Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster: The Past Retold

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster narrates the story of a Nawab family based in a small town in North India. The diminishing status of the yesteryear’s Nawab family is the central theme of the film. The choti bahu (Mahie Gill) is struck within both the financial and her internal crises. She is hysterical because her husband refuses to be with her.

Dhulia breathes life into the skeleton of the dead choti bahu (Meena Kumari) from Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam and sculpts the character of ‘Biwi’. The gangster Babloo (Randeep Hooda) jumps in and becomes an active part of the narrative as he tries to overthrow the nawab in a mission against him, for the local goons. As predicted the sex starved, companion hungry ‘Biwi’ seeks for that eternal satisfaction in him.

Hooda accidentally enters the palace as their driver while, the most trusted driver recovers from an accident preplanned by the goons. Babloo slowly begins to make a place for himself within both the palace and the heart of the Biwi. Caught between the tug-of-wars of love- power- politics, the Nawab-Biwi- Gangster trio has other characters as the nawab’s mistress and Deepal Shah (the daughter of the trusted servant) fighting for the ideal man, the Zaminder and Babloo respectively.

The vast expanse of the crumpled, almost diminished status of the palace is well replicated within the interiors of the
characters and leads them at the end to destroy and fight for their love and power, the trio, is ready to pull the trigger at each other and play the game of ‘Tzameti’ to achieve that ultimate satisfaction. Through the crumpled, almost devastated images of the Haveli Dhulia attempts to take us back to the times of Guru Dutt as we stand to witness the same story in a fast forward mode.

However, even with a promising script and brilliant actors he fails to recreate the spark of the epic romance and leaves enough bumps all along the way.

Anurima Das