Rating: 4/5 stars (Four Stars)
Star cast: Rani Mukerji, Randeep Hooda, Saqeeb Salim, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vineet Singh
Director: Karan Johar, Dibakar Bannerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap
What’s Good: First of its kind four well known directors directing a single movie with full of their potential.
What’s Bad: The film talks about celebrating 100 years of cinema but four different stories doesn’t quite reflect that!
Loo break: None
Watch or Not?: Must Watch
Paisa Wasool: Definitely yes! Finally a movie which deserves applauds from audience.
Four stories directed by four contemporary Bollywood directors emerge and merge with seamless splendor into a brilliant art of pain and pleasure. Like four scoops of ice cream, one yummier than the other, “Bombay Talkies” serves up a flavorful quartet of delights that leave us craving for more. It’s like that song written by the immortal Sahir Ludhianvi – “Abhi na jao chhod kar ke dil abhi bhara nahin”.
t’s delightful to see Karan Johar recognize that his core strength is relationships and not mush. KJo steps away from his usually voluptuous colours and glossy sets to tell a very real story about a married couple which stumbles upon the realization that they have actually been living a lie. Each actor Rani Mukerji, Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleem essay understated performances with flair and sincerity. Randeep’s arrogance conceals a raw vulnerability while Saqib’s brash and presumptuous personality has a certain inherent charm. Rani is subtle and effective. For once it’s admirable how Karan Johar deftly handles his gay characters, successfully steering clear of a stereotypical portrayal.
Dibakar Bannerjee’s story about a failed actor who gets a chance opportunity to do a bit role in a Bollywood film is a captivating tale. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s sheer brilliance in the hands of an adept director wipes out disappointing memories of his last film (Aatma). Two remarkable scenes that stand out; first, where Nawaz practices Big B’s famous dialogues before he realizes that his little role hardly has any lines to mouth and second, the last scene where he doesn’t have a single dialogue but his histrionics speak louder than any other line in the whole film. Siddiqui’s face conveys myriad emotions as he runs home to his daughter after his performance.
Zoya Akhtar’s little child star is pushed by his ambitious father to learn football because that’s what boys should be doing. Our 12-year-old however aspires to become a dancer like Sheila (Katrina Kaif in ‘Tees Maar Khan). It’s a heartwarming story as an indulgent elder sister understands her kid brother’s dreams and they are oblivious of the implications that this unusual choice of vocation might have.
Anurag Kashyap’s protagonist travels all the way from Allahabad to meet Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai because his ailing father believes that will save his life. Vineet Singh is spot on as the fan desperate for a glimpse of the superstar. He gets even the little nuances right like, calling Big B, “Amita Bachchan” instead of “Amitabh Bachchan”. Kashyap’s story is an honest tribute to the Shahenshah of Bollywood.
“Bombay Talkies” is segmented and layered, yet cohesive and compelling from the first frame to the last. While unravelling the magic of cinema and its impact on the minds of audiences, “Bombay Talkies” also displays how much cinema has evolved over the generations.