Saturday, 9 March 2013

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns : Dangerous Liaisons

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia

Actors : Irrfan Khan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Soha Ali Khan, Raj Babbar, Rajeev Gupta

I believe a car can move smoothly only if all 4 wheels are aligned well. A film is like that car to me. Story, Direction, Acting and Editing, the four wheels, try driving with one wheel hanging loose.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster had come out in 2011. I had mixed feelings for that, but I liked the twists and turns and the bold character of its Biwi Mahie Gill.

In Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, Tigmanshu is back with the new Gangster, Irrfan Khan. The biwi is living in an alcoholic haze and the Saheb Jimmy Sheirgill is crippled due the attack on him in the original.

The story is of power struggle at various levels, between Saheb and Biwi, Saheb and Bunny Uncle (Raj Babbar), Saheb and Raja Bhaiyya (Irrfan) and a layer of deceit and dangerous liaisons. Soha is playing the fourth angle as Irrfan's lover and Saheb's desire.

Tigmanshu draws you in with a languid pace, setting up his characters, playing with some good dialogues, setting up the under-currents and the story. Irrfan is always fun to watch, though I feel he is not putting in much effort in this. He is his usual self, mouthing lines in his inimitable style, and tongue in cheek delivery. Jimmy Sheirgill is in very good form and plays his part as a frustrated and craving to regain his glory Saheb with ease. Mahie Gill has got stuck in her throaty voice and drunken gait, never rising above ordinary in a role that can be portrayed with great nuance and depth. Soha, well, we all know her limitations don't we?

The second half, though much more pacier, has such a spread out screenplay that towards the climax it just falls flat. A film that began with a promise of some masterful storytelling by the guy who gave us Pan Singh Tomar, but gets lost in its own twists, turns and double turns.

Characters, the pillars, when they start shifting, you can expect things to go south. Since there is not much I can say without giving too much away, lets just say the climax disappoints.

Pravesh Rana makes a very confident debut, and I think he would get some good roles in the times ahead. Rajeev Gupta as the political leader, is a delight to watch, specially in the scene where he ends up playing porn on his laptop and is totally clueless how to turn it off, a scene which stands out in the entire film.

The indulgence shows in the film, which could have been much crisper, and 2 songs, one featuring Anjana Sukhani and the other with Mugdha Godse, should have been killed on the table.

Definitely way better than lot of crap Bollywood doles out every Friday, watch Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns for Irrfan and Jimmy, and some scenes which shine out and show the brilliance Tigmanshu is actually capable of.

My Rating 3/5

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