oppn parties Gulmohar Is An Emotional Saga Of A Punjabi Family & Its Secrets

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Gulmohar Is An Emotional Saga Of A Punjabi Family & Its Secrets

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2023-03-04 06:42:38

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

Gulmohar (streaming on Disney+Hotstar) is an emotional film that explores the relationships in a Punjabi family, the Batras, who live in a palatial house in Delhi. The house has been sold and they have to move out. But Holi is just four days away and the matriarch, Kusum (Sharmila Tagore seen on screen after a long time) insists that they spend the festival together in their home of 34 years despite the fact that the packers and movers are scheduled to come the next day. She also discloses that she has purchased a small house in Pondicherry and will be living alone there.

Her son Arun (Manoj Bajpayee) is bewildered. He cannot understand her desire to live alone so far from them as he cannot understand his son's desire to live alone with his wife in a rented flat after they move out of the house. Arun is a workaholic who has expanded his father's business and is well-settled. But he is an adopted son and this gnaws on his psyche. He yearns to meet his biological father (who does not know about his existence) and goes to his dhaba everyday to eat kachoris but does not make contact. Arun's son Adi (Suraj Sharma) is grappling with his app for the last two years and is yet to get funding. His wife works and earns well and wishes to support him in the new rented house till he starts earning. But Adi is getting depressed. Arun's daughter Amrita, who writes lyrics, is grappling with her sexuality (the scene where grandmother Kusum tells her about her own experiences with getting sexually attracted to a girl is good). Arun's wife Indira (Simran) is supportive but has a troubled relationship with her mother-in-law. The Batras' world comes apart when Indira accidently discovers the will of her late father-in-law. Giving out what happens thereafter and how the relationships sustain will be spoiling the fun.

Director Rahul V Chittella was an assistant to Mira Nair. Hence, Gulmohar runs in the shadows of Monsoon Wedding. The budding romance between the security person Jeetendra (Jatin Goswami) and househelp Reshma (Santhy) has shades of a similar relationship in Monsoon Wedding. But Gulmohar has moments of its own as Arun rightly says that "ghar toh bada ho gaya, kamre bhi badh gaye but na jane kab humne alag alag kamron mein apne ghar bana liye". The film essentially shows how people remain strangers even when living in the same house and their secrets come tumbling out when they are being uprooted from that house. Gulmohar is marked by strong performances from Sharmila Tagore and Manoj Bajpayee. Bajpayee is particularly excellent as the troubled son and father. All others in the cast are also good. The film could have been edited better to reduce the runtime and make it more interesting. Watch it to see Manoj Bajpayee in excellent form.