The value of money is subject to change varying from person to person. Set in the City of Nawabs, Gulabo Sitabo revolves around the monotonous yet mirthful life brimming in a mansion — Fatima Mahal.
Mirza Chunnan Nawab (Amitabh Bachchan) who is in his second childhood, secures a place in the mansion by marrying Begum Fatima a.k.a Fatto who is 15 years elder to him. He has a high aristocratic opinion about himself however his Begum thinks of him as a shrewd opportunist who is waiting for her demise just to claim the entire property all to himself and to kick out the tenants paying a minuscule amount of rent, besides selling every valuable piece from this antiquity. Baankey Rastogi (Ayushmann Khurrana) is one of the tenants who has to feed several mouths with a meager income generated from managing a floor mill and refuses to pay his rent of Rs. 30. He somehow managed to get a middle-class girlfriend who agrees to marry him.
Kicking the toilet wall, Baankey kickstarts the story. He takes the side of a politically driven Archaeological Officer – Gyanesh Shukla (Vijay Raaz) to get a pakka house while Mirza approaches a lawyer named Christopher (Brijendera Kala) to own this century-old mansion.
There is no iota of doubt in saying that the movie did lack pace at certain points and got a little slow. The cinematography is too dark but the songs uplift the humor aspect in the film bringing out the Lucknowi authenticity and making the film watchable. The low gruff voice, the limp, and the stooping posture depicted by Big B coupled with Ayushmann’s off-color acting took this very creation of Shoojit Sircar to another level. While Raaz and Kala were fluent in executing their roles, it was Srishti Shrivastav who stole the show as Guddo.
The last few scenes of the haveli after the tenants left, Baankey watching his girlfriend leave or of Mirza glancing at the dilapidated room where he is to live is beautiful and saddening at the same time.
On a whole, the movie spins the yarn of the human emotions of greed, misery, and ups and downs of relationships bringing out the realistic stories of a tussle between landlords and tenants in the most crowded parts of India.
GO-labo & SEE-tabo is a must watch!