An Open Letter To Tigmanshu Dhulia
Dear Tigmanshu Dhulia
First things first; I am hugely disappointed by SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS.
And that is precisely why I'm addressing you this week. I went in with huge expectations because I was flabbergasted by the original. It was truly a work of a Master. I will run out of adjectives just lauding SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER, even now, a year-and-a-half after its release.
I reproduce here two paragraphs of my review then...
The tone, tenor, background score and plot. Yes plot, moves smoothly. Like a game of chess, it engages the viewer, making you think or rather keeps you guessing of what to expect next. There's no genius in this work of art. It's simply a genius displaying his craft. You often hear people saying, keep it simple. But in reality, it's not that simple to keep it simple. Simply said, it can be kept simple only if you know the terrain you are venturing into and Tigmanshu Dhulia began as a casting director.
He casts his keen eye detailing every actor assigned to the role. No overacting. Just simple following of orders from the director who knows exactly or how much he wants from the character. Each frame is a joy and he never indulges in falling in love with his work. The length is perfect, editing crisp, dialogues razor sharp and interspersing of scenes between dialogues to give you a complete picture, a revelation.
Sadly, your sequel is a far cry from the original.
Irrfan Khan's characterization is a big question mark, like I mentioned in my review. Okay, he was brilliant in PAAN SINGH TOMAR, but why here? Don't get me wrong; he is a great actor, no doubt about that. But you would have known what a disaster it would have been by casting him in a role that nowhere has a link in the first part. Even if you did have to cast him, he could have been an associate of bablu or the well-characterized Gainda Singh. Just a solo Irrfan Khan coming out of nowhere has shot your film right through the heart!
To top it, he commits suicide. I mean, which gangster behaves like a sissy. Here he is all out to seek revenge with Saheb. He seduces his wife. Saheb has also gunned down his brother and like a loser he puts the gun to his head. It just does not work Tigmanshu. I am still shaking my head in disbelief!
You would defend the script by saying he was in love. Bollocks! He loved his brother even more. And if he really were in love with Ranjana, he would have worked his way around Madhavi, rather than taking a roll in the hay with her. You see, gangsters too have a heart!
Even Raj Babbar's characterization lacks punch. He was just left hanging in the air. Thankfully for you, Jimmy Shergill and Mahie Gill pulled it through in the second half. Or else, your film would have been wheel-chair bound.
I now look forward to a terrific Part III. Get in Gainda Singh and Bablu's people to make it an even tough terrain for Saheb to survive, if and when he comes out of prison. It was these two characters along with Mahua who really, really rocked.
I know you know what I am talking about because you know deep down that you have not done justice to the sequel. You are a creative person and a deeply committed one at that
Next time, don't go by names... Get in elements of the first part. Maybe, Saheb could be made aware of how he was conned into getting rid of Mahua. And the sharp man that he is, he should now be able to see through his wife's drunken stupor.
Meanwhile, I eagerly look forward to BULLET RAJA.
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be... )
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