Streaming on: Disney Plus Hotstar
Release Date: March 3, 2023
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Sharmila Tagore, Amol Palekar, Simran, Suraj Sharma, Utsavi Jha, Santhy Balachandran and Kaveri Seth
Director: Rahul V. Chittella
Gulmohar has digitally released on Disney+Hotstar on March 3, 2023 and if you are looking for an answer to what to watch this weekend, you may have just found an answer. Directed by debutante Rahul V. Chittella, the web movie revolves around a family in Delhi, the Batras. While they look like the typical affluent family on the outside, they all harbour secrets from the past. Even though they have been successful in stowing away their fears, angst and insecurities, a turn of events in their lives lays bare all the trauma. The film runs across four days where the family has to leave their ancestral home of 34 years. The opening lines in the trailer by Sharmila Tagore ‘jahan hum paida hote hain, jahan hum palte hain woh shayad naseeb ki baat ho sakti hai. Lekin hum jahan bante hain uski lakeerein hum khud kheenchte hain,’ pretty much sets the tone for what the story is all about. Add to this, Manoj Bajpayee’s ‘Iss ghar mein sab saath the, ab sab bikhar rahe hian. Sab yaad toh rakhenge?’ and you know what you are in for in the 2 hours, 11 minutes of Gulmohar. Check out the Gulmohar review below.
Watch the Gulmohar trailer video here:
Gulmohar is intricately woven around the bonds within a family and the various baggage they come with. Good, bad and ugly, families see it all through a lifetime and the well-written script does justice to bring the various emotions to the fore in Gulmohar. The story is engaging and the cinematography makes it too intimate allowing you to be a part of the Batra family and the good times and bad that they go through. Just like the Gulmohar tree, whose shallow roots make the plant vulnerable to strong winds and storms, Gulmohar tells the story of characters divided by generations and ideas, and how they are shaken when the past comes looking for them.
You’d be able to see yourself or someone that you know closely in at least one of the characters. The various fears, frustrations and feelings relayed by each of the family members are as close to reality as they can get and that makes the story and characters strike an instant chord from the first few frames itself.
Fitting cast and performances
Putting together an ensemble cast that too one where there are not one but four stalwarts and making younger, lesser-known faces share screen space with them is not an easy feat to pull. One of the many challenges is to give everyone enough screen time to grow on the audience, for the viewers to know who they really are and feel what they are going through. And Gulmohar gets the dynamics perfectly right. It brings together the likes of Sharmila Tagore, Manoj Bajpayee, Simran and Amol Palekar together, along with younger actors like Suraj Sharma, Utsavi Jha, Santhy Balachandran, Kaveri Seth amongst others and yet does justice to all these characters. Sharmila as the Matriarch and Manoj as a son who is the modern day ‘Shrawan Kumar’ are a treat to watch. Their array of emotions as their lives change forever after discovering a devastating truth is one of the highlights.
Gulmohar could have well been a series, for you do not tire of watching the Batras go through life’s sharp twists and turns. Talking about the length of the movie, the script is tight and even as the family oscillates between the mistakes of the past and the repercussions of the present, there is no unwanted drama. The reactions you’d see are real and relatable, leaving no room for unnecessary forced situations or scenes.
BL Verdict: In a time when big, flourishing families have been replaced by neutral families or the now popular DINK couples (Double income, no kid), Gulmohar highlights the importance of family and how being near the loved ones can solve many of the stresses of today’s day and age. We highly recommend that you put this beautiful family entertainer on your must-watch OTT watch list this first weekend of March 2023. I am going with 4 stars.