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MOVIE REVIEW: Gangubai Kathiawadi

By Gitanjali Chak Email By Gitanjali  Chak
April 2022
MOVIE REVIEW: Gangubai Kathiawadi

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Starring: Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Shantanu Maheshwari

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Music Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Exquisitely mounted sets, each frame picture perfect, a poignant and powerful story told with dramatic flourish, and a leading lady you can’t take your eyes off—Gangubai Kathiawadi has Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s stamp all over it.

Set in the 1950s, this period drama is loosely based on a true story from the book Mafia Queens of Mumbai written by S. Hussain Zaidi with Jane Borges. It traces the metamorphosis of Ganga, a young girl from Gujarat who is duped and sold to a brothel by her lover, to Gangu, and then to Gangubai athiawadi, the undisputed queen of Kamathipura, Bombay’s infamous redlight area, eventually becoming an intrepid activist for the rights of the sex workers and their children.

Proving every naysayer wrong—after all, her girlish face is at odds with the character she is playing—Alia Bhatt comes up with a stellar “feisty feminism” act, full of verve and energy, while her well-modulated swagger and deliberately lowered voice adds to the impact. The alluring actress is especially good in the quieter moments. Watch her in the song “Meri Jaan” in which she effortlessly slips from one expression to another, bringing alive a gamut of emotions.

Ajay Devgn packs a solid punch in an extended cameo as the charismatic Rahim Lala. Shantanu Maheshwari is earnest and
likeable in his debut role of a young tailor who sets angubai’s heart aflutter. Vijay Raaz, playing the transwoman Razia Bai, makes an impression even in his limited screen time.


  1.  Meri Jaan (Gangubai Kathiawadi)
  2.  Chaka Chak (Atrangi Re)
  3.  Tip Tip Barsa (Sooryavanshi)
  4.  Raatan Lambiyan (Shershaah)
  5.  Aashiqui Aa Gayi (Radhe Shyam)
  6.  Doobe (Gehraiyaan)
  7.  Meri Zindagi Hai Tu (Satyameva Jayate 2)
  8.  Seeti Maar (Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai)
  9.  Thoda Kam Ajnabi (Pagglait)
  10.  Tumse Bhi Zyada (Tadap) 

Bollywood_6_04_22.jpgGangubai Kathiawadi



  1.  Gangubai Kathiawadi
  2.  Kashmir Files
  3.  Loop Lapeta
  4.  Sooryavanshi
  5.  A Thursday
  6.  Badhaai Do
  7.  Shershaah
  8.  Gehraiyaan
  9.  Jhund
  10.  83





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