Gulmohar Review : Beautiful & Heartwarming drama that simmers but never quite boils over! 

Gulmohar ( 2023/ Drama/ Prime Video)

Writers- Rahul V Chittella,Arpita Mukherjee

Director – Rahul V Chittella

Cast – Sharmila Tagore, Amol Palekar,Manoj Bajpayee, Simran, Suraj Sharma

When I saw Gulmohar’s trailer, it reminded me of Kapoor and Sons. On the hindsight, I see many films that have been based around family relations, conflicts and dynamics, for example, Monsoon Wedding , and most recent, RamPrasad Ki Tehrvi. 

All the mentioned films can be said to extremely well made and boasted of great performances too. 

Gulmohar belongs to a similar genre, boasts of a great cast along with a fine set of performances and touches a chord. I really liked it and found the conflicts and emotions very relatable. In fact the dynamics that it portrays are closer to real life than in the other films that I have mentioned.

Since I did like it, I feel guilty to say so, that cinematically, I still wouldn’t be able to place the film in the same category as them. It is beautiful but not wow.

I hope I’ll be able to explain what I loved and what I feel it lacked.

The film opens to a cluttered scene and chattering evening with a great bunch of people. A very used setting, with conversations ( often overlapping ) and people getting in and out of focus. 

The exposition of the story continues to gradually introduce us to its characters or at least most of them.

Eventually we get a peep into their relationships and chinks there of. The film by now keeps us engaged. There are quite a many characters with each of them having a backstory or sub conflict and we are invested. 

I must mention that the performances and the top actors had a lot to do with it.

The dialogues played their role too. The dialogues strike a chord and makes those conflicts( whether of thought or relationships) quite relatable.

For example when Aditya looks at his childhood pics and ponders about the relationship graph of a father and son. 

When Arun laments about big homes, big rooms but how family members often end up making their rooms their personal world. 

When Kusum in her closing monologue gives her interpretation of the purported freedom that she has granted to her kids.

And then, there’s that gem that Kusum often shares “It was not meant to be”

The film has many of such beautiful pearls about sieving good and bad memories, about letting go etc. They leave you with heart warming inspirational feel. 

In a mostly heavy setting, there are few light hearted moments too, for example the moments and banters between Indu and Arun. They depict a life time of camaraderie, understanding, love and solidarity. I found their relationship beautiful.

The three lead performances by Sharmila Tagore, Monoj Bajpayee and Simran are the focal stars of the film. 

But strangely and probably contrary to most opinions, I found Simran’s performance most out standing. .Her delivery of her character was bang on, neither too dramatic,nor too perfect, just realistic and beautiful.

It was a pleasure to see Sharmila Tagore after ages. She looks radiant. Her hair-do, wardrobe, right down to her accessories, manicured nails , make up , everything was perfect, pitch perfect.

Can’t gush enough about her elegance and poise. But ironically that was the problem. I found her too poised and her tone too perfect for some of the turmoils that her character was supposed to represent. 

Manoj Bajpayee is great as always. But actors who have delivered stupendous performances might find it a challenge to break their own records.

One major flaw that I found is that the story graph remains static for a considerable period of time. The story moves forward but it doesn’t take the emotional graph any higher till a certain point of time.The ultimate conflict rises up a trifle late. Also the story leaves many things to the mercy of interpretations. Everything seems in order but there’s something that stops it from boiling over.

 Nevertheless, I found it a good watch, The dialogues were the trump card that really worked for me. Lest I would have been left with a feeling of a film that I liked but I was not moved by.And that is the most important aspect for a family drama.

How much love it finds could definitely vary, but I found Gulmohar a beautiful film that is worth a watch for its cast, performances and dialogues.

One thought on “Gulmohar Review : Beautiful & Heartwarming drama that simmers but never quite boils over! 

  1. Bang on ! Simran was outstanding. The dialogues are the heart & soul of this fine movie 🎬. It’s very nuanced & I feel many may not connect or be held by the pace & reality of the situations. Controlled drama doesn’t really engross or engage audiences. Simran ‘s breaking into South dialect was a masterpiece of direction. As also Yes or No! Good cinema 🎥 yes, great cinema no ! Like you rightly put, it doesn’t boil over. Cinephils will enjoy it. Lot’s to look back & ponder once the curtain is down. Sharmila’s life & image as we know suited the character perfectly. But yes, just too poised.
    Perfomances were great all around.

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