‘Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3’ review: Guns, sex and boredom

A scene from the movie.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s latest in his Downton Abbey meets Game of Thrones franchise on Indian royalty, who are struggling to find relevance (and money) in a modern society, is a smorgasbord of dialogues, taunts and sassy comebacks. A handful of them are sharp, but in order to enjoy those, you have to endure a 140-minute drama which lacks coherence, is shoddily edited and exudes machismo (“Mardon wali baat,” as the film says). What steals the show though, is a theme track that accompanies Sanjay Dutt’s every triumphant move, and I quote: “He’s the baba.. dekho dekho dekho aya tera baap.” When it comes to sycophancy, this catchphrase gives a tough competition to Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju. At first, it sounds tailor-made for cringe pop but the filmmaker uses it with all sincerity as a character building tool for Dutt. It strangely does pay off as the one-liner emerges as the most expressive trait of the actor, who otherwise appears to be a Mumbai gangster stuck in the bandhgala of an Uttar Pradesh prince.

Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3
  • Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
  • Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahi Gill, Chitrangada Singh and Soha Ali Khan
  • Story line: Two royal men, their wives and lovers, plan deceiving ways to lay their hands on princely properties

Saheb Biwi aur Gangster franchise has been about a rather lawless universe rife with betrayal, deviousness and lust. Wrap it all up in the format of a thriller and you can serve the audience a competently enjoyable fare. But the third edition insists on invigorating the series by introducing a celebrity actor like Dutt instead of investing its energy on plot twists, backstabbing and actors Jimmy Sheirgill and Mahi Gill, who brought success to the first film. Yet again, Sheirgill and Gill outshine the others, but they are drowned in the aesthetic and narrative commotion that is Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3. Chitrangada Singh is as relevant in the film as Melania Trump is in the White House.

The film is a thriller crafted as a drama, which dilutes its pace and rhythm. Whatever little momentum the thriller aspect of this film creates, is washed out by the lacklustre drama that constantly interjects the narrative. The farcical ‘swag’ generated through dialogue and background score is never met with sleek visuals. Instead, the filmmaker tries to convince you that a film city set is a posh club in London, called House of Lords, by using establishing shots of the British capital. It’s Dutt who runs the place and gets deported for smashing a bottle on a white customer’s head, giving way to the second half of the film, bringing along more arbitrariness. There’s random sex, flirtation and dropping of the sari pallu -- none of which is aesthetically pleasing. The film has no memorable songs either and even fails to move you with a cover of the popular Lata Mangeshkar song, Lag Ja Gale. With a hint of another sequel, either Dhulia takes a hard look at the relevance of this franchise, or convinces Salman Khan for a ‘he is the bhai’ edition and mint money.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:21:38 PM |

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