Gulabo Sitabo is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by Shoojit Sircar, produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar, and written by Juhi Chaturvedi. Set in Lucknow, it stars Abhinav Pundir, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana and Farrukh Jaffar. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was not released theatrically, but on Prime Video worldwide on 12 June 2020.
Chunnan ‘Mirza’ Nawab (Amitabh Bachchan) is a stingy old ghar jamai who is regarded by most people he knows as a greedy miser. His wife, Fatima Begum (Farrukh Jaffar), who is 17 years older than him, is the owner of Fatima Mahal, a run-down mansion in Lucknow whose rooms are being leased out to various tenants, many of whom are not paying appropriate rent. Begum leaves Mirza with the responsibility of tending to the property, but Mirza cannot wait for Begum’s death, so the mansion can be passed down to him. Baankey Rastogi (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a poor tenant of the mansion who lives with his mother and three sisters. He owns a wheat mill shop, and consistently makes and claims for why he can’t pay his long-overdue rent despite being charged even less than all the other tenants, much to Mirza’s chagrin.
As a result, Mirza nags him to pay his dues whenever they cross paths. This leads to Baankey getting frequently irritated, and in an outburst of anger, he starts a chaos by kicking the wall of a toilet block which collapses, thus angering Mirza, who demands Baankey pay the full cost of repair. Baankey, however, does not pay up, so Mirza attempts to make the lives of him and his family miserable, in every way possible. This is the last straw for Baankey, who vows to exact revenge on Mirza.
Baankey gets his opportunity when Gyanesh Shukla (Vijay Raaz), an archaeologist working for the government, realizes the historic value of the property. He quickly makes plans to seize it, evict everyone living in it, and declare it a government-owned heritage site. Gyanesh explains his plans to Baankey, claiming that alternative accommodation will be provided for those evicted. Baankey realizes that Mirza will end up losing his grip on the mansion, so supports Gyanesh with his motives.
Mirza soon finds out about the situation and hires a local lawyer, Christopher Clarke (Brijendra Kala). Mirza plans to get the ownership of the mansion transferred to himself once Begum dies, so he can evict his tenants and keep the mansion for himself. After a lengthy attempt to track down anyone in Begum’s family who could inherit the mansion instead of him, the last step is to get a copy of Begum’s left-hand fingerprints. However, Mirza successfully acquires fingerprints from a sleeping Begum, but they are from the wrong hand, which angers Christopher. He resorts to forging the prints instead. Having noticed the mansion’s state of disrepair, Christopher introduces Mirza to Munmun Singh, a wealthy builder-developer, who is willing to buy the mansion, demolish it, and build a modern housing complex on the land. Christopher claims that Mirza will get a lump sum of money for this and to the tenants, so the latter very hastily agrees.
Unfortunately, Gyanesh’s offer of alternative housing for Baankey and the other tenants are false claims, and Gyanesh brings a couple of men to declare the mansion as a heritage site, and also says that all the tenants will have to vacate the house. Arguments and fights begin as Baankey and the tenants are furious that they won’t get alternative housing, as promised to them. Suddenly then Christopher arrives with Munmun and the developers, and a suitcase full of money for Mirza and the tenants. Mirza sees the tenants taking some of the money, and sits on the suitcase, proclaiming all the money is his, leading to further furious arguments and fights.
However, they are suddenly interrupted when Begum’s maid announces that Begum has gone. Everyone falls in chaos and confusion, including Baankey, who goes up to her room to see her, while Mirza secretly feels happy at first, thinking Begum has passed away and the mansion is now his. However, Baankey finds nothing but a letter written by Begum to Mirza, in which it is revealed that Begum is still alive, having eloped with her old lover Abdul Rehman and selling the mansion to him for a rupee to preserve it, thus foiling Mirza’s plans.
Now, everyone moves out, including Baankey and Mirza, depressed at having to leave the old mansion, which is now became an archaeological heritage site. This is worsened by them, Mirza and Baankey being shut out when Begum returns to the mansion to celebrate her 95th birthday with her lover. Begum left behind an antique chair for Mirza, and he remarks to Baankey that he sold it locally for ₹ 250, which surprises Baankey. The film then closes showing Begum’s antique chair in an antique shop in Mumbai, priced at ₹ 1,35,000.
Amitabh Bachchan as Chunnan “Mirza” Nawab
Farrukh Jaffar as Fatima Begum
Ayushmann Khurrana as Baankey Rastogi
Vijay Raaz as Gyanesh Shukla, Government Officer
Brijendra Kala as Christopher Clark, Lawyer
Srishti Shrivastava as Guddo
Tina Bhatia as Dulahin
Mohammad Naushad as Puppeteer
Nalneesh Neel as Sheikhu Nawab
Archana Shukla as Susheela
Ananya Dwivedi as Neetu
Ujali Raj as Payal
Sunil Kumar Verma as Mishra ji
Azad Mishra as Sayyad
Uday Veer Singh Yadav as Munna Saxena
Poornima Sharma as Fauzia
Shi Prakash Bajpai as Pandey ji
Poonam Mishra as Mishrain
Jogi Mallang as Munmun ji
Trilochan Kalra as Sinha
Behram Rana as Abdul Rehman
Zia Ahmed Khan as Doctor
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