CAST & CREW
Traditionally films produced under the NDFC banner have some meaningful entertainment to deliver to viewers, and “ Gangoobai” does not disappoint. In this simple but eventful story of a childless lady who travels from her rustic abode in Matheran to the hustle bustle of Mumbai, the film captures her unaffected and innocent perceptions and responses and how she captures her space and importance. It is almost a single character film about Gangoobai, enacted by the veteran Marathi actress Sarita Joshi. Gangoobai had thus far led her life in a rather humdrum manner. Being a childless widow and nothing to look forward to, except her daily chores as a “bai” (maid) at different households to eke out her living, she had nothing very spectacular to look beyond. It is here that director and story writer Priya Krishnaswamy injects a rapidly moving turn of events that propels Gangoobai from her small town dwellings to the big metropolis. Even in that drab daily existence, she nurtured dormant within her, certain expectations and ambitions. It just needed her to set her eyes on her mistress’s daughter’s hand embroidered gara sari. Those bird and flower motifs helped to unleash a hidden flare of ambition. She was bent upon having a sari like that come what may, and willing to travel any distance to own one like that - never mind the unaffordable price tag. With this as her driving force, she sets up her interactions with the fabric and fashion experts in Mumbai, who she realizes have problems quite different from hers. She has the healing touch to solve their issues with her own innocent and uncluttered way of thinking and loving care. On the other hand, the fashion world big wigs, moved by her soft caring ways return her the favour she was dreaming of. The contrasts between the perceptions of the small town Gangoobai and the bigwigs of the fashion world are very dramatically played up through the script, penned by Priya herself. The veteran actress that she is, Sarita Joshi excels in a role almost customised for her with her typical Maharashtrian background. She portrays all shades of the character with consummate ease imparting determination in her demeanour where needed and switching on to expressions of amazement and surprise once she gets exposed to the unfamiliarity of the big city. It is not surprising that it took a lady director like Priya Krishnaswami, better known for her editing skills, to churn out this fascinating tale about a remarkable woman.
Verdict: On an overall basis the film has its high points, the most notable being Sarita Joshi’s individual brilliance. Unfortunately, however, being almost a single character film there are no other performances to balance, making it a bit lopsided. The film also gives a feeling of having been stretched a bit.
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