October 16 2018
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Zubaan Review – A musical saga of Self-discovery

Zubaan is a movie that takes the typical Bollywood formula but then, with the help of brilliant direction and great actors, creates something of its own kind.

2016 has just begun, yet Bollywood  has given us some real gems. Riding high on the success of Masaan, this is Vicky Kaushal ‘s second movie, where he proves himself once again.

The movie opens at a Gurudwara where young Dilsher is singing with his father. It then proceeds to him being bullied and fighting back. He asks Gurcharan Sikand, who watches him being bullied, why he did not intervene.

He is imparted a life lesson – he has to fight for himself.

From there on, the movie goes back and forth between the young Dilsher and his old self. Dilsher navigates himself through life as he tries to become the man he idolises – Gurcharan Sikand – the ‘Lion of Gurdaspur’. He slyly makes his place in Gurcharan’s family and gets close to him.

Gurcharan’s son Surya (Raghav Chanana) is annoyed and doesn’t miss a chance to show him down or run him over. He also becomes close to Surya’s ex Amira.


In a drug soaked binge with Amira, he actually starts singing and rediscovers what he had lost as a child.

The two personalities of Dilsher are visible – the younger, earnest self and the Sly Mr. Ripley kind of character. The conflict is there right from the start and comes a full circle when Dilsher achieves what he wanted – being appointed General Manager.

This recurring conflict and Dilsher’s journey along with his various transformations is what the movie is about.

Both Vicky Kaushal (Dilsher) and Manish Chaudhari (Gurcharan) play their characters superbly. Kaushal has nailed a near perfect Gurdaspur accent for the role and is believable in every frame. Chaudhari is equally tenacious as the millionaire Sikand who despises his own family.


Sarah Jane Dias plays Amira – the aloof performer who feels guilty of her brother’s death and depends on drugs to fill the holes in her life. She is glamorous yet there are shades to her character. It could have helped if she was a little more expressive with her character.

Despite the story, this movie leaves the room for the viewer to not just associate but also think for himself or herself. This thinking space is the feature of movies like Zubaan and Masaan, which hold more than just crass entertainment value.


Music plays a huge role in Zubaan, it is the motivating factor and the main catharsis in the movie. Each song is different from each other. Each song plays the part of leading us into the next chapter of Dilsher’s story. Songs such as ‘Dhruvtara’ and ‘Kori Pukaar’ have beautiful lyrics combined with subtle beats. They are melodious as well as meaningful.

The screenplay is tight and movie never looses its edge. It gets a little slow in the second half, but still picks up towards the end.

Moses’ direction and his actors along with the music are an intoxicating mix in Zubaan. It is entertaining yet inspiring. It is definitely worth a watch.

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