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BOMBAY TALKIES - Not anything visionary but does celebrate the spirit of 100 years of Indian (Hindi) Cinema with Dibaker and Anurag for sure. (Review by Bobby Sing)

04 May, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

100 Years of Indian CinemaWhen it was first announced as an experimental project to commemorate the 100 years of our Indian (Hindi) Cinema then the project did sound interesting and praise-worthy too. But as the D-day came closer, it slowly got turned into a purely commercial venture to be released on a big occasion, especially targeting the multiplex audience in particular. Considering this important point, its surely not a balanced celebration being made here ignoring the single screen theaters or smaller centers and purely focusing on the Big Cities multiplex viewers to get some quick returns.
So paying 350 bucks as a common man, for watching a ‘festival project’ cheering our own 100 years of Cinema was truly not a joyful celebration of the event, to put it in honest words. On the contrary it would have been really great, if the film was shown in many specially organized shows at a hugely discounted price (even Tax Free), only to honor the rare occasion in both the major and smaller centers all over.
Anyway accepting the fact that ‘Commercialization” and “Economics” have surely gone deep into our veins more than the required limits, let’s move on the movie for its review instead.
Rightly promoted as a project featuring four different short films directed by four eminent directors of the present times, it reminds you of few similar attempts in the past such as DARNA MANA HAI (Series), SALAAM-E-ISHQ, DUS KAHANIYAN, DHOBI GHAT and more. But here the difference is that each of the four stories has a connection with Cinema, which is prominently visible in only Dibaker and Anurag’s films to be honest and just vaguely present in the others.
Particularly the one which surprises you the most is the first section itself by Karan Johar. It’s a story about a couple and their interaction with a new young male friend who is a gay. Now though as an individual case, these 30 minutes are engaging, shocking and entertaining too but still the story has a very indistinct connection with cinema as compared to others and seems to be a weird-misfit in the film. In fact the only reference of movies in it is a music room full of vintage records or a beggar girl singing Hindi film songs for a living. The three actors in it namely Rani Mukherjee, Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleeb all act well but the story gets the least marks here participating in the 100 years celebration of Indian Cinema, due to its noticeably unrelated theme.
Second comes the name of Dibaker Banerjee written on the screen and reading it you sit back properly as the name itself denotes innovation, experimentation and promise as suggested by the director’s track record. Thankfully that’s exactly what Dibaker delivers here in a brilliant style and his given thirty minutes perfectly celebrate the occasion in the right spirit and energy as expected.
Based on maestro Satyajit Ray’s short story “Patol Babu, Film Star”, featuring the new age admirable talent Nawazuddin Siddiqui, this is surely the best part of BOMBAY TALKIES without any doubt or arguments. These 30 minutes by Dibaker-Nawazuddin together actually tell you the reason why India is widely known as a film-loving nation all over the world. The story touches you deep inside, even without having any great dialogues as such, because it truly represents the loving amalgamation of cinema & life here in India, like no-where in the world. It enlightens you why it is said that in India, Cinema is a kind of lifeline running through the people’s veins whether they are young or old, rich or poor living in any part of the country without an exception.
In cinematic terms, this is a magnetic depiction of film-mania in our country where talks about movies or a shooting can even cheer up an ailing girl lying on the bed helplessly and a poor person feels immensely proud & honored to even have a blink & miss role in a Hindi film. In short this second part of the project, just makes you forget the first 30 minutes completely and you truly come into the mood of celebrating the 100 years of our cinema with smiles on your faces and love in your heart. It’s indeed a treat to watch Nawazuddin proving his exceptional talent once again and the veteran Sadashiv Amrapurkar back on screen after a long gap. In short this is the first major reason why BOMBAY TALKIES becomes an essential watch for everyone loving Indian (Hindi) Cinema all over the world.
100 Years of Indian CinemaPost intermission its Zoya Akhtar talking about an obsessed male child who loves to believe Katrina Kaif as her beautiful fairy and enjoys dressing as a girl, dancing on “Shiela Ki Jawaani”. But unfortunately, after a hugely effective 30 minutes before the interval, this third part of the film again puts a back gear, since its not up to the expectation levels raised by Dibaker Banerjee. Zoya’s chosen story is nice but it remains nice only throughout and is not able to give you some exhilarating moments related to Indian Cinema. Moreover this is again an avoidable or strange kind of storyline, like the one presented by Karan Johar in the first half. In straight words, if only Zoya wanted to showcase the film-craze in today’s energetic kids then she could have chosen a different universal tale appealing to all. Plus I also remember a somehow similar kind of idea in a film titled PANKH too released in 2010.
Anyway, this third part actually becomes interesting only due to a superb act by child actor Naman and his lovable dance performance on the hit ‘Shiela’ track. Ranvir Shorey is perfect as his father and Katrina shines in her cameo of a Star in this third weak story of BT.
The fourth part of the film is directed by Anurag Kashyap and the man has really got his deserved fan following as a director, which gets proved by the applause you hear when his name appears on the screen. And fulfilling all promises associated with his created brand, Anurag gives you the second best story of the film, which again makes BOMBAY TALKIES a worth watching film by all movie buffs, for sure.
Anurag’s chosen story intelligently connects the Dilip Kumar loving generation with the one adoring Amitabh Bachchan through a touching portrayal by Vineet Kumar. It ropes in everyone together from a common man of Allahabad to the gatekeepers of big film-stars in Bombay superbly. And further when the actor of the millennium, Amitabh Bachchan enters in a scene himself, he literally lights up the screen like a Supremo, representing the whole 100 years of Indian Cinema through his cool casual persona wearing a white shawl, which is truly a not to be missed moment on the Silver Screen for all ages. Enacted beautifully by Vineet along with Sudhir Pandey, the feature further ends on a hilarious note which again represents the lively spirit of every Indian living his life connected with his own filmy Heroes as the ultimate idols.
However, as you are feeling the energy transmitted through this realistic depiction of life by Anurag Kashyap, there comes another downer in the film in the shape of a Tribute song, having no melody to keep you hooked on or any out of the box, innovative execution which could force you to stay there till it all gets over. And that’s the reason why I witnessed most of the people walking out of the theater, even when there were all Big Stars coming on the screen one by one in the song. Really a colossus disappointment it is both from the makers as well as the promoters, together.
In the end, considering it as a collective product, presented to celebrate 100 years of Indian (Hindi) Cinema, I didn’t feel any kind of visionary or enthusiastic step taken in here to commemorate the occasion in a big way. Yet on the other hand it remains a worth watching attempt solely for Dibakar Bannerji & Anurag Kashyap alone, who actually seem to be celebrating the moment more than Karan & Zoya clearly.
Also looking it from a different angle, it still seems to me as a mere commercial venture to en-cash the rare historical event in reality. Because if all the stars, directors & more can be roped in for either free or at a reduced cost to make “A Joint Celebrating Project”, then why cannot it be shown at a discounted price to the audience too. And this point is not applicable only to the Industry but to the Government also, who should have at least made it TAX FREE, as an active participation in the event from their side.
In strict words, this celebration seems to be a completely one way traffic as the viewers are not made a part of it ignorantly and they still remain at the losing end, celebrating their own Hindi Cinema by paying a high ticket price as usual………..like fools.

