Direction: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Tigmanshu Dhulia had said in a pre-release interview that ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’ is more “opulent and intriguing” than its prequel and he has lived up to his claim. Dhulia weaves a complex tale of love, jealousy and revenge and the taut narrative ensures that it keeps the viewer engaged throughout.
The sequel begins exactly where the first part had ended; Saheb Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill) is wheelchair ridden after he was shot in the last part and Biwi Madhavi Devi is now a MLA but seems to be heading down a path of self-destruction. Enter Gangster Indarjeet Singh (Irrfan Khan) who is looking to settle longstanding scores with the Saheb and is plotting revenge against him. Indarjeet and Princess Ranjana (Soha Ali Khan) are deeply committed to each other but Saheb also has his heart set on the young princess.
It’s an intricate plot but Dhulia never loses the thread, the structures are cohesive and it’s a pleasure to watch each layer unfold. The director has selected a brilliant cast ensemble and it is impossible to sympathise with their brazen manipulation and scheming. Every character in this intriguing tale is grey; they have their own selfish motives, their own insecurities and their own internal conflicts to resolve. Such a complicated story is handled with minimal melodrama, it’s the subtlety of this story that is hugely commendable.
Jimmy Shergill’s seething frustration and pride is palpable and the moment you feel sorry for him, he shows you his arrogant and chauvinistic side. Mahie Gill’s performance is laudable, she is vulnerable and deplorable all at once, it’s fascinating to see her character’s development. Soha Ali Khan gets off to a shaky start but eventually gets her act together. But the star of the film is Irrfan Khan, who belts out a well-nuanced act, flaunting his craft with complete confidence.
The production quality is way better than the first one and Dhulia creates a compelling canvas of a decaying feudal household. The background score is way better than the first one. The only flaw in this otherwise perfect film was the completely superfluous item song by Mugdha Godse. Tigmanshu Dhulia has otherwise scored an ace with ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’, the film is a compelling watch.
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