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183 Responses to “Bombay Velvet trailers (updated)”
It’s a weak trailer. also Ranbir looks out of it in this part. The Bombay shots are well-done. Johar might be the most effective character in the trailer!
I wonder how can any production house waste 100 crs on an Anurag Kashyap movie. The maximum any producer can invest in AK should be around 15 crores. He is incapable of making a blockbuster hit to match the budget of this movie
this will get a much bigger initial though. It’s an expensive film and it has also been reshot quite a bit adding to the costs. Don’t know what that final number is but in principle you could get to 100 crores or so with this mix. Kashyap isn’t the guy for it, there I agree. Unless something surprising happens.
debacle in the making…or I guess already made. too much KJo in the trailer…and that is definitely not a good thing. costumes are nice…but seems too “plastic”…should’ve had a more rustic look and feel to it.
also the dialogue and the delivery of the dialogue is very poor by all actors here. the only positive like i said are the costumes. you can see they spent a lot of money on the film to make it look grand.
The trailer lacks the kashyap touch
& kjo is supposed to be the ‘highlight’–apparently he ‘lusts’ for the ‘hero’ (not the heroine!)
from ‘authenticity’ point of view—was it common to be ‘smooching’ in that era in india at the drop of a hat like anu is doing here ?
Everything about it looks wrong. Is this Bombay or Beverly Hills? Is this Bombay Velvet or Great Gatsby. Real and gritty is Kashyap’s forte and not grand and glitzy. Why is that pitch even required in a story like this? He is so apparently in the wrong lane.
Ranbir is looking horribly out-of-sorts in this movie. It looks as though he is a light-weight trying to lift a Scarface-gun and ape Pacino and failing miserably at it.
It looks like an ’80s Bambaiya masala transposed onto so called ’60s. I am not ok with the looks of the city too. I would prefer Rajendra Kumar’s Bombay-based ’60 movies to this in terms of the sights..
After Dhulia’s failed attempt at commercial movie (bullet raja) this time it seems to be AK…wondering whether reshoots were done to give it more commercial look and RK etc pressurized AK…whatever RK seems to be the weakest link here…totally out of place…and why this Barfi mode again…if not intense he should have acted more restrained…could be big setback for both RK and AK
I don’t share the same negative vibes about this trailer. I think it captures the mood of the 60s quite well. Didin’t mind the Bachchan (from Naseeb) or the Scarface references either.
I haven’t disliked any Anurag Kashyap film so far (haven’t seen TGIYB) and I’d be surprised if this one is underwhelming.
Saw Kashyap’s Ugly recently and although it’s a touch too dark for my taste, I’d be hard-pressed to find a gut-churning, edge-of-the-seat thriller in recent Bollywood history. It’s not perfect but despite being nihilistic it has its virtues. The standard of acting being one of many!
Saw Ugly recently myself. Liked it overall even if the film gets clunky at very many points, a bit overburdened by all the layers Kashyap wishes to add on here. Still it’s interesting till the very end and the climax hits you in the gut. Even with its failings it’s vastly superior to Badlapur.
On the rest I too haven’t disliked a Kashyap film as such though I haven’t liked one completely either since Black Friday. But more importantly the difference between everything he’s done so far and BV is that this is much more of a large scale commercial attempt and Kashyap doesn’t have those instincts. It should still be a better film than most of what out’s there. It might fall in the category of the interesting ‘disaster’ at worst. But Ranbir still looks more out of place here than anything else about the film.
‘I haven’t disliked any Anurag Kashyap film so far (haven’t seen TGIYB) and I’d be surprised if this one is underwhelming.’ I would put it more strongly: Kashyap hasn’t madea bad film so far. ( And I have seen them all, including TGIYB.) And he is to old now to chage his ways. So I havea feeling. like Hirani, he too wont let us down.
The Hirani analogy doesn’t hold in any sense. They’re just entirely different directors. But also Hirani has never made a great trailer. Even the 3I ones were quite ordinary. His trailers can look like business-as-usual when the films are of course vastly superior. On the other hand the problem with the BV trailer, at least as I see it, is completely different.
I thought That Girl in Yellow Boots was sordid, navel-gazing nonsense. I was very impressed by Anurag when Dev.D came out. It was the first film of his that I’d seen and I thought he was a brilliantly audacious director. But in retrospect, now that I have watched most of his filmography, I would categorise him as a self-indulgent filmmaker first and foremost.
GoW was perhaps his least self-indulgent work, but I think many of his other films suffer from this flaw. My favourite is probably Gulaal; it was ideological overburdened film by far too many ‘messages’, but nevertheless remains the most vividly memorable of his work for me.
I’ve always thought that his best talent as a filmmaker is in creating evocative mood that mixes his auteur sensibilities and world cinema inspirations with decidedly native texture and symbolism, so the bland ‘vintage-glam’ feel of this trailer doesn’t augur well in my opinion.
LOL, I deliberately avoided RDBNJ fearing you and Rajen …
Aside- I recently watched Screen OK awards, SRK was hosting them..they seemed so dated and poor cousin of Filmfare.
Kjo ( who hosted some segments) and SRK were never together on the stage ( Kuch toh baat hai ).
After Best actor to Shahid the very last award of the show was to SRK for HNY ….Kuch toh sharam karo !!!
SRK too looked tired, his segment with Hema looked so artificial. !!
