One of the most awaited movies of 2015 and Anurag Kashyap’s Magnus Opus- Bombay Velvet is finally hitting the theatres this Friday. It’s a period crime drama, which is co-produced by the man Anurag Kashyap who also is its director. The movie is based on the book called Mumbai Fables of a famous historian- Gyan Prakash. The movie has the heartthrobs of B Town- Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles along with Karan Johar, Kay Kay Menon, Vivaan Shah, Manish Choudhary who all would be seen in supporting roles. The movie is produced under the banner Phantom Films, with music coming from Amit Trivedi. Since its a period film, you find the Bombay of the sixties. Now, let’s dig underneath to get the crux of the film as under:
As the movie starts, you encounter a nostalgic surprise from the 1990s greeting you against the background of the jazz score of Amit Trivedi, and soon you find the world of Bombay Velvet becoming all yours before your eyes take a blink. The environment you find around is highly intoxicated. The sets, scope and costumes simply go far beyond has been noticed in any B Town movies. The movie is supposed to borrow the plot from the said book Mumbai Fables, which actually deals with the recent history of the city. However, in no ways, Bombay Velvet has any historical sermon. It is primarily a love story, simple and pure. Meet Mr. Johnny Balraj played by Ranbir Kapoor, who is a boxer turned mobster. His character is showy and he simply appears awesome in a boxing dress. He is also calm and composed when he talks to Rosie, who is a girl of her dreams played by Anushka Sharma.
You find this man wooing the sensual lady with his smile and eyes and soon turn lovely couples deeply in love. Next you have Mr. Kaizad Khambata played by Karan Johar, who is a cunning businessman looking to do something big by placing his guns on the shoulder of Johnny. Subsequently you have some other people in it, which plays negative and positive roles. To cut things short, the story of Bombay Velvet is set in the 1960s, wherein you have a street fighter Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) and jazz singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma). The movie set in 1960s, brings the two together and showcases how their dreams and aspirations collide with their individual realities. It is all about the drama encompassed in the lead characters, which unfolds as the movie progresses from one end to the other.
Ranbir Kapoor in the role of Johnny Balraj is caught donning a retro look having curly hair plays a street fighter and a man who later manages the infamous club Bombay Velvet. He seems to be playing this character the first time, which has intense look and appeal. He has left no stone unturned to understand his character taking a deep plunge inside learning the Tapori language, which suited the age of 50s and 60s and fighting inside a cage while being a street fighter. This character demands an accomplished actor, who can very well understand and play with utter perfection and dexterity. Ranbir has simply championed this task showcasing one of the best performances in the role of Johnny over the silver screen making it indispensable for any other actor to play.
On the other side, you have Anushka Sharma playing the character of an aspiring Jazz Singer called Rosie Naronha. She is simply jazzy in her looks, appearing the wonderful and gorgeous lady in attires of the sixties. She has come a long way to establish herself the most stable actress in B Town. Her performance speaks about the character she plays in any movie, be it PK, NH10 or any other movie and Bombay Velvet is no exception. She has worked hard to play this character in one of the most skillful ways. Don’t forget to catch her looks in the 35 kgs dress while she performs as a singer on stage in Bombay Velvet Club. She was simply incredible. The other man worth noticing in this film is Karan Johar in the role of a flamboyant, wicked, Parsi media mogul showcasing some high-end attitude. This is perhaps his best performance so far over the silver screen, though he has shared screen in a couple of movies with shorter roles and cameo. In this character of a cunning businessman called Kaizad Khambata, he has surpassed all the expectations one can have for this filmmaker as an actor. The others worth mentioning about the performance of the actors like Kay Kay Menon as a cop, Manish Choudhary as a newspaper editor, Siddharth Basu and Remo Fernandes too was decent in their jobs.
The Technical Stuff
The only problem lays in the script, which seems to be okay in the first half but badly shattered in the second half. The sizzling chemistry of Ranbir-Anushka is like a breath of fresh air, which might even feel Virat envious. The first half appears to have a great reverence for the film, while the second one simply ends with a film of that era backed with cliched blackmail based dialogues on dual roles, negative characters, the Madh Island gold biscuit stuff, the damsel in distress and similar other things. The director is known to take cinematic cliches and overthrow them; however, this time he seems to have taken the cliches with greater seriousness. You have certain scenes, which are not that credible to believe wherein amidst the alluring lights and loud music; a vengeful man comes in dazzling slow motion sprays countless rounds of fire but ends up killing only two with other faceless crowds remains unaffected. Such flaws, however, hampers the sizzling chemistry the two shares on the screen. Talking about the other factors like location, music, editing, screenplay and dialogues, everything appears to be par though may measure a bit more or less in intensity but overall the picture sounds favorable for the filmmaker.
Bombay Velvet- The Last Word
Essentially Bombay Velvet is a period love story presented in a dramatic style portraying a number of other elements all together. The script can have certain flaws, but other interesting elements have tried to overshadow them giving a typical delightful product to the audience. Performance wise, Bombay Velvet is fabulous and can become a must watch. Despite some roller-coaster ride in the script, you may now wait to feel the nostalgia of seeing Bombay City of the sixties. Those who have actually seen the city in this era have fantastic opportunity to cherish their grey memories they had in senile city of the sixties with the same sheen and estray, which they would simply love to catch. Though it may lack in complexity but can compensate with its sheer beauty.Overall the film is superb and deserves to be the magna opus of Anurag Kashyap.
Rating – 4.0