Friday, 10 May 2013

Bombay Talkies [2013]

Bombay Talkies, an anthology film comprising of 4 shorts, was made with the intent of commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema; consequently cinema in general, and Bollywood in particular, was either a thematic concern or at least a plot element in each of them. The first, by Karan Johar, was about a well-to-do married couple (Rani Mukherjee and Randeep Hooda) whose lives take a sharp turn with the arrival of a young and brash gay guy (Saqib Saleem); the second, by Dibakar Banerjee, and adapted from a short story by Satyajit Ray, was about a failed theatre actor and entrepreneur (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) whose mundane and unspectacular life gets a brief breather when he is offered, out of the blue, a bit role in a movie; the third, by Zoya Akhtar, was about a kid (Naman Jain) who starts dreaming of becoming a dancer, much to his conservative father’s chagrin, upon seeing a Katrina Kaif dance number; and the fourth, by Anurag Kashyap, and slightly reminiscent of Spielberg’s The Terminal, was a satire on hero-worship where a simple-natured guy (Vineet Kumar) from Allahabad goes to Mumbai with the intent of meeting Amitabh Bachchan on his father’s wishes. Though the quality fluctuated and the scripts could have been tighter, the portmanteau was an engaging watch on the whole. The second short was easily the best of the lot – it had great emotional and perceptive depth that added layers to the simple premise, and boasted of a superb turn by Siddiqui. The one by Johar, given its director’s reputation, was the surprise package on account of its delving into a difficult subject, even though it had its share of flaws.

Directors: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Psychological Drama/Social Satire/Slice of Life
Language: Hindi
Country: India

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