“At least don’t refer to the guy you’re asking me to bump off as your friend,” Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill) tells the shameless man who has come to him with a job offer. Aditya Pratap Singh is of royal blood and very classy, but alas – rutba is all he has, and rupya is what he needs. Having taken several blows to his pride, the sahib now gets people murdered to make money.
After showing a spark in Anurag Kashyap’s Gulaal and flesh in RGV’s Not A Love Story, Mahie Gill does both in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster. Frustrated because her husband doesn’t give her sex, and angry that he visits his mistress 3-4 nights a week, Mahie Gill plays the biwi to the hilt – by her husband’s side when times are bad, and fucking her new chauffeur, who is slowly getting used to her fits of violent rage. “Vegetarian or non-vegetarian?” she enquires of Babloo, and laughs when he tells her he’s a mauka-tarian.
The chauffeur is Randeep Hooda – Babloo at home, Lalit to the world. Randeep Hooda finally gets a role to show his acting skills and he makes the most of it. A mauka-tarian (an opportunist) he is, alright. Babloo is in a spot of trouble and has been sent to work for the sahib, planted there cunningly by the sahib’s foe, but what he works is the biwi, when she isn’t driving like a maniac or drinking her loneliness away. “Are you loyal to him?” he asks, sprawled over a naked Mahie Gill, when she says the sahib keeps only the loyal with him.
Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster is a crackling tale with outstanding performances by all. It isn’t only the Shergill-Hooda-Gill triangle that is making things happen; the supporting cast is what you take notice of, because they (and Jimmy Shergill) are the ones who make the movie believable, and they all make the story flow.
The dialogues are absolutely smashing; what a change it is to listen to conversations between smart people… the lines are crisp throughout, caustic when they have to be, and wit is something even the sahib’s rivals have.
It is the modern treatment and the competent performances that make this movie click, the highlight being Jimmy Shergill having his breakfast at noon, explaining to a visitor that it must be morning in England, his back to a wall helpless against time and neglect tearing its paint off.
Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster is one of the best Hindi films you’ll get to watch this year.