On the Contrary | I Loved Bombay Velvet | 3/5

Bombay_Velvet_First_LookIt’s been panned by almost all reviewers and the movie going public has stayed away. Bottomline, Bombay Velvet is a flop. I don’t necessarily understand why, but those are the facts. Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) and his friend Chimman (Satyadeep Misra) are from the lower strata of Bombay. They dream of becoming “big shots” and see crime as the route. Along the way, they run in to Kaizad Khambata (Karan Johar), who offers to bankroll their journey through a men’s club – Bombay Velvet. While Chimman is happy and content with where he has reached, Balraj – now renamed Johnny by Kaizad – wants more. He believes he deserves more. While everybody is busy carving up the new megacity, all Johnny wants is his own little corner. But he has bitten off more than he can chew and faces the choice of keeping what he has and letting go of his ambitions; or reaching for his ambitions and risk losing everything he has. He chooses the latter. How he goes about running the biggest gamble of his life makes up the rest of the story. Bombay Velvet is Anurag Kashyap’s first big budget venture and he’s used the money well. The recreation of a Bombay lost in the annals of time is beautiful – except for the Maggi ketchup bottle in one scene. He handles the pace of the story wonderfully, letting the viewer have an immersive experience of a time few can remember. The characters are built up nicely and stay true through the movie. Ranbir proves his acting mettle once more; this time playing Amitabh Bachchan from long ago. The coiled up anger, the desperation to change what he sees, the dialogue delivery and so 70s Amitabh, which fits because somewhere we associate Amitabh with those times. Satyadeep Misra, as Chimman, provides the perfect foil to the volatile Balraj. He is the quite conscience who appears in almost every frame, but just out of reach – close but not close enough to change the event. Karan Johar are Kaizad makes a commendable debut. Although it would have been nice if he had played a character other than himself. But as an SRK clone, what else could we expect. Anushka Sharma is pleasing and pretty. Period. The music is, as always in a Kashyap movie, perfect and helps to set the tone and mood of the movie. The art direction and cinematography are simply fabulous. I loved every frame in the movie. The atmosphere just seems to wash over you and by the time the movie is done, you are actually surprised that it’s not 1970. Final analysis? Watch the movie. You’ll not regret it.


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