And then they say "Celebrating the 100 years of Cinema with the viewers"......................Sorry with us?...........where??
Rating : 3.5 / 5
(On a Personal Note : Its really sad to see that here everyone forgets or ignores the point that Indian Cinema is just not equivalent to Hindi Films popularly known as Bollywood at all. If truth be told then Bollywood is no doubt a major part of the huge Film Industry in India, but if you are not interested in mentioning the other important Cinema being made in the country in various regional languages, then you are actually en-cashing the occasion in monetary terms only and nothing else.
Putting it more bluntly, its wrong to promote the film as “The project celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema” because you are only talking about a part of it here in reality and not the whole.)


Tags : Bombay Talkies Review by Bobby Sing, Bombay Talkies Film Review, 100 Years of Indian Cinema, Karan Johar, Dibaker Bannerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi M
04 May 2013 / Comments ( 4 )
Yoonus E.K

MURABBA-The hardest hitting among the four directors, Anurag Kashyap, ironically comes up with the feel-good segment of the four. The plot seems similar to Spielberg\'s \'The Terminal\'.

Bobby Sing

As you mentioned Yoonus, it is surely among the two best stories of Bombay Talkies.
However regarding the similarity, only the staying part in front of the house is similar here to "THE TERMINAL" because in the english flick, there was no purpose of Tom to stay there and he had to do it without any choice, whereas it is all being done for a purpose.


Yoonus E.K

SHEELA KI JAWANI - Definitely, Zoya must have seen "Billy Elliot" lots of times. The theme explores the influence that movies have on children to inspires them to shape their likes and follow their dreams. The plot is wafer-thin and cliched but Naman is just superb.

Bobby Sing

Thats true Yoonus and yes Naman was indeed superb in his dance performance in the film.

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