Gangubai Kathiawadi Review: Some said revolutionary, some said boring; International newspapers gave mixed response to Gangubai

Alia Bhatt-starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi is scheduled to release in theaters on February 25. The film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, has received positive response from critics and audiences. The film is an adaptation of chapters from Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai and stars Alia in the lead role. The film depicts how a young woman forced into prostitution becomes a prominent and famous figure in Mumbai’s Kamathipura red-light area.

The Guardian wrote in a review of the film, “When Gangubai finally transforms from a mafia queen to a mother, the film starts to get a little boring. But the film has terrific excitement and audacity. Some great fantasy-musical set pieces. The gruesomeness shown in this film will leave you emotional. Overall it is an entertaining film which has many bold scenes with many bold steps taken.”

A review by independent critic Alicia Haddick, shared by LetterboxD, said that the big-budget Indian blockbuster film that screened as a special gala turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining biopic. The film depicts how a young woman, who was forced into prostitution, rose to become a politician and helped bring in the first law to legalize prostitution in the country. The most impressive thing about this film is that the director has taken an issue very seriously, which is rarely shown in big budget films like this.”

A review by MoviePilot, translated from German into Hindi, read: “Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali creates a thrilling underworld drama with lots of punch.”

In a review shared by Lydia Bach on Cinemagicon, the film was called ‘downright revolutionary’. “With its spirited and brightly beautiful heroine, a story spanning decades and a classic mix of thriller, music, epic drama and romance, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali biopic appears as a classic film. It won four-at the Berlin Film Festival. Chand Laga Diye. Showcasing the lead character as sex worker, who was born as Gangubai Harjivandas and making a film on the events of her life, is downright revolutionary.”

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