The biographical musical play is about the life of Gauhar Jaan, one of the first Indian performers to record music on Gramophone. Her life was adorned with professional achievements, and also scarred with repeated deceits by the people she trusted. The play answers many questions which may seem confounding to the TikTok/YouTube generation where recording and streaming is the norm. What was so special in being the first recorded female singer? The play not only takes the audience to the street of Calcutta where she was celebrated, but also inside her heart which was repeatedly cheated by everyone she trusted.

It is a great play and talks volumes of the capabilities of the director Lillette Dubey. The live performances – live singing by Zila Khan and the dance by Rajeshwari Sachdev, the music – themselves are worth of the ticket prices. The amazing portrayal by Rajeshwari (young Gauhar) and Zila Khan (old Gauhar) are powerful and memorable. Rajeshwari, who also gets the most opportunity among all the actors, shines in her role. The setup is also done well.

Talking of biographies, Bollywood styled masala-added bio-portrayals mutate the original lives so much that the end-product is pure fiction. This play steers clear of that crime, and suffers partly because of it. You see, like any other true biography and anyone’s life, the play has its dull moments. After all, in our like also we don’t achieve one milestone after another every year or every month!

The slow-paced, honest portrayal with great live performances is a must-watch for connoisseurs and theater enthusiasts. For others, please take note of the last paragraph.

AglaPlay Verdict: A must-watch for  connoisseurs and theater enthusiasts
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Hindi / Urdu
Duration: 2 Hours+ 
Writer: Mahesh Dattani 
Director: Lillete Dubey
Cast: Zila Khan (Old Gauhar),
Rajeshwari Sachdev (Gauhar)
& Others

Below are a few relevant links.

Other Links
Trailer at YouTube 
Gauhar Jaan Wikipedia
Review at IndiaWest

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