The eagerly awaited trailer of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi demonstrates the director’s unbridled epic vision to ample advantage .
This time the setting is the infamous badnaamon ki basti(the slum of the infernals) Kamathipura ,where Guru Dutt and Shah Rukh Khan have earlier stumbled sozzled in Pyaasa and Devdas(the latter, again directed by Bhansali) ; and going by the art direction, this is going to be be one of the most dazzling recreations of Asia’s biggest redlight area .
The film though located in a sleazy part of the universe, wears a look of grimy grandeur.If that sounds like an oxymoron then you don’t know Bhansali’s cinema. He can make sleaze look sublime. The high-drama as seen in the tumultuous trailer is played out against a spectacular background score(by the director himself) .
The performances, not only Alia Bhatt’s but also Ajay Devgan’s and Vijay Raaz’s are powered by high-definition rhetorics.But this is demonstrably Alia Bhatt’s show. She strides across the lavish frames like a lioness and roars against her enemies with a chilling restraint. From what we see of MS Bhatt , she echoes Shabana Azmi’s gangster-politician act from Vinay Shukla’s Godmother with a customized credibility.
Though she plays a gangster in Gangubai Kathiawadi, Alia Bhatt doesn’t resort to one swear word , not one reference to a mother’s or a sister’s anatomy. And yet there is something inherently menacing in Alia’s transformation from the angelic parts she has played so far(even the spy in Raazi seemed shy to hurt a fly , even if the fly was Pakistani) .
Alia is intrinsically goodnatured and sophisticated. To get her to be fully into this boorish backstreet mode of a badass brothel siren is no easy matter.Alia seems to get into the accent, body language and her space in the period pace comfortably.
In the livewire editing evident in the lucid riveting trailer, the mesmeric photography merging the mobocracy of the 1960s in Mumbai’s redlight area Kamathipura with the autocracy of one woman who dared to have more balls that her male criminal colleagues.
A special word of praise for two other actors prominently visible in the trailer: Ajay Devgan whose Karim Lala act seems suave and restrained, just the way he always does it. Devgan plays it cool.As for Vijay Raaz’s trans-gender pimp’s act, is there anything that this actor can’t do?
Ditto Bhansali. The Gangubai Kathiawadi trailer proves Bhansali has come a long way, far removed, from Khamoshi, Hum…Dil De Chuke Sanam ,Devdas and Bajirao Mastani. In the trailer he makes the dark look desirable.