18 June 2011 | Chrysanthepop
Sridevi's Bangkok Hilton
Mahesh Bhatt made 'Gumrah' by shamelessly ripping-off the mini-series 'Bangkok Hilton'. It pretty much is a scene by scene copy with some sequences from the series left out while others being indianized. The typically indianized sequences were very cheesy (with the exceptions of those between Sridevi and Reema Lagoo). Yes, there are songs and they're mostly dreadful, especially the ones primarily visualized on Sanjay Dutt. The whole love angle between Dutt and Sridevi is very Bollywoodish. Yet, I must say that the suspense is mostly well maintained (as I had watched 'Gumrah' before 'Bangkok Hilton') and the prison atmosphere looks very realistic (even though it's almost a complete imprint of the set in 'Bangkok Hilton'). The final chase sequence was also quite fun to watch.
While Sanjay Dutt storyline does appear forced and exaggerated, the actor provides fine comic relief and has great chemistry with his female lead. Anupam Kher and Reema Lagoo are very good. Soni Razdan is superb in a small role. Rahul Roy brings wooden acting to a whole new level.
What makes 'Gumrah' worth the watch is Sridevi's tour de force performance. Not only does she look authentic but playing Roshni from the shy, talented and vulnerable young lady to a tough prisoner, Sridevi makes it look so easy to do. She gives the Roshni an identity of her own which makes her very different from Nicole Kidman's Katrina Stanton. She easily dominates the movie.
'Gumrah' is Sridevi's film.