Director: Rahul V. Chittella
Star cast: Suraj Sharma, Amol Palekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Simran, Sharmila Tagore
Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Bollywood Bubble Ratings: 3/5 stars
Gulmohar Movie Review:
“For the homes we build and the families we make” – This was the quote that was written at the end of Gulmohar, indicating what the movie is all about. It is a family drama which talks about all the drama that every family sees right from property disputes, people disputes to people demanding individual lifestyles. No matter where you go, no matter what you achieve, your struggle is all because of your family and your journey comes to an end at home only. It is like you start your day from your home and it ends also at your home only. Director Rahul V. Chittella beautifully tries to explain the beauty and significance of a family.
Nevertheless, in this simple concept, we see quite a few subplots, making me feel like there are a lot of things going on in the movie. If at one point I see two adults talking about the house, at the second moment, I see a divide between a Hindu and a Muslim. If I see a soft love brewing between the cook and the caretaker, at the other moment, I see Arun’s fight with his son about him living separately.
Gulmohar starts off with a farewell celebration where Kusum Batra – the head of the family – decides to celebrate the festival of Holi for the last time before leaving the house for good. Second, she announces to live separately as she bought a new house in Pondicherry. This news shakes her son Arun Batra and her entire family. While some are happy with her decision, there are some who are not very amused by it. As they have four days to leave the house and move on to their new lives, the family members see all the ups and downs in just these 4 days.
I like how Gulmohar ends up giving you so many meaningful lessons not only on the family but on life. Gulmohar is a slow burner but for a movie like this which is high on emotions, I can understand the slow pace; however, it becomes a little tiring.
A joint family who are living their final four days in their 31-year-old family home in Gulmohar before they begin their new life by moving to a new city. However, in these four days, the family goes through all the highs and lows, where they experience heartbreaks and love. But will they understand the importance of family? Understand the meaning of togetherness?
It is so good to see the veteran star Sharmila Tagore back on the screen. Her beauty, her innocence, her dimpled smile, her grace, I realised that this is something I can never get over. Sharmila essays the role of the head of the family Kusum Batra who lives with her family but one day, she decides to leave her family and house and move to Pondicherry. Kusum is a strong lady who not only wants her family to stay close but will also live her life on her own terms.
Sharmila Tagore as Kusum Batra is exceptional. She conveys her emotions with so much conviction that you will forget that she is not your real mother but an actor who is playing a character. From showing Kusum’s powerful, head-of-the-family nature to showing her vulnerable and broken side, Sharmila ji just knows her part too well that doesn’t need any direction. She is an absolute delight in the movie.
Manoj Bajpayee essays the role of Kusum’s adopted son Arun Batra whose sole reason is to keep his family intact. Even though his son wants to leave him and settle down somewhere else, he tries to convince his son to be with him. He is a proper family man whose happiness only lies in the happiness and togetherness of his family. In spite of having all the luxury in his hand, Arun feels complete with his family.
Hands down, Manoj Bajpayee is indeed one of the finest actors in Bollywood. Among many, even he is a natural who just swallows his character to the fullest. The helplessness of a father and a son is wonderfully portrayed by him. You can feel his sadness and frustration at the same time because that’s how convincingly portrayed his character in Gulmohar.
Simran as Indu plays the wife of Arun and daughter-in-law of Kusum. However, she is like every daughter-in-law for sure who respects her mother-in-law but behind her back, she is just the typical bahu. There are two scenes in the movie where Simran absolutely impressed me when she was imitating her daughter-in-law. Damn, her character is so relatable, not that I have a mother-in-law but that was quite a well-written character.
Suraj Sharma plays the role of Arun’s son Aditya Batra who balances his emotional and strong side carefully. He is frustrated that no one is funding his app but also tries to make a perfect with his wife. He is fighting with his family and trying to make a name on his own but also has the utmost affection towards his family. Suraj does a fab job in the movie.
Amol Palekar essays the role of Arun’s uncle who is like an obnoxious uncle that everyone dislikes. Though his character would be hateful, Amol playing the character is just so loveable. He is bewitching.
What’s capturing for me was how Rahul V. Chittella captured all the aesthetics and how he shaped them for the audience to watch. Yes, somewhere I felt that he lost track of the screenplay by adding too many topics to the story but he kept the essence of the movie intact. The soft colour tone that he used for his frames is so warm and soothing, giving you a feel of a different era. Even that speaks
The story of Gulmohar is written by Arpita Mukherjee Rahul V Chittella. The two only wanted to convey the significance of a family and their bond but it sort of overlapped with other stories as well. There were too many subplots from Reshma’s love story to the LGBTQ angle showing Amrita’s love for a girl. It seemed like there was too much happening in a 2-hour movie.
The music of Gulmohar is given by Siddhartha Khosla who has composed soothing and thoughtful music but none of them will leave an impact. You might not even remember the names of the song; however, it goes well with the theme of the movie.
Overall, talking about Gulmohar in this review, Sharmila Tagore and Manoj Bajpayee have delivered a terrific performance while narrating a beautiful woven story of a family in today’s generation; however, the slow pace of the movie can be a little buzzkill. It is a true Family drama film full of classic actors.
Watch the Gulmohar trailer after the review: