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Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns REVIEWS

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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 7:48pm | IP Logged
Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns
By Taran Adarsh, 8 Mar 2013, 07:48 hrs IST
3.5
Subsequent to the colossal critical success of the first part, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER [in 2011], Tigmanshu Dhulia, an avant garde storyteller of the present times, dives into his first sequel, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS. However, unlike the trend of attempting sequels without connecting with the earlier part, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS makes an effort to take the story of Saheb, Biwi and Gangster forward, with additional characters this time around.

SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS is a sequel in the truest sense. The backdrop of aristocracy remains integral. But romance is notches higher this time. Also, politics, jealousy, revenge, betrayal and deceit are integrated in the screenplay, besides drama and sensuality, of course. However, unlike the first part, sensuality is toned down considerably this time. Ready for fireworks?

After losing his legs, Saheb [Jimmy Sheirgill] becomes wheelchair-bound and more unpleasant and wicked, particularly towards his alcoholic Biwi [Mahie Gill], who is now a politician. In walks Gangster [Irrfan Khan], also of royal lineage, who is determined to settle scores with Saheb.

Tigmanshu is synonymous with power-packed drama and he transports you to the forefront of the murky political games people play in SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS. The gluttony for power is evident at the commencement itself and the venomous games these characters play add effectiveness to the premise. Rest assured, even if you haven't watched the first part, you are likely to absorb the story like a sponge because the raconteur is narrating a brand new account this time, while retaining the characters/setting of the first part.

Tigmanshu sets things up skillfully in the first hour. The rift between Saheb and Biwi continues to widen as two more characters are introduced in this new saga -- a new Gangster [Irrfan] and his love interest [Soha]. The conflict between these characters is captivating and what adds credence to several episodes is the streak of sarcasm between Saheb and Biwi. However, the screenwriting isn't watertight in the post-interval portions. The track featuring the royal families joining hands with a political party lacks conviction. Also, the raunchy song featuring Mugdha Godse is an absolute no-no. The film gathers steam towards the final moments, but the shock-value that was so evident in the earlier film is lacking this time.

While the screenwriting is variable this time, Tigmanshu proves his credentials as he executes the dramatic moments with gusto. He manages to keep the anxiety simmering in several episodes, keeping you on the edge of the seat in several sequences. Besides, the characters -- having attributes of a chameleon -- add abundant charm to the movie. Like the first part, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS is embroidered with crackling dialogue [Tigmanshu Dhulia], while the DoP [Yogesh Jani] portrays the aristocratic ambience as well as tension with panache. In fact, each and every frame seduces you into the world that Tigmanshu recreates so delightfully. The soundtrack is strictly okay, while the stunning background score [Sandeep Chowta] embellishes the sequences impeccably.

With Tigmanshu at the helm of affairs, be assured, you are in for a treat as far as performances are concerned. In fact, not just the title leads, but each and every actor in the cast delivers top-quality performances. At the same time, the characters are so well penned that no one deprives the limelight from the other. Irrfan is simply outstanding. The magnificence that Tigmanshu and Irrfan created in HAASIL, CHARAS and PAAN SINGH TOMAR is evident in SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS as well. Jimmy is commanding yet again, pulling off his performance with remarkable ease. Mahie plays the scheming wife with accomplishment. The various shades in her character provide her ample scope to excel yet again. Soha looks the part completely and despite the presence of powerful actors, she stands out with a solid performance.

It's great to see the talented veteran Raj Babbar in top form after a hiatus. He gets his character spot-on. Pravesh Rana makes a confident big screen debut. He's competent. Deepraj Rana conveys a lot through silence, which is the hallmark of a fine actor. Sitaram Panchal, Rajeev Gupta [as the politician], Rajesh Khera, Sujay Shankarwar [as Rudy] and Anjana Sukhani [makes an appearance in a song] are adequate.

On the whole, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS is a twisted tale with a riveting first hour and inconsistent post-interval portions. This film may not be Tigmanshu Dhulia's finest work, but it has moments that prove his supremacy as a storyteller. Watch it for the intriguing characters and terrific performances!

