SHABRI is one of those Ram Gopal Verma films that were in cans for more than five years and it is going to be released on 26th August 2011. One does not know whether its release has got something to do with the phenomenal success that the book 'Mafia Queens of Mumbai', which has been co-authored by Vishal Bhardwaj, achieved. But, it is going to be a hard-hitting film, as till date the gangster films where based on fictionalized character, but SHABRI is in all probability the first film that is based on a real life character.
For Isha Koppikar, who has rather gone out of contention, SHABRI could emerge as one of the most meaningful roles that she has enacted in her acting career so far, and it would also help her to shed the tag of being a Khallas girl. SHABRI comes with the tagline "Woman of the species is deadlier than the male variety," a quote that was formulated by Rudyard Kipling.
Slums as a background for a film have always been a major success in the history of Hindi films, be it DAYAVAAN, AGNIPATH, GARDISH etc. The element that becomes the hit quotient is the struggle of the downtrodden against the system and it helps in striking a chord with the audience.
Interestingly enough, Slums have been the new ravines and the new jungles that the filmmakers have used regularly by the filmmakers to pit the haves against the have-nots. In the films of sixties and the seventies, when the social setting was rural, and the urban landscape was evolving, those who used to revolt against the system found refuge in the jungles. But as the urbanity became the leitmotif of the society in the country, more so in the metropolitan cities, the slums emerged as the melting pot, melting pot where one had to survive based on sheer skills and the element of courage and chutzpah. No wonder, the heroes that emerged were worshiped as lords and acquired cult status.
Slums indeed had women also as gang leaders and warlords, but it is with SHABRI for the first time that Hindi cinema would see a warlord film where a woman would be the protagonist. The USP of SHABRI also lies in the fact that on the silver screen for the first time a female gangster would appear in a saree and it would be interesting to observe whether it gives a fillip to saree as a sartorial dress among the ladies. After all, if a gangster can operate her business in saree, run around, shoot to kill, then executing an office job in saree should not be a problem, and if it happens Khushwant Singh would be a happy person, as he is one of the biggest fans of saree.