Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana get engaged in a duel worth watching.
Yes, the monkey is masked (after all, it’s not a Panchatantra tale simply told) and so its identity cannot be revealed. But the cats who’re fighting to have a purani haveli (Fatima Mahal) in their name are obviously Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana.
How Bachchan carries off role after role that leaves behind unerasable memories is something that he’s always very diplomatic about if you praise him in his interviews. So that’s that as far his performance is concerned! On the other hand, Ayushmann continues his successful spree which seems to have acquired a permanent sheen.
The cantankerous Mirza (Bachchan), married to Begum (Farrukh Jaffar) who is 15 years older than him, can barely walk but lands in the nick of time at every seizable opportunity so much so that once he even sits on a massive bundle of notes to not lose them. On the other hand, the cunning Baankey (Khurrana) is all about that typical tenant who never wants to vacate and would go to any lengths to wrest the property in his own name. Yeah, Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo is all about greed and fake relationships, subtly written by Sircar’s most trusted lieutenant Juhi Chaturvedi’s in her inimitable style.
But Sircar and Juhi have also quietly weaved in a message which is so relevant in today’s times: Someone out there is always waiting for you to make hay amid your vulnerability.
A special mention for the archaeological official Vijay Raaz who hops, skips and jumps to con people in the lanes and bylanes of Lucknow, which have been captured in a manner that bears a very uncanny resemblance to the Kolkata of Piku- thank you Abhik Mukhopadhyay for the beautiful cinematography.
Brijendra Kala who specialises in property dispute cases but jumps onto the bandwagon of ‘It’s mine’ impresses. Diito for Shrishti Shrivastava, who plays Khurrana’s sibling.
Tune it to Amazon Prime to have the experience of a film which was originally made for the big screen. You won’t be disappointed.
I am going with THREE-and-HALF.