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chocolover89 IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 7:51pm | IP Logged

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns

Madhureeta Mukherjee, TNN, Mar 7, 2013, 04.41PM IST
A still from the movieMore Pics
Critic's Rating:  
Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Irrfan, Soha Ali Khan
Direction: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes
Avg Readers Rating: 

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Story: A royal saheb grapples with disability and betrayal, his estranged biwi dabbles with daaru and political demons. The gangster wages a war for pride and honour.

Movie Review: Mind you, this is not regular gangsta film; with usual showcasing of arms, ammunition, bangs and blasts. Yes, it has explosives of another kind - 'bangs' (it's a total 'bed'-bangers ball, what gall); Weapons of Mass Seduction and politics of bistar and beyond. This sequel, a strange mix of foul games and passionplay, unfolds with a crippled Saheb (Jimmy) holding onto the last vestiges of his shrinking Kingly pomp and glory. His boisterous biwi, Madhavi devi (Mahie), mostly depressed and drunk, lives as Chhoti Rani in the same haveli, but the couple share nothing but extreme hate and contempt for each other. Biwi, is a ruling MLA who knows little about rajneeti but mixes it brazenly with saucy traits and seductive moves to stay on top. Enter, gangster Indrajeet Singh (Irrfan), with a mission to topple Saheb (to avenge his family's lost royal honour), while his love-interest Ranjana (Soha), vulnerably falls prey to the political chess.

Tigmanshu Dhulia has created an intriguing world with rajas fighting for their kingship; politicians watching po*n, gangsters sleeping with the enemy, and women unapologetic about adultery in the ballroom and bedroom. The setting and story is vibrant, dramatic, dark and humourous at the same time. Once again, he scores with his characters - intelligently sketched, with dichotomous layers - dark, brooding, loving and lustful. The editing and the screenplay in the second half lose steam, and the item number (courtesy Mughda Godse) punctures the pace. The climax passively surrenders without the satiating feel of bittersweet revenge.

Irrfan is absolutely terrific; he shows fury, passion, envy, pride with such utter conviction that you crave to see more of him onscreen. He's undoubtedly one of the finest performers we can boast of. Jimmy is excellent as the poignant, wheel-chair bound saheb exuding power. Mahie Gill is volatile as the unfulfilled woman desiring more, though her drunken drawl often leaves us more dry than high. Soha plays her part with subtlety and sophistication.

This may not be Tigmanshu's best, but it's a movie with more balls than most cinema can flaunt.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 8:02pm | IP Logged
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Edited by -SalShah4eva- - 07 March 2013 at 8:02pm

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chocolover89 IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 8:05pm | IP Logged
Movie review: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns
 (Action,Social,Thriller)
Saibal Chatterjee
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Print 

Movie review: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns</

Cast:Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Soha Ali Khan and Irrfan Khan 
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia 

SPOILERS AHEAD

A revenge drama with a dash of political satire and a double love triangle dovetailed into a dark thriller, writer-director Tigmanshu Dhulia's follow-up to Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is an intense, effervescent and eventually melancholic film. 

A slimy politician is caught watching po*n on his laptop. A bunch of self-serving MLAs are spirited away to a remote bungalow and held captive there ahead of a crucial vote in the Assembly. 

That apart, a state of the Indian Union is on the verge of being carved up into four parts, a ruthless feudal lord is addressed by his minions as Raja Bhaiya, and a woman legislator is reduced to a mere front for a powerful husband whose untrammeled writ runs in the constituency. 

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns is littered with many such allusions to the ground realities of the land. It isn't, however, just a political film. 

The feudal power structure is the scaffolding around which the director builds a tale of individuals who are too hopelessly out of touch with the nation's democratic norms to really care about, let alone understand, what they might be losing out on.

"You are talking like a democrat," the saheb protests vehemently when a fellow royal dithers on the former's offer to take the latter's daughter as his second wife. "I am a King. I can afford an extra wife." 

You cannot miss the delicious irony of the situation when the same "King" asserts that the government may have divested him of his powers, but his regal traits can never be snatched away from him. 

