Having been released on the eve of International Women's Day SAHEB, BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS, directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by Viacom-18 again is a statement about the fact that if a woman decides to be wily and seek revenge, she has ample assets and charms at her disposal to do so. Mahie Gill as the scheming wife indeed delivers the impact with panache in SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS.
This genre of film making when set against a political backdrop, makes it more enticing and alluring, and Tigmanshu Dhulia having grown in the political nursery of India aka Allahabad, knows how to infuse politics and lost glory and pepper it with greed for power and latent sexual desires to whip up a heady concoction.
The scheming and wily female character played by Mahie Gill, is representative of the aspirational yearn to wield power and it is a subject that has been dealt with earlier in Hindi cinema as well in one form or the other.
Here is a look at some of them, the caveat being, that the element of sexuality displayed in SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS may not be as perceptible in the list of other films being quoted here:
ISHQIYA: Vidya Balan as a the scheming female, using her latent sexual charm and oomph to seek her revenge and keep the two friends guessing with whom is she enamored was a display of the quest for power and revenge through all means.
ZUBEIDAA: ZUBEIDAA directed by Shyam Benegal with the backdrop of an era in which kings thrived, again is a powerful portrayal of how two women use all their charms, wits, physical assets, to gain control and how in their quest to gain the control they leave no stones unturned to achieve their objective.
JUDAAI: JUDAAI starring Sridevi, Urmila and Anil Kapoor, was a film, operating in the limited maneuverability of the accepted contours of a family drama to underline how a rich girl, when she desires a man can go to any lengths to claim him, and on the flip side, how the wife of such man, could agree for the arrangement as she is getting money in return, which for the wife is power, and for the rich lady the power is to use her money to betroth the man on whom she has set her eyes, though he is married.
SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM: When Tigmanshu Dhulia made the original film or rather reinterpreted the Bimal Roy's classic in a modern way, he set the tone for strong women oriented films, and gave to the world of Hindi cinema an actress of the likes of Mahie Gill who could play the role of a conniving and a wily wife with great panache.
One only hopes that the genre that Tigmanshu Dhulia has started practicing through his SAHEB BIWI GHULAM series would get the fillip and one would see more such interpretations about women power in the times to come.