Moview Review-Gangoobai

Cast: Sarita Joshi, Purab Kohli, Mita Vasisht, Raj Zutshi, Nidhi Sunil, Ankita Shrivastava
Direction: Priya Krishnaswamy
Genre: Drama Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes

Gangoobai, a Maid-in-Matheran, has lived a life with simple aspirations, until one day she finds a new purpose of buying a designer sari. She follows her dream to the big city of Mumbai.

Aga Bai! This Gangoobai (Sarita Joshi) is like none other. Picture this. She makes it to the elite guest list at fashion shows (in her bright colored nauvari and tattoo between her brows), she’s styled by Mumbai’s hot-shot design house, and she spiritedly lives up to the city’s bustling night-life. But long before everything turned so ‘hip and happening’, her life was like was any other ordinary tale.

Gangoo lived in the picturesque hill-station, Matheran, on the outskirts of Mumbai. Widowed early and childless, her life basically comprised of domestic chores in a few houses, her oldie friend Malan, and most importantly, her pet-plants that she nurtured with aai-like affection. In a flash, her life changed forever.

Gangoo set sight on her memsaab’s daughter’s exquisite gara sari (traditional Parsi sari embroidered with flowers and birds) and at that moment, she made the most ambitious decision of her life – one way or another, she would own a sari like that. Even if her dream cost her an exorbitant amount of Rs. 50,000! Deva re deva! Thereafter, the movie traces Gangoo’s pursuits as she sets off for aamchi Mumbai where she meets with her ‘dream-weavers’ – Daksha ( Mita Vasisht), Waman (Purab Kohli), top model Monisha (Nidhi Sunil)and style-guru Rohan ( Raj Zutshi). In Mumbai, while she fulfils her only dream, she finds simple solutions for all her new big city friends with big problems. With pure goodness, and some preaching and puranpoli, Gangoo wins over the people of this mahanagari. In this tailor-made role, Sarita Joshi shows all the warmth, compassion and disposition that Gangoobai’s character demands.

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The simplicity with which she essays this, along with her altering expressions of wonder and awe, says a lot more than dialogues (in a mix of Marathi and Hindi) and proves her extreme calibre. Priya Krishnaswamy tells a story of simple women with a not-so-simple dream. While her lead actor holds fort, the rest of the cast come up with average performances, leaving bai without much support. The film is 9-yards too long, diluting the essence. Gangoobai doesn’t sweep your heart away, but leaves you with some sweet, feel-good moments.

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Volume 10 Issue 41 | New York | Oct 21

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