Saheb Biwi aur Sanju Baba: The Death of a Franchise

Bollywood

Saheb Biwi aur Sanju Baba: The Death of a Franchise

Illustration: Arati Gujar

B

ack in 2011, Tigmanshu Dhulia pulled off an unlikely coup by reimagining Albar Alvi’s Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam into an amoral modern universe.

In Saheb Biwi aur Gangster, Dhulia introduced a perverse hinterland replete with sharp socio-political commentary where power hungry ex-royals shamelessly manipulated each other in order to adapt in a world constantly scheming against them. For more reasons than one, the film felt, looked, and behaved like a DIY desi-bred Game of Thrones. Headlined by the cold-hearted Saheb (a compelling Jimmy Sheirgill) and his toxic relationship with the equally ambitious Biwi (Mahi Gill), the film garnered a unique potency. We’re sad to report, though, that the third installment mercilessly robs the franchise of this very novelty.

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