What happens when 4 talented directors get together? Chaos…usually. Chaos of brilliance.Chaos of substance.Chaos of ideas. And somewhere along the way comes out a story which you just watch to absorb, digestion comes later,and appreciation even later. Bombay Talkies perhaps falls in that bucket.
I did feel maybe somewhere the stories would tie in. Either in theme, or characters or maybe messages.Or it could be I didn’t get it. Bombay Talkies a like flash fiction or micro fiction. Where a whole narrative has to fit in quick time.Therefore the traditional introduction,body,conclusion is out of a question. You just cut to the chase, and come to the point. The common thing with a flash fiction is of course the twist in the end.And you go -aha! However, unlike micro-fiction Bombay Talkies did not have any twist in any of the stories.Perhaps the end credits are a twist where a song sequence is shot as a tribute to the film industry.
Story 1 -Karan Johar.
We got to know Randeep Hooda can act (albeit in certain roles) and the trapped intensity was good.WE knew Rani could act, so no surprises there.A litttle bit of weight (if that was by design,then it was a great attention to detail) on her looks fabulous for the role.A coming out of the closet story,started haphazardly,and slowly settled down towards the end.Some secenes were intense ,like the kissing scene Saqib and Randeep did well to convey trapped passion, and Rani Mukherjee‘s look in the mirror scene.Some scenes did not convey the message as they should have – like the girl on the Dadar railway over bridge (or was it some other station?)
It didnt help that the audience was giggling when the intimate scenes were on between the two leads.Just like the filmmakers are maturing,wonder when will the audience mature and watch a movie quietly? Anyways, my rating would be 3/5 – primarily for a good storyline and good acting, and not 5/5 because it didnt leave us with a lump in the throat,or hit hard that kept you wondering. ( I can hear Kjo defending it was not meant to be )
Story 2 – Dibakar Banerjee.
When you have Satyajit Ray, or leverage something even closely related to him,it probably has a touch of class,poignancy,and intellect. Add to that you have Sadashiv Amrapurkar and Nawazuddin Siddique, it calls for some explosive shots.It did. The garbage scene interaction between the two was excellent.One wanted a bit more.Each episode being of 30 odd minutes,the narrative had to move on. A bit of tragedy,a bit of irony and a bit of lets,move on , defined this story.My rating for this is a tad higher 4/5 just as a tribute to Ray,to Sadashiv and to Siddique though not in the same breath or depth.
Story 3 – Zoya Akhtar.
Fundamental flaw – never take your kid to watch Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan.But that apart, Naman Jain,the young wannabe dancer, who is trapped in a football field was nicely done.Again,being a short story,not much background information is given as to why a character is behaving in a particular way, it is what it is.The interaction between the kid and the father had more scope to evoke emotion.But it didnt. Until the last sequence,when the stage show is on in slow motion.The camera beautifully captures how the kid enjoyed his freedom.Overall, I will go with 3/5, some good sensitive scenes,odd moments,but not enough to grip you and care for the childs success.
Story 4 – Anurag Kashyap.
It wouldn’t take too much research to find out crazy stories about Amitabh Bachchan‘s crazy fan following around the world.This one was a bit of a much ado about nothing.But anyways, Anurag being Anurag,he will bring in his style,flavor of a rustic background. (Note to self – Will wait for Anurag Kashyap to show his versatility by making something like a simple love story) Vineet Kumar as the dutiful son does a commendable job.IF only his script was written better.The intent of such passion is usually a result of a massive impact in childhood.No such scenes were shown.So somewhere one felt,all that Murrabba brouhaha was unnecessary,much like the crispy dialogue exchange on his return from Mumbai with his father where he says ‘achar ke dabbey mein murrabba nahi daltey’…Overall my rating would be 3 /5 primarily for Vineet Kumars emotions when he was beginning to get desparate.
So there you have it,Bombay Talkies, see it if you must or wait for DVD release a bit later.It is a movie to be watched without being disturbed.Absorbed and perhaps a bit later appreciated.Certainly these directors are talented, and they have done wonderful movies.They should or could probably think of a movie with a common thread,which could perhaps make it a tad more interesting.
- ‘Bombay Talkies’ review: It’s like a breath of fresh air (ibnlive.in.com)