Subsequent to the colossal critical success of the first part, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER [in 2011], Tigmanshu Dhulia, an avant garde storyteller of the present times, dives into his first sequel, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS. However, unlike the trend of attempting sequels without connecting with the earlier part, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS makes an effort to take the story of Saheb, Biwi and Gangster forward, with additional characters this time around.
SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS is a sequel in the truest sense. The backdrop of aristocracy remains integral. But romance is notches higher this time. Also, politics, jealousy, revenge, betrayal and deceit are integrated in the screenplay, besides drama and sensuality, of course. However, unlike the first part, sensuality is toned down considerably this time. Ready for fireworks?
After losing his legs, Saheb [Jimmy Sheirgill] becomes wheelchair-bound and more unpleasant and wicked, particularly towards his alcoholic Biwi [Mahie Gill], who is now a politician. In walks Gangster [Irrfan Khan], also of royal lineage, who is determined to settle scores with Saheb.
Tigmanshu is synonymous with power-packed drama and he transports you to the forefront of the murky political games people play in SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS. The gluttony for power is evident at the commencement itself and the venomous games these characters play add effectiveness to the premise. Rest assured, even if you haven't watched the first part, you are likely to absorb the story like a sponge because the raconteur is narrating a brand new account this time, while retaining the characters/setting of the first part.
Tigmanshu sets things up skillfully in the first hour. The rift between Saheb and Biwi continues to widen as two more characters are introduced in this new saga -- a new Gangster [Irrfan] and his love interest [Soha]. The conflict between these characters is captivating and what adds credence to several episodes is the streak of sarcasm between Saheb and Biwi. However, the screenwriting isn't watertight in the post-interval portions. The track featuring the royal families joining hands with a political party lacks conviction. Also, the raunchy song featuring Mugdha Godse is an absolute no-no. The film gathers steam towards the final moments, but the shock-value that was so evident in the earlier film is lacking this time.
While the screenwriting is variable this time, Tigmanshu proves his credentials as he executes the dramatic moments with gusto. He manages to keep the anxiety simmering in several episodes, keeping you on the edge of the seat in several sequences. Besides, the characters -- having attributes of a chameleon -- add abundant charm to the movie. Like the first part, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS is embroidered with crackling dialogue [Tigmanshu Dhulia], while the DoP [Yogesh Jani] portrays the aristocratic ambience as well as tension with panache. In fact, each and every frame seduces you into the world that Tigmanshu recreates so delightfully. The soundtrack is strictly okay, while the stunning background score [Sandeep Chowta] embellishes the sequences impeccably.
With Tigmanshu at the helm of affairs, be assured, you are in for a treat as far as performances are concerned. In fact, not just the title leads, but each and every actor in the cast delivers top-quality performances. At the same time, the characters are so well penned that no one deprives the limelight from the other. Irrfan is simply outstanding. The magnificence that Tigmanshu and Irrfan created in HAASIL, CHARAS and PAAN SINGH TOMAR is evident in SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS as well. Jimmy is commanding yet again, pulling off his performance with remarkable ease. Mahie plays the scheming wife with accomplishment. The various shades in her character provide her ample scope to excel yet again. Soha looks the part completely and despite the presence of powerful actors, she stands out with a solid performance.
It's great to see the talented veteran Raj Babbar in top form after a hiatus. He gets his character spot-on. Pravesh Rana makes a confident big screen debut. He's competent. Deepraj Rana conveys a lot through silence, which is the hallmark of a fine actor. Sitaram Panchal, Rajeev Gupta [as the politician], Rajesh Khera, Sujay Shankarwar [as Rudy] and Anjana Sukhani [makes an appearance in a song] are adequate.
On the whole, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS is a twisted tale with a riveting first hour and inconsistent post-interval portions. This film may not be Tigmanshu Dhulia's finest work, but it has moments that prove his supremacy as a storyteller. Watch it for the intriguing characters and terrific performances!