Gangubai Kathiawadi is a 2022 Indian Hindi-language biographical crime drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced by Jayantilal Gada and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film is based on the life of Gangubai Harjivandas, a young woman who was sold into prostitution in Mumbai’s Kamathipura red-light district in the 1950s and later became a powerful brothel madam and social activist.
The film stars Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiawadi, alongside Ajay Devgn, Shantanu Maheshwari, Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa, and Jim Sarbh in supporting roles. It was released in India on 25 February 2022 to critical acclaim, with praise for Bhansali’s direction, Bhatt’s performance, and the film’s technical aspects.
Gangubai Kathiawadi, a young woman from Kathiawar, Gujarat, is sold into prostitution in Mumbai’s Kamathipura red-light district by her lover, Ramnik Lal. She is forced to work in a brothel run by Sheela Maasi, but she soon rises through the ranks and becomes one of the most powerful brothel madams in the area.
Gangubai Kathiawadi is a strong and independent woman who fights for the rights of sex workers and other marginalized groups. She also becomes a powerful political figure and helps to improve the lives of the people of Kamathipura.
- Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiawadi
- Ajay Devgn as Rahim Lala, a mafia don
- Shantanu Maheshwari as Ramnik Lal, Gangubai Kathiawadi’s lover
- Vijay Raaz as Gangubai Kathiawadi’s lawyer
- Seema Pahwa as Sheela Maasi, a brothel madam
- Jim Sarbh as Razia Bai, a brothel madam
The film was announced in December 2019, with Alia Bhatt cast in the lead role. Sanjay Leela Bhansali was signed on as director and producer. The film’s principal photography began in February 2020 and was completed in September 2020.
Gangubai Kathiawadi was released in India on 25 February 2022 to critical acclaim. The film was a commercial success, grossing over ₹236 crore (US$30 million) worldwide.
The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Bhansali’s direction, Bhatt’s performance, and the film’s technical aspects.
- The Indian Express praised the film’s “visual splendor” and Bhatt’s “career-best performance.”
- NDTV called the film a “masterpiece” and said that Bhatt is “at her best.”
- Hindustan Times gave the film a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and said that it is a “must-watch.”
Gangubai Kathiawadi is a well-made and powerful film that tells the story of a remarkable woman. It is a must-watch for fans of Bollywood and Indian cinema.
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