Gangubai Kathiawadi

Gangubai Kathiawadi Moviesda: Gangubai Kathiawadi is a 2022 Indian biographical crime drama film that chronicles the extraordinary life of Gangubai Harjeevandas, a renowned brothel madam and advocate for sex workers’ rights in Mumbai. Directed by the acclaimed Sanjay Leela Bhansali and featuring Alia Bhatt in a transformative performance, the film navigates themes of resilience, defiance, and the fight for human dignity in the face of adversity.

Movie Details

DirectorSanjay Leela Bhansali
CastAlia Bhatt, Shantanu Maheshwari, Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari, Seema Pahwa, Jim Sarbh, Ajay Devgn
Story byHussain Zaidi
Music bySanjay Leela Bhansali, Isahaq Khan
CinematographySudeep Chatterjee
EditingParikshit Sharma
Production CompaniesBhansali Productions, Pen Studios
Release DateFebruary 25, 2022
Running Time154 minutes
Budget₹100 crore (US$13 million)

Storyline and Premise

The film delves into the tragic circumstances that force Gangubai, a naive young woman from Kathiawar, into the dark world of Mumbai’s brothels. Deceived and betrayed, she navigates this harsh reality with an unwavering spirit, rising from victim to powerful matriarch. Gangubai challenges exploitative norms, fights for the rights of her fellow sex workers, and establishes herself as a formidable voice against societal prejudice.

Cast and Crew

Alia Bhatt delivers a powerhouse performance as Gangubai, capturing her vulnerability, defiance, and sharp wit with remarkable nuance. The supporting cast, including Shantanu Maheshwari as Gangubai’s love interest, Vijay Raaz as a brothel owner, and Seema Pahwa as a brothel confidante, add depth and texture to the narrative. Bhansali’s signature opulent visual style and powerful music bring the story to life with a captivating intensity.

Budget and Release

Made on a budget of ₹100 crore, Gangubai Kathiawadi premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival before being released in theaters on February 25, 2022. The film garnered widespread critical acclaim and emerged as a box-office success.

Expectations and Movie Review

With Bhansali at the helm and a captivating central role, Gangubai Kathiawadi generated considerable pre-release buzz. The film lived up to expectations, receiving praise for its poignant storytelling, Bhatt’s outstanding performance, and Bhansali’s masterful direction.

IMDb and Critical Acclaim

Gangubai Kathiawadi currently holds an impressive 7.4 rating on IMDb, and critics lauded its nuanced portrayal of a complex subject matter, Bhatt’s transformative performance, and Bhansali’s directorial prowess.

Why You Should Watch

  • A powerful story of resilience and human dignity: Gangubai Kathiawadi offers a thought-provoking glimpse into a marginalized world, celebrating the indomitable spirit of a woman who defies societal norms and fights for justice.
  • Alia Bhatt’s career-defining performance: Bhatt delivers a masterful portrayal of Gangubai, capturing her vulnerability, strength, and complexity with remarkable depth.
  • A visually stunning and emotionally charged film: Bhansali’s signature visual style and evocative music create a captivating cinematic experience that draws you into Gangubai’s world.

Interesting Facts

  • The film is based on a chapter from the book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai” by S. Hussain Zaidi.
  • Alia Bhatt reportedly spent months learning the Kathiawadi dialect and mannerisms for her role.
  • The film sparked discussions about sex work decriminalization and the need for better living conditions for sex workers in India.


Gangubai Kathiawadi is not just a biographical film; it’s a powerful testament to the human spirit’s resilience and the indomitable fight for justice. With a gripping story, a career-defining performance by Alia Bhatt, and Bhansali’s masterful direction, the film is a must-watch for anyone seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally charged cinematic experience.

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