Gangubai Kathiawadi Movie

Gangubai Kathiawadi Movie, a 2022 biopic directed by the maestro Sanjay Leela Bhansali, tells the captivating story of Gangubai Kothewali, a woman who rose from the depths of societal injustice to become one of Mumbai’s most powerful brothel madams. The film navigates the harsh realities of sex work, power dynamics in the underworld, and the indomitable spirit of a woman fighting for her dignity and the rights of her community.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Movie Details

Release DateFebruary 25, 2022
GenreCrime Drama
DirectorSanjay Leela Bhansali
WriterHussain Zaidi (based on his book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai”)
ProducerBhansali Productions, Pen Studios
StarringAlia Bhatt, Shantanu Maheshwari, Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari, Seema Pahwa, Jim Sarbh, Ajay Devgn
Running Time2 hours 34 minutes
Budget₹100 crores (approx.)

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Storyline & Premise

Gangu, a young girl from Kathiawad, is tricked and sold into a brothel in Mumbai. Navigating the brutal world of sex work, she encounters the manipulative brothel owner, Mama, and the formidable Gangubai, who eventually becomes her mentor. When tragedy strikes, Gangu is forced to embrace a new identity as Gangubai. Using her sharp wit, shrewdness, and unexpected alliances with the underworld, she carves her path. She fights for the rights and welfare of her fellow women, confronts societal prejudices, and even earns the respect of powerful figures. The film is a poignant exploration of themes like resilience, empowerment, and the complex realities of womanhood in a patriarchal society.

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Cast & Crew

Alia Bhatt delivers a nuanced and powerhouse performance as Gangubai, capturing her transformation from a victim to a force to be reckoned with. The supporting cast, including Vijay Raaz and Seema Pahwa, adds depth and dimension to the narrative. Bhansali’s signature aesthetic – opulent sets, vibrant colors, and dramatic music – enhances the storytelling.

Budget & Box Office

Made on a budget of ₹100 crores, the film was a commercial success, grossing ₹209.77 crores worldwide.

Movie Review, IMDb & Critics

“Gangubai Kathiawadi” received critical acclaim for its powerful story, Bhatt’s performance, and Bhansali’s direction. The film holds a 7.6 rating on IMDb with critics praising its emotional impact, social commentary, and visual grandeur.

Why Watch

  • Witness Alia Bhatt’s career-defining performance as a fierce and unforgettable protagonist.
  • Immerse yourself in the gripping story of a woman’s struggle against circumstance and societal taboos.
  • Gain insight into the rarely explored world of Mumbai’s brothels and its complex power dynamics.
  • Appreciate the visually stunning production design and powerful storytelling by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.


  • Gangubai Kothewali was a real figure, known for her advocacy for sex workers’ rights and her influence in Mumbai’s underworld.
  • The film sparked discussions about sex work, social stigma, and women’s agency in India.
  • Despite critical acclaim, the film faced some controversy for its portrayal of certain segments of Mumbai’s underworld.


“Gangubai Kathiawadi” is more than just a biopic; it’s a powerful testament to human resilience and the fight for dignity. It delves into the dark underbelly of society while celebrating the indomitable spirit of a woman who defied the odds. With its compelling story, captivating performances, and stunning visuals, the film is a must-watch for those seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant cinematic experience.

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