Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Randeep Hooda
Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia
Rating: *** ½
Some of the best thrillers and edgy cult classics have had one thing in common: their characters could snap at just about anything. And the three lead cast members in 'Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster' (SBAG) are just as deliciously obnoxious and unpredictable to keep you entertained.
The film revolves around the lives of Saheb (Jimmy Sheirgill), a king without a crown, Choti Rani (Mahie Gill), a queen who is as disturbed as she is horny and Bablu (Randeep Hooda), a very ambitious and passionate side-kick. Now with each of them displaying competing levels of eccentricity, it is natural that we would have untimely slaps and any scene can drift from passionate to gruesome without any warning.
Despite being bankrupt, Saheb takes pride in his royalty which is reduced to just his moustache. His chief source of income is now terrorizing government officials for contracts and bumming off from stepmother, 'Badi Rani'. His modest earnings are utilized over his 'keep' who keeps him away from home, allowing Choti Rani to get fatally attracted to Bablu, the opportunist driver.
While the film isn't as simplistic as a love triangle or just about adultery, it involves many interwoven plots and each character portrays a certain agenda and has another. Saheb may seem viciously arrogant at times courtesy his delirious temper. But in the very next scene, he is as vulnerable as a child. Things become very sticky as Bablu falls for Choti Rani's psychotic seduction, overlooking her casual terrorizing.
The film builds up well and you're keen to learn how it would conclude. Sadly, though the end isn't one that you would assume, it doesn't particularly match up to the excitement it fueled through the film.
SBAG may seem disturbingly violent to some as the hacking and smashing seem hardly moderated. But the film has this hypnotic ability to make you immune to the excessive bloodshed and inconsistent manner of reacting to situations, so it's not a bother.
Jimmy Sheirgill is very believable and committed to his controlled frustration over his embarrassing means. Randeep Hooda manages his rustic lover image with just the right amount of crudeness. If only Mahie Gill could've nailed the right mix of erratic with exotica, it would've been a clean sweep on the acting front.
Tigmanshu Dhulia's pace of storytelling isn't rushed or laid back. It gives every scene the chance to unfold comfortably, with a screenplay tight enough to keep you tense.
This film is comparable to rich dark chocolate. It's bitter, it's exciting, it's a deadly sin and it has a great after taste.
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