To give you a concise background about the biographical crime drama, Gangubai Kothewali was a sex worker and madam or the supervisor of a brothel in the Kamathipura area of the city of Mumbai in the 1960s.
Gangubai Kathiawadi, loosely based on the life of that woman, stars Alia Bhatt in the leading role. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced with Jayantilal Gada, it also features Shantanu Maheshwari, Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari, and Seema Pahwa.
Bhansali is one of the finest directors in Hindi Cinema and to name a few examples like Padmaavat or Bajirao- Mastani, the audience already knows the potential he has to build up a masterpiece entirely in his direction.
So, when it comes to moments and scenes from the movie, they are bound to be beautifully crafted, establishing just the right essence to develop the feelings of literally living in that same period.
The background of the film is also closely observed to portray the era in which it was set with film posters and other pamphlets glued to the walls of Mumbai streets.
Like all the other films, this one carries that visual reward as well with the camera capturing the gloomy alleys of Mumbai but with the opulence and extravagance which is unique to only the inventions of Bhansali.
Coming to the cast, Ajay Devgan, with his short role, is successful in leaving a concrete impact. Seema Pahwa and Jim Sarbh could have done more on their part but did not obtain enough room to shine with their roles.
Shantanu took part in Gangubai’s love interest and was victorious in taking his position on the screen alongside Bhatt.
No matter how anticipated this movie was, netizens were worried about how Alia Bhatt was going to execute such a heavy role but she already demonstrated the wide range of characters she can play with Highway, Raazi, Gully Boy, etc.
Bhatt wonderfully delves into the character of a lady who was forcefully pushed into horrendous circumstances but learned to turn the tables in her favor and we get to see a total boss lady surrounded by brothers and lecherous men.
There is a scene in the movie where Gangubai is seen delivering an impactful speech where she is supporting the dignity and respect which should be given to every sex worker like it is to all the other professions.
From that scene itself, it is palpable that she delivers the dialogue terrifically– and of course, Gangubai Kathiawadi becomes such an important movie with three vital aspects- Bhansali’s undefeatable work, Alia Bhatt’s remarkable performance, and the powerful subject carried by the movie.
From several instances, you will learn that the work is not just a glorification of the life of Gangubai rather it also focuses on the miseries and struggles these sex workers encounter.
The film is divided into two parts where Gangubai is shown as a barrister’s daughter and then when she was compelled to become a part of the sex trade.
As you finally reach the end of the movie, you will yearn to discover more about the woman who changed herself from being a damsel in distress to a warrior but the movie itself was about the truth of such lives and the stories that deserve to be told.