Saheb, Biwi, Aur Gangster, 2011

I’m told this is a remake of the old Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam movie that starred the iconic Guru Dutt and Meena Kumari, but having never seen it, allow me to assure you that there will be no comparisons whatsoever.  Instead, I am happy to review it in a most unbiased way!  And the report I have is a very complimentary one, indeed, because this is a well-made film with a good script, great actors, and beautiful landscape that evoke all the pathos of a bygone era:  the era of princely sahebs and their retinue of servants that wait on them hand and foot, and cater to their every wish and whim.  Even if those whims border on the Biwi– or wife of the Saheb– choosing to amuse herself with the chauffeur, who is the ‘gangster’ in the movie title.

Well, one doesn’t need to stretch one’s imagination too much to wonder where all this might be going, but despite the predictability of the plot, there is still a good amount of suspense throughout, and a delicious climax that is worth waiting for.  Jimmy Shergill does an excellent job in comporting himself as the Saheb who knows how to dress and eat impeccably well even as his haveli and biwi are crumbling from within and without.  His passions lie more with his mistress than with bothering himself in the upkeep of the house or the staff.

The Biwi is one firecracker who looks exquisite all the time, especially when her eccentricities are in full-swing!  But it is the Gangster who does an excellent job even as he plays a double-game with the Saheb and his other mentors.  And yet, in the end, it is the Biwi who has the last word, and you begin to wonder if there’s poetic justice to it all, after all.

All things considered, this is a story of exquisite deception from all parties involved and high-strung drama to make it a suspenseful thriller with a good dose of illicit romantic adventure– all essential ingredients for a most entertaining movie.


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