• Make time for Gour Hari Dastaan. It’s an important story that must be heard.

  • Shubhra Gupta
    Shubhra Gupta
    Indian Express


    A man’s struggle for identity can be an absorbing story. Uplifting even, if it is connected with a country’s freedom struggle. Gour Hari’s ‘dastaan’, based on the quest of a real-life character, has all the elements that could have made it all this and more, but it comes off flat and dull.

  • Sweta Kaushal
    Sweta Kaushal
    Hindustan Times


    It’s a story we’ve heard of so many times in the past: An ageing freedom fighter running from pillar to post, waging his own battle against bureaucratic red tape, trying to prove that he participated in the freedom struggle. With actors like Vinay Pathak, Konkona Sen and Ranvir Shorey in the line-up, Anant Mahadevan’s Gour Hari Dastaan could well have been Mahesh Bhatt’s Saraansh. Sadly, it’s too slow and the execution too boring. Nonetheless, the film definitely belongs to the league.

  • Suparna Sharma
    Suparna Sharma
    Deccan Chronicle


    Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File is a very solemn, very onerous, very sanctimonious harangue about many, many things. All things, in fact. But at its core it’s a film about director Anant Mahadevan and writer C.P. Surendran (a senior journalist) desperately wanting to burnish and shove their credentials as people with a conscience, as people who care and worry about important things in our faces.

  • At no point does the film fully convey the deep sense of frustration and helplessness that Gour Hari Das would have felt in the course of his 32-year struggle to prove that he was indeed a freedom fighter. Owing to its undeniably relevant theme, Gour Hari Dastaan does have some archival value. If only it had more to offer, it would have come far closer to being the triumph that it – and its subject – deserved to be.

  • Renuka Vyavahare
    Renuka Vyavahare
    Times Of India


    While the film does struggle with a slow pace and certain irrelevant characters and scenes that digress from the core subject, this biopic deserves to be seen.

  • Rating this movie is beyond my call… but for the record it is 5 stars which in a way limits the brilliance of this movie.

    GOUR HARI DASTAAN, The Freedom Files is a movie worth going miles to see.

  • Suprateek Chatterjee
    Suprateek Chatterjee


    …despite this film’s relatively restrained storytelling, sincere attempt at subtlety, and overwhelmingly wonderful intentions, it falters on a number of levels. Gour Hari Dastaan is a peculiar film — one that attempts to emulate a somewhat dated style of arthouse cinema that works only in bits and parts. The rest of the time, at best, it’s a bit of a snooze-fest; at worst, in some places, it’s so far off the mark that it almost works as parody.

  • A biopic needs to be engaging, but in ‘Gour Hari Dastaan’, more attention seems to have been paid to the dialogues than the storytelling. It hardly evokes emotions in you and make you feel for the trials and tribulations of the man struggling for his due. Go for it if you want to soak in the Independence Day spirit.

  • Subhash K Jha
    Subhash K Jha


    As you watch the talented but largely anchorless actor Vinay Pathak slip easily into the part of the real-life freedom fighter Gaur Hari Das , you feel he is holding back when he could easily let go. The same is true of Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s noble bio-pic.

  • Gayatri Gauri
    Gayatri Gauri


    In it’s honest storytelling, the deep significance and relevance of Gour Hari Dastaan stays with you. Especially since it’s an Independence Day release. Just look at how today, the flag for which Das fought is sold at traffic signals. “Paanch ka teen” anyone?

  • IANS
    Zee News


    As a director, Ananth Mahadevan is sincere in his approach. He portrays the subject with complete honesty. And it is this uprightness that makes the film a powerful and appealing saga.

  • Juhi Matta
    Juhi Matta


    If you’re looking to enjoy a simple, offbeat and relevant film this Independence Day, Gour Hari Dastaan is your best bet. The film will make you think, while also treating you to some admirable performances. And that’s always a good thing.

  • IndiaGlitz
    India Glitz


    ‘Gour Hari Dastaan’ is powerful, meaningful, inspiring, probing and appealing highly recommended for lovers of good cinema and a true Indian. Do not miss.

  • On paper, the story of Gour Hari Das is compelling and moving. The film does not capture all this adequately. It’s repetitive and reverential, painting the protagonist with one brushstroke—as a saintly, deserving Gandhian.

  • After being kicked out by his wife, the said journo finds love in a colleague (Tannistha Chatterjee) who doesn’t do much except following Shorey around and discussing his angst and his work.

    The dour performances don’t help either. Neither does the thick, gloomy air of the film. While the story is electrifying and inspiring, the film doesn’t manage to do justice. Too bad, really.

  • Kunal Guha
    Kunal Guha
    Mumbai Mirror


    Director Ananth Mahadevan plays it safe by ticking all the boxes: adapting a story that got enough press to have recall, getting former journalist C P Surendran to pen the screenplay, and casting faces who have a proven success rate in such films. But what he didn’t account for is investing time to establish a mood and to allow his characters to find themselves instead of rushing into scripted characteristics. It’s like the perfect school play, everyone knows their lines, everyone falls in line and little is left to mind.

  • Anuj Kumar
    Anuj Kumar
    The Hindu


    At times the comments look adsorbed on the surface particularly the seemingly misogynistic journalist’s tirade against feminism. At times it seems Mahadevan is trying to put a halo behind Das which doesn’t go with Surendran’s writing and Pathak’s performance. But most of the times the observations are ingrained in the narrative. The most telling statement of the film comes when Das says that British India was better because at least he knew who the enemy was.

  • JPN


    A biopic needs to be engaging, but in ‘Gour Hari Dastaan’, more attention seems to have been paid to the dialogues than the storytelling. It hardly evokes emotions in you and make you feel for the trials and tribulations of the man struggling for his due. Go for it if you want to soak in the Independence Day spirit.

  • Gour Hari Dastaan is a film that deserves a wide release for staying so close to the truth yet never being flat or disengaging. The fact that the film was able to arouse the National Spirit of the audience without being ever manipulative or preachy makes it not just award-worthy but National-Award worthy.

  • While the understated and naturalistic acting is a relief from the usual ostentation, Gour Hari Dastaan is sluggishly paced, and fails to convey the monumentality of the protagonist’s mission. More thought has been expended on Rajiv’s asides on the commercialisation of the media and the aforementioned castrating feminists than on injecting narrative momentum into Das’s journey. In any case, his battle is half-won when he gains access to top officials. There is little left thereafter for Das – or the movie – to prove.

  • The screenplay is pretty boring with just a few dashes of humour. Unfortunately, those are not enough to get the audiences glued. The editing could have been crispier and the cinematography more thoughtful. It’s the treatment that the film and its subject absolutely deserved that’s missing. We would go with a 2 star for this one for a few dialogues like ‘Ladai toh kab ki chhod di, but haar nahi maan raha hu’ and an attempt to put forward a biopic that people needed to know about.