Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

Why Did Sanjay Leela Bhansali Choose Alia Bhatt For Gangubai Kathiawadi?

Gangubai Kathiawadi is a crime drama loosely based on the real-life story of Gangubai Harjivandas. She’s the same Gangubai whose life story was documented by S. Hussain Zaidi in his book Mafia Queens of Mumbai. This time it is Sanjay Leela Bhansali extending the character of Gangubai Kathiawadi with his direction.


Gangubai Harjivandas dreams of becoming an actress but falls in love with Ramnik Lal who happens to be her father’s accountant. Ramnik Lal convinces Gangubai to elope to Mumbai where she can start a new life and fulfill her dream as well. Unaware of his plans, 16-year-old Gangubai elopes with him. In Mumbai, Ramnik Lal sells Gangubai to a brothel in Kamathipura for only Rs. 500. Forced into prostitution, Gangubai Kathiawadi grows into a powerful brothel madame. But she has a soft corner for sex workers and their children. And she wants to change their lives. She wins elections advocating women’s rights and equal rights for sex workers.

Highlights Of The Movie:

• Praising the song Dholida director Sanjay Leela Bhansali said he would like to take the shot to his grave
• Ajay Devgn has an extended cameo as don Karim Lala and Gangubai’s sworn brother
• With 154 minutes running time, the movie gives more view of Gangubai’s life
• Sets are made elaborate and dialogues spruced with cuss words and drunken binges
• Vijay Raaz looks terrific as a trans madame
• Seema Pahwa a cruel-capricious brothel-in-charge breaks her stereotype of joint-family roles

Gangubai Kahiawadi First Look & Poster

Gangubai Kathiawadi First Look Poster

The poster has Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiawadi in black goggles and yellow sari. The poster gets a yellow touch with yellow sunlight filtering in the room from iron window grills and peeled dark green plaster of the wall in the backdrop. The only things distinct in the poster are the black goggles and red bindi in the middle of her forehead.

Advantage Alia Bhatt

The description of Gangubai Kathiawadi given by the author S. Hussain Zaidi in his crime novel Mafia Queens of Mumbai gives a brief idea about the height and weight of Gangubai. And it is an advantage for Alia Bhatt as she fits into the character. With no picture of Gangubai available to compare with Alia Bhatt, the versatile actress fits into the character of the mafia queen.

Downside Of The Movie:

• An Urdu journalist showing a copy of his publication but it turns out to be an English magazine
• Children of all prostitutes are girl children
• Prostitutes have high ambitions for their children that often contradict the reality
• Elaborate sets used to portray 50’s Bombay hide more facts than revealing

Why Watch The Movie?

• Alia Bhatt looks like the real Gangubai Kathiawadi
• The movie isn’t a journalistic view of the life of Gangubai Kathiawadi but
• a cinematic portrayal of the mafia woman
• Songs are really music to ears
• Extended viewing time gives more value to your ticket price


• Sanjay Leela Bhansali released the teaser of the movie on 24th February on his 58th birthday
• Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi have extended cameos in the movie
• Alia Bhatt’s maiden tryst with Sanjay Leela Bhansali


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