Gangubai Trailer: What Do We Think?

Huh, a trailer! It’s been so looooooooooooong since we had one of those!

When this movie was first announced, I thought “Alia is too young”. And now the trailer is out and I STILL think Alia is too young. Her face looks too young for the part, it’s disconcerting, but also she can’t seem to move or speak the way a mature in charge older woman would. And she simply doesn’t have the acting experience and gravitas on screen to handle a lead role this challenging.

Picture Juhi Chawla, for instance, instead of Alia. Wouldn’t that have made this trailer a lot better?

43 thoughts on “Gangubai Trailer: What Do We Think?

  1. Honestly it looks great aside from the casting which ruins it. With the casting, it might be great in a campy big swing and a big miss way though, especially considering Bhansali’s ideas about women. Should have cast Juhi or Tabu or Sushmita, or someone at least over 30.

    Like

    • Tabu would have been AMAZING!!!! When the casting was first announced, I just assumed it would be a “rise to power” story. But, looks like it’s a “have power, fall from grace” story. So Alia is totally wrong.

      I think if Kalank wasn’t a campy swing and a miss, this one won’t be. Alia just isn’t fun enough for camp. Except in SOTY.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 8:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  2. The story is based on her story from the book The Mafia Queen’s of Mumbai. I’ve heard that she IS supposed to be this young for the role since she rose to power at a young age, hence the casting of Alia for the role.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here are my thoughts on the trailer: On the one hand, Gangubai was sold into prostitution in her teens (i.e.,14 to16 year old), was brutally raped, made the most powerful gang leader in the area into her “rakhi” brother, and and rose to be a prominent brothel owner (who was just as known for her flair of wearing real gold embroidered sarees and driving around in a Bentley) at a very young age. So in this sense, Alia makes sense in the role because she is so cherubic.

    However, eventually she fought for rights of sex workers and improving the conditions of the red light districts, including speaking with Jawaharlal Nehru. It is unclear (to me) when she went from being a prominent brothel owner to being an activist for sex workers. There are some accounts that say she was born sometime around 1939-1940 and met Jawaharlal Nehru in the 60s. Since Nehru died in 1964, she would have been only about 25 to 26 years old. However, she clearly lived to an old age because the picture that people hang up of her is one of an older woman. So, here it would have been interesting to see someone like Juhi or Sushmita. Also, there is only one real researched story of her life, which I am sure you know (Mafia Queens of Mumbai), and SLB could care less about historical accuracy, so he could have picked someone older right from the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! There’s age, and there’s gravitas, is I think my issue. Alia is great at playing the outsider, the rebel, the strong independent person. But she doesn’t have the gravitas for playing a respected leader. For some people that comes with age (Hema Malini, for instance), for some it is inborn (Jaya Bachchan, always dignified as needed). But Alia definitely doesn’t have it now even if she might get it later.

      If the story ended with her achieving power at age 20, Alia would be perfect. But if it is going to be her using and handling power, I don’t think she can do it.

      That sort of powerful feeling onscreen isn’t something Hindi film looks for in actresses, so I can’t think of someone who has it currently. But I am sure there is one I am just not thinking of right now. Maybe Sonakshi Sinha?

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 9:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I agree with your assessment that it is hard to imagine Alia playing the role of a respected leader. However, despite my dislike for SLB, I think depending on the actor he is working with, he can bring something out of them that people don’t usually see. My issue is can he do this with Alia or will she just be a caricature, where I am constantly thinking this is Alia playing Gangubai (which will be very distracting and annoying). I don’t know but I guess just from watching the trailer, I am not ready to dismiss the movie. However, watch me say this and then hate the movie. I mean, I don’t have the best track record with SLB.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha! I do the opposite! I tend to hate trailers, and then end up liking movies.

          On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 9:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

    • I’m curious to have someone else see the film and tell me. My life may be too short to watch another Bhansali movie.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 10:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think age will be an issue,as the movie seems to focus only on her becoming the President of Kamathipura,when she would have been at most 28 years old.I do feel Alia hasn’t done a role previously that demanded so much gravitas.
    Some scenes from the trailer,specifically when she is in a politician getup with chiffon sari,crimped hair,goggles and an umbrella,reminded me of Azmi’s Rukmini Bai from Mandi.Not surprising as Bhansali has a thing for “tributes”.The cars look accurate to the era unlike very pretty but very inaccurate ones in Kalank.Even the costumes don’t make my eyes bleed with the bling-channelling the delicate simplicity of Pakeezah perhaps.
    The movie doesn’t look as mechanical and lifeless as some of his previous ventures have been.Most of the movie was shot after the lockdown was lifted so I hope Bhansali did not get to spill all his creative juices.No lamps in the trailer!The cast doesn’t suggest any meaty love interest for Alia either.

    Like

  5. “Picture Juhi Chawla, for instance, instead of Alia. Wouldn’t that have made this trailer a lot better?” –what a pointless question, Juhi makes all things better ; ) Indeed, this character gives off so many of the same vibes as Juhi’s character in “Gulaab Gang,” even though the circumstances are obviously different.