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns is a story of lust and lies, power and pelf, and lost glory and desperate measures that plays out in a strangely neutral milieu where political affiliations really do not matter and elections are only referred to in stray snatches of dialogue.

The landscape is peopled with pliable politicians, greedy contractors and highway robbers who operate with impunity. 

The politicos in this drama are all Independent legislators ' and they are independent not just in the electoral sense. As individuals, too, they follow no known rules of model behaviour.

Flush with vibrant colours and cinematic flourishes, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns is a riveting and buoyant film that, despite being nearly two and a half hours long, manages to keep the viewer interested in the strange, strange ways of men and women bent upon pressing the self-destruct button.

The dramatic narrative core of the film is suffused with a delirious quality that is both delightful and disorienting.

The film has many wonderfully written sequences followed by stray moments that aren't that convincing. But the dialogues, penned by director and scriptwriter Tigmanshu Dhulia himself, are never less than sparkling.

The biwi of the title, on her first meeting with the gangster, laments: "Why do I meet only men and not poets?" The man replies: "I'll become a poet." The lady ends the conversation with "Poets are born, they aren't made."

In another scene, the saheb asks: "Why are men given to using cuss words? He proceeds to provide the answer himself: "Because they cannot cry." Interestingly, the men in this film, mean-spirited and bloodthirsty as they are, do not hurl expletives at each other. 

In narrative terms, this film is an extension of the precursor. Two of the eponymous characters ' the ruthless but now wheelchair-bound saheb (Jimmy Shergill) and the perfidious and alcoholic biwi (Mahie Gill) ' are back to take the story forward.

The biwi, wrapped in her own loneliness and perpetually drunken state, immerses herself in the mournful Lag jaa gale ki phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho as the love song plays every night on her music system. And like the first time around, she jumps into bed with the enemy with the fervour of one who believes that kal (tomorrow) is never going to come. 

The film's high point is the insouciant but restrained swagger of the new 'gangster' (Irrfan Khan), a wily ex-royal out to settle scores with the family that drove his once thriving clan out of its abode and authority several generations ago.

A fourth figure, a straight-arrow princess (Soha Ali Khan) who is in love with the gangster but is sucked against her will into a welter of intrigue that she can barely comprehend until it is too late, serves as a counterpoint to the outrageous amorality of the world she inhabits. 

But Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns isn't an average vengeance saga either. Its characters are a somewhat deranged bunch quite capable of doing the unthinkable without batting an eyelid.

Nothing could be better for the viewer ' thanks to its gallery of distressed deviants who will stop at nothing, the film is as full of surprises as the prequel was.

The sequel is certainly better in one respect ' the tragic climax is sharp, unfussy and marked by great sense of economy. 

The film does not end in a messy bloodbath. The final few scenes are sprung upon the audience without much warning, which perceptibly enhances their impact.

That is not to say that there nothing wrong with the film. For one, it is set in Uttar Pradesh but you get to see nothing at all of that state.

The background score is too raucous for a film that is otherwise very well modulated. And what, pray, is a shoddy item number (Mugdha Godse) doing in a film like this? 

The performances, too, are rather uneven. Irrfan is as brilliant as ever, Shergill is impressively steady, and Pravesh Rana (in his Bollywood debut) uses his voice and physique to great effect in the guise of a newly commissioned police officer. 

However, the two leading ladies do not quite measure up ' Mahie Gill's the-devil-may-care act borders on the hysteric, while Soha Ali Khan, playing the tormented princess, just about passes muster.

As for the film as a whole, there can be no room for any doubt. It is recommended unequivocally.

The following 3 member(s) liked the above post:

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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 10:40pm | IP Logged
^ Thanks for the reviews, Himani Hug
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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 10:47pm | IP Logged
Happy.  Good reviews so far. 
Kal El IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 07 March 2013 at 11:11pm | IP Logged
Sounds good. But right now it's only out in India right? When - or will - it release elsewhere?
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Posted: 08 March 2013 at 1:29am | IP Logged
taran adarsh? madhureeta? Silly

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