Our need for an emotional fix through cinema or literature keeps us going through as many books and films as we can.

 Some sit for hours before a painting in a museum staring unblinkingly at it, some cycle through rough paths

discovering patches of flowers or water bodies. But those who want drama, with conflict and resolution, must rely on a story, on fiction.

And of all possible genres, family sagas told well are unfailingly satisfying.

Gulmohar is a house, a family, a film. It bursts on us already sold to big builders, and is a house in the middle of changing hands,

of leaving one owner for another, of perhaps being reduced to rubble and watching another younger version come up in its place.

But instead of spending a happy time full of the right kind of nostalgia in its last days, it ends up witnessing trauma, betrayal, hurt, secrets coming to light and philosophical musings

All its inmates are in a state of turmoil, from the matriarch to the maid-servant.

Most of the actors have been carefully chosen, and bring in their wake huge expectations, expectations they easily meet.

Manoj Bajpayee – whose performance in Aligarh is a difficult feat for him to surpass – is perfectly cast as the head of the family. Sharmila Tagore

back on screen after ages, is entirely relatable from her maternal ache to modern sensibilities. Amol Palekar, also back after a hiatus,

isolated as he is from the rest of the family, brings in all the minor touches that elevate him from a good performer to an excellent one. Simran, another artist back after a long while,

plays the bahu and biwi busy with the nitty gritty of shifting house, harried and yet sensitive to everyone’s moods

The only son (Suraj Sharma) and only daughter (Kaveri Seth) do their bit. The packers are here – time to move!