Every bond grows with time. You plant your emotions, nurture them, and let them grow into bright flowers and fruits within. “Gulmohar” is a heartwarming story that will capture your soul based on genuine sense and sensibility. How the movie begins is actually the end! The Batra family, after spending 32 years in the poshest area of Delhi, is finally moving to a luxurious penthouse in Gurgaon. A family who eats together always stays together. And the extended Batra family is filled with love, support, empathy, and individual vulnerabilities that bind them together through thick and thin. During a family get-together, the matriarch announces that she is going to shift to a different corner of the country, Pondicherry, and wants all of the members to celebrate the last Holi festival in their ‘Gulmohar’ villa. The family saga will describe the generation gap between father and son and the grim reality of metropolitan cities will make you emotionally distraught. The male protagonist would get to know about the will that has been drafted by his father, Veer Singh, which would unfold a new chapter in their lives.
The cast of “Gulmohar” has featured all the talented faces along with some relative newbies. The classic evergreen beauty Sharmila Tagore will play the main character in this film. From splitting stigmas to having a bold face in the Bollywood industry, the veteran actress is the epitome of beauty with a brain. The elegant woman has marked her way through some cult classics like “Aradhana,” “Kashmir Ki Kali,” “Amar Prem,” “Daag,” and so on, receiving multiple national awards. The stellar cast includes “the family man” Manoj Bajpayee (Arun), who has received two national film awards. Bajpayee, well known and much appreciated for his acting skills, has flourished in his career through “Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Aiyaary,” “Naam Shabana,” and several others. Simran, a brilliant actress in the Tamil industry with amazing dancing skills, will also play her role as Indu in “Gulmohar.” The cast also includes Amol Palekar as Sudhakar Batra, Suraj Sharma as Aditya, Kaveri Seth as Divya, and Utsavi Jha as Amrita. The best part is that the movie has no particular protagonist, but each one of them is equally essential to bringing out the best in a family from an insider’s perspective. All the characters have a backstory, including Santhy (as Reshma), the cook of the house, who has been given equal importance in the movie, exploring her love life with Jatin Goswami (Jeetu). From maids to guards, from drivers to packers, each of them has done justice to their characters, including Arun’s cousin and his family.
Sharmila Tagore As Kusum Devi
The movie opens with a soft chuckle on Kusum’s face as she hosts a house party in a gorgeous silk saree with a pearl necklace. From the beginning, she has been very considerate of all her family members, including her grandchildren. The 75-year-old woman comes up with the surprise of a new house that she bought for herself in Pondicherry. Her consistent and unconditional love for her son Arun will really be captivating.Kusum is tired of all the responsibilities, and now she wishes to live for herself. The progressive woman has made sacrifices since adulthood but has never let her family down at any cost. It was her plan to shift to Delhi from a rural area so that she could give her son the best life possible. Kusum believes that whatever is meant to happen will eventually happen, and that gives a ray of hope to the viewers to stick to the screen until the best happens. One of her best qualities is that she pays attention to everyone, especially in the way she makes her granddaughter understand the values and norms of society. Kusum Devi has very fresh thinking and a liberal mindset that could easily enlighten people of all ages. But at such an age, she wants to be unshackled of all boundaries that she has been carrying for so long. Surrounded by a patriarchal society, Kusum Devi knows how to stand her ground. She is truly an ambitious woman with high values and elegance that everyone aspires to have. The dynamic lady is neither hampered by the past nor limited by orthodox society. According to Kusum, the heart doesn’t demand any reason to love or to be loved, and that is why it is more flawlessly beautiful than any blood ties.
Manoj Bajpayee As Arun
Arun, a middle-aged man, is totally family-oriented and has an old-school vibe. He is already struggling with his son, Aditya, who desperately wants to move into a rented apartment. As a father, he wants to fulfill all the wishes of his son and daughter. Arun is a man of culture, defenseless, and always supports the decisions of his mother. The movie depicts the absolutely strong and intense bond that he shares with his wife, Indu. But Arun acted like a vulnerable human when he found out the truth and the will that was buried inside Kusum’s trunk. After knowing the sensitive secrets, his emotion burst out in such a way that he leaves the house to cope with his mental situation. The way Arun (Manoj Bajpayee) gives a silent response to it with patience and dignity is truly heartbreaking. He handled his tragic past with courage, having his loving wife as the backbone during all his panic and anxiety attacks. Manoj Bajpayee has an inherent knack for uncovering the internal dynamics of any character, touching the sentiments of the viewers.
Simran As Indu
Indira Batra (Indu) is the perfect portrayal of an Indian woman who could smartly tackle both her personal life and household. She is loved by everyone. She is never off duty to take care of her son and daughter. Along with that, Indu is very specific about all the interiors of her new penthouse and has a great sense of aesthetics. When everything is falling apart, like broken glass, Indu, like a responsible woman, takes care of everything to fix the shattered pieces. The effortlessly charming woman is passionately concerned and caring to her husband in both good and bad weather. Indu plays an important role in holding onto the plot when it is all shaking, disturbed, and dying. She is the muscular pillar of the fragile ancestral house.
Suraj As Aditya
Adi is a full-grown man in his thirties, wrestling with his career and start-up business. He wants to pursue everything on his own to make Arun proud of him. Aditya and his wife, Divya (Kaveri Seth), are raring to leave the ‘Gulmohar’ villa. Today’s generation is always finding a way out from under the shadow of parents, and Adi is no exception to that. But after knowing his father’s condition, Aditya becomes very mindful of making wise decisions. He is a loving husband who is pulling out all the stops to make Divya happier. This is a genuine character that not only exists on screen but is a sad reality of each household that needs to be raised.
Utsavi As Amrita
Another important character is Amrita, the youngest daughter of Arun and Indira. Amrita is adored by all, especially her grandmother Kusum. This character represents the homosexual relationship and its intricacies in Indian society, which eventually stay concealed under the dry land of ‘Gulmohar’ house. Amrita is a quiet character with versatile talents. She is more like her daadi, who follows a laissez-faire attitude to life, and both share a very compatible bond beyond all the chaos going on in their lives.
Each character in this film is multi-layered and will unfold their versions slowly and steadily, following up with an outstanding climax. There is only one arrogant character, Sudhakar (Amol), who tries every possible way to break the matriarch to establish a patriarch of his own, shining in gray. The screenwriters have focused more on intervening in the morals and philosophies of life than on granting the characters the right to develop their own stress management strategies. But you will surely need a tissue box to wipe out your tears. Directed by Rahul. V. Chittella, “Gulmohar,” is a movie for everyone that is not just a melodrama but a sincere response to real problems in a dysfunctional family with a solid script and well-crafted execution. Currently streaming on Disney+ and Hotstar, this movie is a must-watch to replenish your heart and fulfill all your emotional cravings.