    TBH, Alia does not bother me so much in this trailer as I expected her to, though I always do prefer it when the older generation of actresses gets a chance to work. (Someone suggested Tabu above; wouldn’t that be amazing?) I wasn’t overwhelmed with the Alia-ness of it as I feared I might be. So, at this point, I guess I’m planning to see it. Even if it is not a very good movie, perhaps it will be a very pretty not-good movie a la “Kalank,” which I was certainly capable of enjoying–!

    Like

    • Yes! All you people see it, and then give Deep Thoughts in the discussion post I will put up, and then I don’t have to see it at all but I will know enough to fake it in conversation.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 11:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  6. Basically agree with everyone about the lack of gravitas thing. Alia has this unique problem of looking too angelic and cherubic for this kind of heavyweight not-contemporary role. It’s not an age thing, other actors in the same age range like Tripti, Sobhita would have been perfect I feel, also Swara, Sayani Gupta and of course the older generation actresses mentioned. But I think it’s safe to say that Bhansali would never go for little-known actors, he always goes for the top stars. Though I have to say, her dialog delivery feels much better than Kalank, clearly she has put in the effort. But still I get the vibe of little-girl-playing-dress-up.

    I don’t know if I want to see it or not, I think the last SLB movie I saw was Black! That’s like 15 years ago, none of his recent stuff has interested me enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Huh. I’m surprised at this reaction. I thought it was great. In my opinion, Alia had an excellent screen presence. I don’t think someone I their 40s would have been appropriate. I believe the film is showing her life from when she was sold into prostitution at a young age. I’m just worried about Bhansali. I want to give him the benefit of doubt, but he’s disappointed me so many times.

    Like

  8. Watched a baaad film, The Wedding Guest with Dev Patel and Radhika Apte, two very good actors, except here. The whole thing seemed pointless, I couldn’t summon up any sympathy for the lovers, if that’s what they were, and when it ended I went, “Huh?” Jim Sarbh who played the bad guy (I guess he was supposed to be bad guy) was relatable, but his part was too small.

    Anyway, I can see Radhika in the Alia role. She has a REAL face, not a sweet ingenue one, and her acting always has a edge.

    Like

    • Oooo, yes! And she played a similar character (sex worker, sold into it at a young age, survived by her wits) in Raat Akeli Hai.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 5:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  9. Oh God! She’s awful in this, and the background and sets look so obvious set-like? I think I am a bit spoiled now by realistic looking cinema, and I will probably give this one a skip. Looks too much larger than life.

    Like

    • Too much larger than life, but without the character/actress at the center who can pull it off. That’s what bothers me.

      On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 5:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • Yes, Alia is a good actress but she doesn’t have that certain charisma that’s required.

        Btw, did you see The girl on the train (Netflix) with Parineeti? What did you think of it?

        Like

        • Did not see it, despite Netflix showering me with ads for it.

          On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 10:59 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  10. Like everything by Bhansali, it looks gorgeous and I’m fine watching it for that reason alone. I’m shallow. Remains to be seen if it’s something like Guzaarish, which I hated so much I would never have finished it if I hadn’t seen it on a plane. But it was gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank goodness! You watch, ignore my opinion, be happy. And I can sit over here and not watch and not review and not worry about it.

      On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 5:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  11. I watched the trailer and must say I thought it will be much worse. Still, I’m not going to watch this film, but it’s not the worst. I agree Alia is not a good choice, but as somebody said SLB works only with the biggest stars and he would never cast the girl from Moothon or Tripti. I think there is something in Alia’s eyes that doesn’t convince me. In some scenes she is ok, and in some other out of place.

    Like

  12. I’m excited for this because I love Alia and I think she’s one of the best actresses working today. But I’m nervous for this for two reasons.

    1) I don’t despise SLB like most of the blog does, but his two most recent films, Bajirao and Padmavaat, overall didn’t do it for me. I feel like somehow, he’s going to do something that will stir up controversy for no reason, like he did with Padmavaat. I can’t think of any specific examples, but maybe somehow making it uncomfortably and unnecessarily sexual. I don’t know.

    2) I haven’t even seen this movie, but this is giving me Shraddha in Haseena Parkar vibes, which I know most people hated, so I’m worried it’s going to play out in a similar fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really like Alia too! And I do think SLB has the ability to bring out something unique in the actor that we have not seen before, and Alia is a director’s actor. So, I am cautiously optimistic that this combination will work. Also, I don’t think there is really a sad ending to this story. So, if it focuses on Gangubai’s triumph and how she succeeded despite the adversities, I will be very very happy! I have a feeling that this movie is either going to make me really happy or really mad.

      Like

      • So, are you saying this might be an SLB movie where the heroine DOES NOT attempt very poetic stylized suicide?

        On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 12:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Liked by 1 person

        • SLB movie is like an Akshay movie for me. Some of them have the potential to be excellent but it can also be completely and totally ruined because of their stupidity.

          Like

          • SLB SHOULD DIRECT AKSHAY!!!! And then they would either cancel each other out and be wonderful, or be all the badness in the world in one place.

            If nothing else, SLB usually takes forever to make movies, so at least it would slow Akshay down.

            On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 2:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

  13. You people r so thankless. Guys…..its SLB movie without DEEPIKA and RANVEER. ….Where are the points for this much deserved change? My heart is already feeling relieved knowing it’s no deepveer repetition. Now I don’t want my mind to do the right choice exercise again.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.