NRIs Embrace Manoj Bajpayee and Sharmila Tagore Starrer Gulmohar

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By Dhanashree Ramachandran

BOSTON–Films and Fridays are almost synonymous and it’s one trend that OTT hasn’t changed. The latest Manoj Bajapayee and Sharmila Tagore starrer family drama, Gulmohar released on Friday. It’s trending and already rated as #1 by viewers and critics alike. Catch it on Disney Hotstar/ Hulu if you haven’t done so yet.

In addition to Indian audiences, Gulmohar is receiving a lot of love by the NRI communities around the world, including in the United States. There are several reasons that contribute to the engagement by NRI audiences.

Dhanashree Ramachandran

Gulmohar was screened at the Academy of Creative Arts in Boston, MA on Friday. The screening/ watch-party was co-hosted by Cliq Social Club, NousX Experience Design Studio and Boston Sound and Lights. The film was very well received by the eclectic Bostonians. The lead actor, Manoj Bajpayee virtually joined and interacted with the audience after the screening. His sharing brought the spirit of Gulmohar closer to the audience.

OTT has changed the entertainment game for good with the sheer variety and supply of content. An overwhelming majority of content though calls for an outright acceptance for uncomfortably faster pace of living, language accentuated with violence and unrelatable characters with a poor understanding of emotions. The measure of maturity on the viewer’s side remains to be an ever-expanding appetite for stimulation to the degree of discomfort in many cases.

Gulmohar brings a breath of fresh air with excellent storytelling. Gulmohar doesn’t shy away from pain and discomfort. It is surely a rocky ride of emotions with the “inevitable” force of timing. The audience finds it a rewarding ride though because it shows the light at the end of the dark tunnel- the light of the triumph of unconditional love and fierce truth. The genuine account of modern life that is still rooted in the solid foundation of good old traditions, respect and faith is an absolute delight.

The contemporary entertainment menu for an average Indian American viewer looks like a unique mix of Hindi- English- Spanish- regional Indian languages- French- Korean. Creating content for the culturally and socially complex psyche such as that of the Indian Americans is one of the well-known challenges for OTT producers. Gulmohar handles it beautifully with casting stalwarts like Manoj Bajpayee. Manoj’s ability to bring finesse to the raw, unapologetic human emotions is at the core of the magic that Gulmohar offers.

Manoj is often referred to as the “alchemist” performer for the exotic and ethereal presence that effortlessly reduces the aesthetic distance between the audience and the characters he plays. Gulmohar is also a comeback film of the veteran legend, Sharmila Tagore. Her craft defines excellence. Simran, Suraj Sharma, Kaveri Seth, and Utsavi Jha bring a wholesome family to life. The side stories add to the message beautifully. Hats off to the writers Arpita Mukherjee and Rahul V. Chitella for writing an intricate, yet simple story with glamorous, yet relatable characters. Rahul Chitella’s genius as a director can be appreciated in every frame throughout the film.

The bittersweet tale of the Batra family surely gives a fulfilling viewing experience. A must-watch film.


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