The best tribute to Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam

By Jyotsna Kumar

Guru Dutt’s Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam aesthetically wove pain, betrayal, loneliness and most importantly LOVE, feelings which were bottled up, feelings that hid behind closed curtains. However in its modern day avatar Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster dropped all possible curtains and came out with the best contemporary adaptation of this classic.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangaster has a rustic setting with a modern day pace to it, and so it generously accommodates disgustful politics, money, power, lust, hatred and of course Sex- as a meaningful weapon. But is that all the film is about? Absolutely not, while these elements were used as heavy cosmetics the real beauty lies in its plot.

Saheb’s (Jimmy Shergill) glory is slowly fading away as an erstwhile prince of a crumbling state called Deogarh– we assume it’s a small town in U.P considering there’s a mix of multiple dialects in the film.  The only thing he’s encashing on is his dad’s goodwill and his name. He’s trapped in an imperfect marriage with his Biwi (Mahie Gill) who in fact wants her Sahib back at any cost. Saheb has to deal with lots during the day- local politics, close encounters with his arch rival Gainda Singh (Vipin Sharma), his stepmother who deprives him of his ayaashi and unforgettable nights at his mistress mansion. But in the midst of all he couldn’t foresee an unsuspected terror that befalls him, a terror called Babloo– a small time Gangster (Randeep Hooda).

Post Haasil Tigmanshu Dhulia managed yet another gripping tale which is fast paced and edgy. He’s one talent whose umbilical chord is well attached to the small town mentality of India. Saheb Biwi Aur Gangaster sets an example that how a gripping plot should marry aesthetics. The editing is so sharp and clean that not even a single frame is wasted. The live orchestra is so authentic that’ll take you back to all those uncomfortable parties where you secretly enjoyed the music. However, the much hyped fast paced track Jugni was a misfit in the opening credits of the film.

This film is a rare combination where technique, plot and performances are well matched. Without a doubt every single character in the film outperformed their previous performances. Jimmy Shergill as an arrogant brash Saheb, who is aware that his state is on a verge of a breakdown was powerful and restrained. He’s matured as an actor right from his cookie-cutter image in Mohabbatein.  Mahie Gill as an adulterated alcoholic wife, who would cross any limit to get her man back was more than impressive. In many ways she resembled Tabu of Maqbool. Randeep Hooda as a street- smart gangster, foolishly in love was astounding in the film. After multiple dismal performances in some forgettable films this guy’s performance truly stands out. Deepal Shaw too makes an indelible mark with her performance.  You would definitely carry her performance as you walk out of the theater. All in Saheb Biwi Aur Gangaster is one deadly mix of cocktail with intriguing twist and turns.  This is one film which would have gone places given the right kind of marketing and publicity. Nonetheless, my advice to you is that you should not let go of this film. It’s the longest we’ve waited this year for treat like this to arrive, isn’t it?

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