India News

Review Roundup: ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ Continues to Perform Despite Competition From New Releases

The film industry across India has slowly been regaining its momentum, with five film releases in cinemas in the same week. Even so, the Alia Bhatt-starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi, that premiered on February 25, continues to successfully thrive. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial, which earned over Rs 60 crores even before the end of its first week, is expected to cross the 100-crore mark by next weekend.


Aside from four Indian films, the release of The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson has led to a surge in audiences returning to cinema halls.

Silverscreen India brings to you, a compilation of reviews of films, which have had theatrical releases:

Hey Sinamika

Marking the directorial debut of choreographer Brinda, Hey Sinamika is a romantic comedy. The story revolves around the lives of Mouna (Aditi Rao Hydari) and Yaazhan (Dulquer Salmaan), who fall in love and get married. Differences erupt between the couple and their relationship takes an unexpected turn, after the arrival of Malarvizhi (Kajal Aggarwal).

For Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, the movie is partially structured like a musical, which she says would be an approach that redeems the film, to a certain extent.

“But overall, the narrative is uneven, limping from one awkwardly staged scene to another. Romantic comedies aren’t meant to be realistic, but plausible,” she adds, citing the representation of the film’s female characters as examples.

“Despite their high qualifications, the women don’t seem to have much success in their careers. You hardly see Malar at work. If Mouna, the country’s best paleotempestologist, has to plead with her boss for a transfer from Chennai to Pondicherry, maybe she is with the wrong company. But Yaazhan, an amateur radio jockey with a niche FM station, becomes the most popular RJ in Tamil Nadu in a few weeks,” she writes.

For Ranjani Krishnakumar of Film Companion, “the film so absorbed by its beauty that it overengineers everything.”

According to her, every frame, scene, dialogue, event, song, dance feels like an awkward performance put up for an Instagram audience, in an effort to stage ‘authenticity.’

She calls the film “superficial and contrived”, while the characters come in as caricatures. “We never understand them for who they are, but only as characteristics we might relate to because we’ve met people in real life with similar behaviour patterns,” she adds. However, she does credit the film’s cinematography, art direction, and costume designers.


According to Ashameera Aiyappan of Firstpost, the film bears no social or emotional logic.

The film has an IMDb rating of 8.7.


Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s Hindi directorial debut revolves around the life of Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher, who founded an NGO called Slum Soccer that rehabilitated slum children, by building a soccer team with them. The cast includes Amitabh Bachchan, Ankush Gedam, Kishore Kadam, Arjun Radhakrishnan, Akash Thosar, and Rinku Rajguru, among others. It is to be noted that Thosar and Rajguru appeared in Manjule’s 2016 award-winning film Sairat.

However, almost all reviewers agreed that the film wavers from its intention of representing the marginalised, and ends up becoming more “Bollywood-ised”.

For Sankeertana of Silverscreen India, even though the film does not fall short on either humour or morality, it lacks precision.

“Vijay’s son is displeased with his father’s charitable spending. He leaves the country, and then he comes back changed. Why or how; we aren’t told. Not just that, the documentary-style exposition, before the interval block, meant to familiarise us with the kids, does the exact opposite,” she explains.

For Anupama Chopra of Film Companion, the film is less confrontational and more uplifting.

She adds that the film also suffers from a clash of tonality, and writes, “Jhund also struggles to blend in the towering persona of Amitabh Bachchan into its more documentary-style aesthetic. Nagraj and his terrific DOP Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti, are going for gritty realism and Mr. Bachchan, despite his tempered, genial, avuncular presence, remains larger-than-life.”

While Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost lauds the film for experimenting with a topic rarely discussed in Hindi cinema, she writes, “Despite some engaging moments with its ragtag team of sportspersons, Jhund is “an Amitabh Bachchan film” all the way, even if not in the conventional sense.”


The mentioned reviewers also pointed out the lack of characterisations rendered to the actors.

Jhund failed to perform at the box office as well, with first collections amounting to just around a crore. Reddy said that the film might see a cut down in the number of shows if it fails to perform.

The film has an IMDb rating of 7.0.

Bheeshma Parvam

Directed by Amal Neerad, Bheeshma Parvam is a family saga that revolves around Michael, the patriarch of a family hailing from Kochi. Mammootty plays the lead role, and is seen alongside Dileesh Pothan, Shine Tom Chacko, and Soubin Shahir, among others.

According to Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, even though the film takes a predictable course, the flaws do not overpower it.

Bheeshma Parvam is confident kitsch, a solid guilty pleasure, unafraid of being inter/extratextual, without a larger sociological context, headlined by a glorious Mammootty, who plays Michael,” she writes.

She notes that the film is inspired by the Hindu epic Mahabharata, from which Bheeshma is borrowed, and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. For her, Bheeshma Parvam not only comes at a time when the Oscar-winning film is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but also recreates bits from it.

Noting that the film does not come with too many stunts, she writes, “Bheeshma Parvam is Mammootty acing a different kind of local mass cinema, one that respects not just his past but his present, where his frailties become as inspired as his strengths.”

For Vishal Menon of Film Companion, though the parallels drawn between the film’s characters and those from the Mahabharata work, it is the predictability of Neerad’s screenplay that makes the film fall behind.


For Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost, it is the film’s “potpourri of religious and ethnic communities in the narrative” that is its selling point, as much as it becomes its Achilles’ heel.

She calls the film a “passable entertainer” and writes, “It is a polished production, but not distractingly glossy.”

Bheeshma Parvam has an IMDb rating of 8.6 and collected over Rs 6 crore on the first day of its release.