The wait to watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s recent masterpiece on OTT is over as the film started streaming online today. The film, Gangubai Kathiawadi, revolved around the life of a sex worker and an activist, who overcomes the obstacles to fight for the rights of sex workers and their children.
The film is an epitome of Bhansali’s grand style of filmmaking. From the designs on walls to the structure of houses, everything is period based, it is dramatised version of the Kamathipura area in Mumbai. However, the set design and set-up have a personal connection for Bhansali and come from childhood memories.
In an interview with Film Companion, Bhansali had said that he was particularly attached to the area as he used to live nearby and while going to school used to see the sex workers waiting on the road.
In the film, Bhatt played the role of Gangubai, who runs away from her family with her lover to come to Mumbai with the dream of becoming an actor. However, her lover sells her at a brothel there and she starts a life which she had not anticipated.
Suggested Reading: From ‘Shiddat’ To ‘Pataakha’, Radhika Madan Films To Add To Your Watchlist
Bhansali’s lens captures the growth of Gangu from Ganga and finally from Gangu to Gangubai. She aspires to become more powerful and in control of her life and fights for the rights of others around her. And she does all this while having to deal with repeated heartbreaks. While her lover pushes her into prostitution, another man with who she falls in love later in life refuses to marry her and ties the knot elsewhere.
The film was first released in theatres after being delayed multiple times due to the coronavirus pandemic. It then got entangled in legal cases. Gangubai’s granddaughter Bharti Sonawane and adopted son Babu Raoji Shah were unhappy with her portrayal in the film, alleging that she was not a sex worker herself, although she did fight for their rights. Bhansali’s film is based on the book Mafia Queens of Mumbai, written by Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges, which was also dragged to the court by Gangubai’s family.
Apart from Alia Bhatt, the cast included Seema Pahwa, Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari, Varun Kapoor and Jim Sarbh, amongst others.
Where To Watch Gangubai Kathiawadi On OTT?
You can stream the film on Netflix from today, all you need is a valid subscription to the platform.