Movie Review: Gangoobai

At any given period of time, every generation leaves something or the other behind. If this is indeed true for our so-called modern society, then the saree could be a possible victim in the not-so-distant future. However, alleviating this uncertainty, a film that explores an elderly maid’s quest for a saree of her choice has to be heartening — to say the least. And gratefully, it is. 

Gangoobai revolves around an eponymous character (Sarita Joshi) from Matheran who is on her maiden visit to Mumbai. She has sacrificed quite a lot to make sure she buys an expensive embroidered Parsi saree. Given her social standing, people she bumps into raise their eyebrows as well as her hopes.

But despite the ensuing melodrama, she is determined to have what she thinks she deserves. As a spectator, the thing that strikes you about this dreamer is she’s prepared to pay the price for her dreams. Even though her wisdom is elementary, it affects those surrounding her in an insightful way.

Gangoobai review
Sarita Joshi in and as 'Gangoobhai'.

The film could have been dull given a rather down-to-earth narrative but the performance-driven structure keeps you captivated. An enjoyable milieu of rich and poor — and those who lie in between — are assembled on the canvas to provide a memorable punch.

Sarita is the quintessential fit for the Marathi protagonist. She does justice to her part as someone who bridges the gap between abstract longings and material possession. Purab Kohli smiles throughout the film while his onscreen love interest, Nidhi Sunil, pouts. Both are likeable as friendly people in an otherwise superficial city. Raj Zutshi exhibits his brilliance as he gets into the skin of a dedicated fashion designer while Meeta Vashisht holds her ground as a level-headed executive.

Storytelling without songs happens rarely and this particular effort in that direction is appreciable. There are no fancy camera angles involved nor are the dialogues, extravagant. Gangoobai reeks of simplicity from Matheran to Mumbai and back. Her love for saree might seem complicated but it’s actually a metaphor for the things we generally desire in our life. The irony sets in when she ultimately gets what she wants. At that very instance, this heartwarming film subtly teaches us something about our generation.

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