Raj Kapoor's 'Shree 420' was one of the pioneer film when it came to narrating a tale of a tramp, making it big in the city of opportunity. After that we saw many other actors, right from his contemporaries to the actors of the romantic era followed by the action and the multiplex era trying to attempt the same format but in a different style. Audiences love to see the transformation of a normal person and thus have always loved films like 'Agneepath', 'Deewar', 'Vaastav', 'Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman' and many more. The beauty of such films lies in the way it's been presented and despite of similar situation, it still has a different backdrop and styling attached to it. Director Anurag Kashyap's latest film 'Bombay Velvet' also has a similar style of tale but, set in the late 60's era with the backdrop of formation of India's financial capital city Bombay. Thus, let's find out whether 'Bombay Velvet' will be another hard hitting path-breaking type of film by Anuraag Kashyap or might add to the list of those big commercial films which went totally wrong when they were made by realistic film makers.
'Bombay Velvet' is a story set in the late 60's of Bombay city. It narrates the tale of a petty thief Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) and his friend Chiman (Satyadeep Misra) who accidentally bumps into a big businessman Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar). Kaizad introduces Balraj and Chiman to his world of crime and camouflages it, by making Balraj the owner of a high society Jazz club known as 'Bombay Velvet'. One by one Balraj's dreams start coming true as he starts leading a posh life he always wanted along with having his lady love Rosie (Anushka Sharma) besides him. But Balraj wants to become richer and thus strikes a deal with Kaizad and his fellow mates. Well, what happens next, is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story as we all know has shades on the lines of 'Shree 420' and similar style of films. Also, one might find a thin reference to Maniratnam's, 'Guru' in terms of the settings of the Bombay city and the politics associated with it. The movie takes a lot of time in establishing its main plot and after a long time comes on its right track. There is lots happening in the first half and yet, seems like nothing is happening. The middle portions of the film are interesting right from the introduction of Karan Johar followed by his scenes with Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka-Manish Chaudhary track, Ranbir saving Anushka, Ranbir-Kay Kay chat and few more. Just as when you start to engross yourself in the film, the movie dives down with Bollywoodish climax, where the soul was highly missing. On one hand the makers take a lot of time in establishing a track while on the other hand, zooms it up in many scenes, without giving proper timing. There were many half baked tracks (Manish Chaudhary, Satyadeep Misra, Karan Johar) which should have been enhanced for the betterment of the film. The confusion in the screenplay is visible on screen with multiple tracks running in the film. The cinematography is good and the special effects in some scenes are worth watching. Sadly, after viewing the brilliant mixture of real and imaginary periodic world in 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy', the setup of Bombay fails to impress to the fullest. Also, the forced press references begins to irritate after a while. Despite of these comparisons, the movie is presented in a stylish manner and has good grandeur attached to it. Editing is terrible as many scenes are abruptly placed and edited into the film.
Music & Direction:
Music By Amit Trivedi is notable with songs like 'Mohabbat Buri Bimari', 'Naak Pe Gusssa', 'Behroopiya' and 'Dhadaam Dhadaam', which is one of a finest song from recent times in terms of its singing. Fifi is a bad remix of a classic song 'Jaata Kaha Hain Deewane' from Dev Anand's film 'C.I.D'. Background music is good and adds up the international touch in the film.
Director Anurag Kashyap dares to make a periodic romantic drama set up in the late 60's era, with lots of technical detailing attached to it. Full marks for his vision and presentation of a periodic film, which might be a benchmark for Hindi cinema on the technical level. Sadly, he overburns it with unnecessary information and thus fails to connect to its viewers on the soul level. The Bombay of 60's looks more of Hollywood of the 60's and thus the politics associated with it seemed bit bland. It might be Anurag's biggest film till date in terms of production values, but in terms of content and uniqueness it might add to the bottom list of his films as there is nothing new or extraordinary in his style of direction in this film, which ends up being an average film.Performances:
It was good to see Ranbir Kapoor doing what he is best known for and that is, dedicated performance. Despite of weak writing and average direction, Ranbir does his part with full grace. He adds his boyish charm as well as impatient behaviour to his character and ends up delivering a fine performance. Anushka Sharma looks gorgeous in her Jazz performances and delivers a decent performance. Karan Johar is fantastic in his half baked character and rises over the expectation level. The makers seem to have forgotten his small role in 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' as they have added the introduction credit in the titles of the film. Kay Kay Menon and Manish Chaudhary are fine in their parts. Satyadeep Misra lends good support. Raveena Tandon looks graceful, but was illogically placed in the film. Vivaan Shah, Siddharth Basu and others were wasted.
Final Verdict: So bol meri FILMI KHOPDI iss film mein kitna hain Dum?
Dum? Well the movie is not a bad watch if, watched without any high expectations, but besides that it's not even an exceptional film. 'Bombay Velvet' is a strictly out and out average film with some good performance and decent technical elements attached to it. The movie had full potential of having a smooth effect just like the velvet fabric instead, ends up being a product with synthetic effect.Rating - 2.5/5