Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s Gangubai Kathiawadi has done an incredible job at showcasing the life of the Mafia Queen of Mumbai, Gangubai Kothewali and the sex workers of Kamathipura in Mumbai.
Let’s take a look at the reel and real-life characters in the film.
1. Gangubai Kothewali
Alia Bhatt plays Gangubai Kothewali, a sex worker from the Kamathipura district during the 1960s. She worked for the rights of sex workers and their children and improve their living conditions. Bhatt has done a commendable job at playing Gangubai.
2. Karim Lala
Ajay Devgn plays Abdul Karim Khan AKA Karim Lala, an underworld gangster and liquor baron who ran extortion and gambling rackets from 1960s-1980s. He was Gangubai’s rakhi brother and held great influence over Mumbai until his death in 2002.
3. Jawaharlal Nehru
Rahul Vohra plays India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Gangubai met Nehru to discuss improving the plight of sex workers, educating their children and legalising prostitution.
4. Gangubai’s Bentley
Gangubai was fond of driving around a lot in her Bentley car, according to Hussain Zaidi, the journalist.
5. Hussain Zaidi
Jim Sarbh plays Faizi, the journalist, who is based on the author Hussain Zaidi. Zaidi was an investigative journalist and wrote Mafia Queens of Mumbai, in which one of the chapters is what the movie is based on.
The movie is based in Kamathipura, which is a red-light district in Mumbai. Gangubai was sold to a brothel in the district at the age of 16 by her suitor. She came to be known as the Madam of Kamathipura.
7. Olympia Cafe
Olympia Coffee House is a 103-year-old restaurant that has been replicated in the movie too, as a popular spot where sex workers hung out.
It’s always fun when reel life and real-life intermingle.