Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns (2013) *MQ*

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You don’t expect anything but excellence from a man who has proven his brilliance film after film. After his much revered film on sports Paan Singh Tomar, Tigmanshu Dhulia comes up with the sequel to his 2011 gangster politico thriller Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster. While the first part had gained ample recognition, the sequel promises to outdo the brilliance of the first. But does it succeed? Let’s find out.

Tigmanshu gets down to business from the very first minute of the film. Through the initial credit roll he gives you a fair recap of the first part. Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Sheirgill), The Saheb, is crippled and is trying to recover from the physical disability and his wifes betrayal. The lover cum seductress Madhavi Devi (Mahie Gill), The Biwi, is now an MLA. Her relationship with Aditya may have broken to shambles but her relation with alcohol is deep, dark and daunting.

Indarjeet Singh (Irrfan Khan), The Gangster, a ragged prince who has lost everything but his pride, pledges to get back his familys respect which was once destroyed by Adityas ancestors. Ranjana (Soha Ali Khan) is a modern ambitious girl who is madly in love with Indarjeet. The story takes a new turn when Aditya falls in love with Ranjana and forces Birendra (Raj Babbar) her father, for their marriage. What happens next follows through the rest of the plot.

In the times of increasing modernism and democracy, Tigmanshu Dhulia weaves a story around the fading dynasties of the Rajas who are still fighting to retain their royalty. A love story at heart, the film also deals with the social and politician scenario of India. Tigmanshu very cleverly also infuses multiple twists and turns to keep you glued to your seats.

However, the maker who used to unabashedly make films in his own style appears to be bogged down by the commercial norm pressure this time around. In a slick thriller, Tigmanshu brings about commercial elements like item numbers featuring Mugdha Godse and Anjana Sukhani individually and romantic songs that form as hurdles to the otherwise fast pace of the screenplay. As a result, while the first half where the story unfolds runs smoothely, by the second you start feeling increasingly tedious. Also there are a lot of needless scenes to add to the run-time and the annoyance of the audience. Even the end, conviniently leaves a thread to the third part and resorts to melodrama too.

Leaving the flaws aside, there isn’t a thing that the filmmaker falters at. Right from the story to the acting, the backdrop to the backgound score, everything is top notch. The dialogues deserve a special mention too. Full marks to writer Tigmanshu for penning extremely witty and clever dialogues throughout the film.

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