GANGOOBAI Movie Review: An insight into human heart
Friday, January 11, 2013 3:51:54 PM (IST)
Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade Editorial
Middle-class dreams, high-class values. NFDC opens the year with a heart-warming film that’s honest to the core.
From a humble existence in Matheran, to the hustle, bustle and foolish pride of Mumbai; Gangoobai (Sarita Joshi) takes you on a pleasant ride. Hers is a journey fraught with innocence and humility. Along with her, you meet almost every sort of a character; be it her neighbour and friend Malanbai (Aparna Khanekar), the insulting Mrs Tahiliani (Gopi Desai), who likes to flaunt her sarees but has no money to pay her outstanding, Waman Ponkshe (Purab Kohli), the overworked accountant at a fashion house or Monisha (Nidhi Sunil) the in-house model.
GANGOOBAI by director Priya Krishnaswamy throws an insight into the human heart and the relationships one can bolster, when you do not seek to gain anything in return for your actions. GANGOOBAI is one such lady. Her dream is to own a Gara saree which once her husband promised to buy her. But within the first year of her marriage, he passed away. Her dream to own a Gara remained. When she chances upon one of the visitors to the bungalow she takes care of in a Gara saree, her desire is rekindled. The expense is never a problem.
She then works overtime to save Rs 50,000 to buy the saree of her dreams. Four years later, she boards a train to Mumbai wanting to return in the evening with the saree in her bag.
Here begins your journey as you walk with GANGOOBAI through every difficulty and every new person she befriends with the simplicity in her heart.
Priya has a fantastic subject at hand and she does justice after faltering mid-way where the film moves off track. Though the subject is appealing, her casting is flawed, and that it where GANGOOBAI takes a beating. But thanks to the genius of Sarita Joshi, she manages to keep your eyes riveted on screen. Like a true ‘hero’, she shoulders the responsibility as a few scenes around her crumble for lack of conviction on the actor’s part. That is where, the victory for GANGOOBAI lies, too. In Sarita’s flawless execution of her character, despite the hiccups!
Raj Zutshi, as the Gara saree designer, goes overboard. His character needed to be toned down, not shout out loud. Two employees of his stand like cardboard cut-outs during their scenes taking away the impact it has created so far and the elderly gentleman who plays the grandfather delivers his line as though trying hard to remember them — without emotion or purpose. Actually like a nervous kindergarten child delivering his poetry. Mita Vasisht is wasted when in fact her talent could have been made better use of.
Purab Kohli, as expected, is getting better and better. As the beleaguered accountant out to get the ‘outstanding’, and the lost in love lad he gives his character the touch of honesty.
Nidhi Sunil, making her debut, is confident. She carries herself well and for a model who emotes as gracefully as she walks, this has to be the first. Let’s hope we see more of her on-screen.
GANGOOBAI is bi-lingual (Hindi/Marathi) which is good because it maintains the essence of the subject. Towards the end, Priya manages to hold things together ensuring that it does not have a predictable end.
So did GANGOOBAI get her Gara saree? It won’t be a bad idea to walk into a theatre and find out for yourself. After all, how often do we have a 60-plus woman hold the entire film with her performance?
For that alone this film deserves three stars.
Rating - 3/5
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