Starring: Rani Mukherjee, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Katrina Kaif, Vineet Kumar Singh, Ranvir Shorey, Amitabh Bachchan in a special appearance
Directors: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap
Music: Amit Trivedi
Cinema, ever since it began, has been an integral part of our lives. It is indeed the most modern form of art that has always kept on changing its shape and has evolved through the course of time. From romance to action, comedy to horror, Indian Cinema, or “Bollywood” as we know it, has come a long way since the 1930’s. It is impossible to define Bollywood; it is too voluminous to capture its glory. Here today, as an ode to our very own Hindi Cinema, comes “Bombay Talkies”. A movie that celebrates the 100 years of Indian Cinema by bringing four contemporary directors with distinct approaches to make one film.
Bombay Talkies is a unique experiment which tries to capture the essence, the passion and the madness of Indian Cinema. It eloquently describes the effect cinema has on each and every one’s life; how it regulates the dreams, passion, hope, joy and sorrow of this country. With four different stories, Bombay Talkies thrives for the way its makers bring out the essence of each subject.
Story one by Karan Johar: Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh
Karan Johar has delivered a surprise knock of realism by highlighting the social tabboo around sexual orientation. It is the tale of a journalist couple whose subtle marital dissonance is exposed when a young homosexual boy enters their life. What follows is a story that is heart-breaking, yet spectacular.
Story two by Dibakar Banerjee: Star
Dibakar Banerjee’s story is based on the Satyajit Ray’s Patol Babu Filmstar. It is an emotional film that describes the story of a jobless husband and father who questions his own caliber. His only motive is to become a hero for his bedridden daughter whose happiness lies in listening to the stories of her father. Dibakar Banerjee has created a film to remember.
Story three by Zoya Akhtar: Sheila Ki Jawani
Zoya Akhtar’s film is perhaps the most enchanting one of the all. It narrates the story of a 12 year old boy who is obsessed with the superstar Katrina Kaif. He learns to nurture his dream of becoming “Sheila” by battling an authoritarian parent. The little kid’s innocent mind wants to realize an unusual dream in a world which emphasizes on a man’s need to be masculine. Zoya Akhtar’s story is a psychological snapshot of the impact film stars have on an impressionable mind.
Story four by Anurag Kashyap: Murabba
The final story is an ode to the Shenshah of the Indian Cinema, Amitabh Bachchan. It is a tale about a young man, Vijay, whose dying father sends him on a mission to get Amitabh Bachchan to take a bite of the last piece of Murabba in a once-filled jar. This asinine request comes from the belief of the father that his own father lived longer because he had honey from the same jar that his idol Dilip Kumar had. Defining the superstar mania and India’s fixation with the stars, here is Anurag Kashyap at his best!
Performances: A reserved Randeep Hooda and an audacious Saquib Salim articulate high level of intense. But Rani Mukherjee’s flawless artistry elevates the emotional core of Karan Johar’s story. Nawazuddin Sidiqui is a just a marvel. With a row of splendid performances he has given, there is less that we can say about his excellence. The other protagonists match up to the caliber of these experienced actors. The little Kid Naman Jain is way too adorable and captivating; he comes a surprise package amongst these glamorous stars. Fresh face Vineet Kumar Singh has a good sense of portraying the right amount of emotion.
Music: Composed by the immensely talented, Amit Trivedi, the music album is a short one. It consists of six tracks aptly defining the essence of Indian Cinema. The album definitely brings a smile to your face and demands appreciation for the applaudable efforts of the composers and the lyricists who have provided the best for a subject as vast and tough as the Indian Cinema!
What’s good: Each story is equally unique and deemed excellent. It is hard to compare four distinct story tellers with idiosyncratic styles of direction. Every element of film making is well blended bringing out the best in all.
What’s bad: The synchronization of the four stories fail to converge into the theme of the premise.
Bombay Talkies is indeed a novel concept sparkling with valor of distinct and unique stories. It is sincere effort to provide a paean to Indian Cinema. All the stories touch upon some of the most serious and unspoken issues of our society. The most commendable thing about the movie is that it lets us celebrate ourselves as viewers by reminding us that cinema in India got an identity because of its audience.
Verdict: A heart-touching gift by the Indian Cinema to its fans. A Salute to the 100 years of Indian Cinema!