of all time. However, after watching this film from beginning to end, the experience was not as fulfilling as I expected it to be.” – Bodrul

“Directed by writer Soumik Sen (Hum Tum Aur Ghost, Anthony Kaun Hai) and produced by Anubhav Sinha (, Gulaab Gang brings together veteran actresses Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla. The coming together of Madhuri and Juhi, against a backdrop of multiple high profile cases in India, focusing on women’s rights, instantly raised the expectations and hopes for an explosive and memorable film. Does it deliver and does it satisfy the union of two great actresses? Read on to find out.” – Anjum

“The narrative of Gulaab Gang is slightly complex to explain in short. However, all you need to know is that it is based on an activist named Rajjo (Madhuri Dixit Nene), who leads a pink saree wearing clan called ‘Gulaab Gang’ in order to fight against social injustices towards women and enhance female empowerment. She also comes face-to-face with corrupt politician Sumitra Devi (Juhi Chawla) and are essentially paradoxical to each other. Rajjo is someone who wants to help others and fight for the greater good; whereas Sumitra Devi is a cunning and individualistic woman who is hungry for power. Their differences in attitude and behaviour are illustrated during their confrontational moments in the film.” – Bodrul

“Anil Kapoor narrates the early life of Rajjo who has a desire to study, but is sadly brought down by the weight of low expectations for young girls. Rajjo rebels and grows up to run a home and support organisation for women of similar circumstances, from dowry victims to abusive husbands and beyond. The Gulaab Gang fight for the rights of women and the poor, against a system of corrupt officials. Enter the ambitious and crooked politician Sumitra Devi, who is seeking re-election and the scene is set for two very different women, with differing social outlooks, to come head to head. The eventual triumph of right over wrong, with some moral lessons peppered along the way, is the crux of Gulaab Gang.” – Anjum

“It can be said with confidence that a male director will not doubt do a great job when it comes to making a film which is based on women and issues relating to that particular gender. You only have to look at directors like Mehboob Khan and Shyam Benegal to know that a male director will handle a film of this particular theme professionally and sensitively. Soumik Sen has directed Gulaab Gang well and clearly handles the subject quite tastefully. Yet my major problem with the film was with its script. I think the script needed more meat to it in order to make it a more exhilarating and fruitful watch throughout. No matter who is staring in the film or what it is about; the script is the backbone of any film. Hence, without an interesting script, the film will stand a small chance of succeeding. Having said this, I did very much enjoy the powerful action scenes, which manage to brilliantly exemplify female aggression and how they will not let men treat them like they’re objects. The music to the film was disappointing with only ‘Rang Se Hui’ and ‘Teri Jai Ho’ being the main highlights.” – Bodrul

14mar_GulaabGang-MovieReview02“Director Soumik Sen takes on quite a bit for his debut film, in addition to direction, he writes and composes and in the end doesn’t quite master any one particular department. Rather than write or direct what could have potentially been a nice balance of serious cinema blended in a commercial format, Gulaab Gang veers towards trying to make a film for the masses, over the classes. It is loud, heroic, dialogue laden and ends up being a run of the mill affair, with poor music as a topping. It is a film with characters and scenes you will have seen many times before.” – Anjum

“Madhuri Dixit Nene delivers an unsurprisingly solid performance as the female protagonist. She manages to project the strong physical and emotional traits of her character with ease and flows well throughout the film. To be honest, I would be more shocked if Madhuri delivered a bad performance. Having been in the industry for 30 years; she no doubt has acquired the skills which are expected from a professional actress. In addition, Madhuri manages to demonstrate in Gulaab Gang that she does not need the ‘Khans’ or another popular male actor to help her hold the weight of a film on her shoulders. She can pretty much do this all by herself. Juhi Chawla was equally pleasant to watch as the villainous Sumitra Devi. You will see her in a totally different avtaar with this film and she does manage to exude the cruel sentiments of her character splendidly in some parts. Having said this, I think her character could have benefited from more flare if the script had been honed as I have mentioned. Nevertheless, Juhi did a respectable job with what was presented to her. A quick mention should be made towards the confrontational scenes between Madhuri and Juhi, which were intriguing to watch and finally brought these two legends together.” – Bodrul

“The main question on everyone’s lips is who outshines who performance wise? The film is clearly set up for a series of face offs and one upmanship (womanship) between the two main characters. However the characterisations are weak, with Rajjo breaking into lip synced songs and choreographed dancing, which detracts from the strong character she is meant to be. Whilst Sumitra Devi’s crookedness and nasty overtures are charicturish at best. Therefore, neither of the characters have enough depth for us to fairly take a decision on who truly performed better.” – Anjum

Gulaab Gang had the potential to be classified as path-breaking cinema. However, once you watch this film, you will find yourself thinking that both Madhuri and Juhi would have benefited from a spicier script that would present this interesting subject in a better light.” – Bodrul

“In comparison to previous women centric films such as Lajja or the more recent Kahaani, Gulaab Gang is probably not a film you will revisit again. Despite it being based on true events, it very sadly does not quite live up to expectations. By the gold standard of comebacks, SriDevi is still leading the pack with English Vinglish.” – Anjum

Writers: Bodrul Chaudhury & Anjum Shabbir

Our Rating

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