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    Saturday, 16 May 2015

    Bombay Velvet Movie Review

    Bombay Velvet Movie Review

    Star Cast : Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar
    Direction : Anurag Kashyap
    Story Line : Set against the backdrop of ambition, love, greed, and jazz - Bombay Velvet is the story of one ordinary man who goes against all odds and forges his destiny to become a 'Big Shot'. Jazz clubs, a passionate love story, a growing metropolis and a phenomenal hunger for a good life. Welcome to the City of Dreams. Welcome to Bombay Velvet.
    Review : 
    There are some filmmakers who scoff at the very notion of historical accuracy -- like Oliver Stone or Quentin Tarantino -- and Anurag Kashyap is one of that bunch, a man who prefers to create his own sumptuous version of history.
    Bombay Velvet looks to be, then, his very own Bob Fosse-meets-Scarface take on what might have been, instead of bothering with what really was.
    An indicator of the same lies in the opening credits, as they claim to be 'introducing Karan Johar' whereas that particular director first acted in the most successful Hindi film of all time.
    Not on Kashyap's watch, he didn't.
    And that’s perfectly fair.
    We look to big, brassy cinema not to educate but to entertain, and let us not seek verisimilitude in this kind of cinematic explosion. And this Bombay Velvet is an obviously shallow film, an all-out retro masala-movie with homage on the rocks and cocktail-shakers brimming with cliche.
    It is a take on the nostalgia soaked groovy-gangster movie: Once Upon A Time In Kashyapistan.
    On paper, this sounds like dynamite. Kashyap, a gifted visual stylist and a distinctively bold storyteller, taking on the mainstream and riffing on it his way, subverting the system. Except, um, that’s not what happens here.
    There is surprisingly little subversion, but that’s fine too, provided the result is compelling on its own steam.
    Alas, Bombay Velvet runs out of breath less than halfway through, and huffs and puffs as it tries to breast the finish line.
    The new film clearly wants to be many things -- noir, grand romance, a Broadwayesque musical, Prakash Mehra, Brian De Palma -- but ends up indecisively skulking around the shadows of giant films, despite editing goddess Thelma Schoonmaker blessing it with her scissors.
    Several components work strongly, particularly a sensational soundtrack and a few excellent male actors. Yet, the film disappoints, and, due to the potential on display, severely so. The scale is amped up to grandness, certainly, but despite majestic intent, what we find here is a watered-down forgery, an imitation you can spot from a mile away: this Dahlia is barely Black-ish; the cloth muffling this revolver isn’t the real thing but merely, alas, velveteen.
    There is much promise of magic, especially as the film begins.
    A raffish crook watches The Roaring Twenties, and, too weak in English to recite James Cagney’s lopsidedly-delivered lines, settles instead for the film’s famous last words, pointing a kerchief-covered finger at the mirror and saying Gladys George’s line about how her dead flame "was a big shot", thus recreating a voiceover instead of playing a role -- ironically making a wish and jinxing himself all at once.
    Johnny Balraj is a character with character, a zoot-suit wearing tomcat with his eye on the prize, and Ranbir Kapoor plays him with slithery elegance. Spry as if eternally scalded, Kapoor glides restlessly through the film -- hitching rides from people, situations and passing buses -- without a second thought, forever sidling away from the real, the nitty-gritty.
    Balraj masochistically spends his nights TylerDurden-ing inside a steel cage (a la Amitabh Bachchan in Naseeb) and there are times the preternaturally talented Kapoor absolutely shines: a scene, for example, where he leers wickedly and stubbornly (but far from lasciviously) at his girl, while a tailor measures her bust, is priceless.
    Balraj rides the coattails of Kaizad Khambatta, a sinister media baron with his nimble fingers in many oily pies. Karan Johar is a revelation as this character so obsessed with his all-powerful, all-controlling image that -- in the film's brightest moment -- he steps out of a room in order to have himself a good giggle.
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    Item Reviewed: Bombay Velvet Movie Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Bollywood Reporter Blog
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