His award was most popular actor..
Aside- I am really impressed with Alia.
Her segment with Kapil and Karan at the Filmfare award and her dance performance were really rocking !!
Yeh Ladkee door tak jaayegee !!!
A blah trailer — and (a la some other period films like Guru) the period Bombay seems so pristine/clean, compromising the authenticity of the evocation: it seems so obviously constructed from the vantage point of today… Karan Johar looks like he is enjoying himself though!
Agree with the comment above that it bears the imprint of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai — somehow we can barely ever produce compelling period moods.
The other problem is Ranbir: I am fast getting tired of his complete and utter Ranbirness in every film!
al pacino meets deniro meets neetu singh opps ranbir in India. For all its worth Anurag may tank the sau crore of fox but the movie will be worth a dekko with its indian ‘rooted’ version of godfather-rocky cocktail. I feel dibakar’s kolkatta might be better than kashyap’s bombay from the trailers. Though both dibakar-kashyap have lost it..what with a unabrow detective. Eeyew. Also when you find anushka hot it must be the male version of middle life crisis hot flashes.
Byomkesh is a dramatically superior trailer to this and whatever reservations I might have about DB’s version of the source material I expect a better film too (though I otherwise prefer Kashyap’s films). Of course I’m willing to be surprised here.
This trailer is an answer to why Aamir gave a pass to Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee. Both coming up with worst films of their careers at a very high budget and both wanted Aamir in the film just because of the high budget. Really poor trailer and Karan Johar should stay away from acting.
so basically seems like Anurag has remade one / some of Mr Bachchan’s movies from the 70s / 80s.
Not a direct remake, some Deewar, some Kaalia, some Don , a nice little khichdi……
ok , fair enough. But why ? Could easily watch any of these with Mr Bachchan and equally enjoy them, why watch BV ?
Dont get me wrong , Anurag is a good director. Repetitve, but talented. I always knew BV was set in this period, but expected Anurag to visualise it differently , not sure, but for generation that has seen Mr Bachchan do the same, not sure how much fun this will be……………
I wouldn’t really use that comparison though. It’s fair to say that Kashyap too quite often has that era on his mind. In a very twisted Tarantino kind of way. But he is an authentic filmmaker even if I think (and I’ve thought so for a long time) that he could really make a great film if he relaxed a bit! In other words his polemical edge often gets the better of him. To produce important works one also needs to have great discipline. And again BV might well be much better than the trailers. I just suspect it will be a very uneven film. And while Ranbir hasn’t worked at all for me in the trailer here too it’s possible that he’s been ‘directed’ this way. A kind of perverse, deadpan take on those iconic parts. It might still be a problematic performance or less than this but it might nonetheless be coming from a certain space.
This trailer is a classic example of the ‘problem’ with Bollywood, many of the issues some of us have highlighted here before. On the one hand an effective trailer, the song also works.. on the other hand this is not period Bombay as much as it is a period ‘American’ city with gangsters et al grafted onto Bombay. The reason this is an issue is because you immediately recognize lots of filmic codes imported from elsewhere. One has seen so many of these period American cities from NY to Chicago to LA in the movies (and increasingly on TV as well). Rather than Bombay coming to life then it is that more American template that does. Bombay starts belonging to that archive rather than indexing any difference in any sense. Much as Ranbir’s getup is itself the closest you get to a certain Italian gangster archetype. Now one might say that there is a certain homage being offered here precisely to many of those iconic movie moments or the same formal registers and that Bombay to this degree becomes in Kashyap’s imagining a pastiche of global cinema. Fair enough but I am suspicious of this move. Because it seems to submit to a very easy sort of colonization without any ‘native’ payoff. One could very easily imagine, and more authentically, an RGV world with those period contexts. But Kashyap has over time increasingly become (and disappointingly so) a ‘festival’ filmmaker. He’s simply too respectful of those registers. This doesn’t mean that his films aren’t worthwhile, just that they represent the Indian ‘chapters’ of this film festival global super bazaar. And that I’m afraid is not good enough for me.
Finally it is almost beside the point to suggest as some do here that at least it’s still better than 95% of Bollywood and that it will still be a good film or whatever. Because that’s changing the terms of debate. A filmmaker cannot be considered elite at one end and then ‘at least better than Salman Khan (!)’ when he disappoints.
This is the crux of the matter: “Bombay starts belonging to that archive rather than indexing any difference in any sense.” This is the essence of the colonized, an aesthetic reality so ersatz, and so naturally so, that one cannot even conceive of another mode, even when it has already happened (or Bombay’s own cinematic history)…
I found it to be a very evocative song although it does have some standard Hollywood period elements as Satyam said, especially the sepia-toned, noirish look. I just hope the film has a substantial story to tell. Otherwise it’s all flash and gloss signifying nothing.
Bombay has such a rich history as a city and as a film-city. It’s therefore all the more disappointing that one cannot get this more important archive from Kashyap. The amusing thing is that Bombay is also one of the ultimate colonial cities the further back one goes into the past. Really this entire mix is there for the taking and it could be used to ‘rethink’ so many of these contexts. Plus for the truly ambitious maker the global present could be examined through this prism. There are any number of options available. But like you I did like the song.
though I liked the song that’s one of the problems.. it doesn’t seem to belong to any era of Bombay.. but you also get to the heart of the matter with that example. There is simply no archive of Hindi cinema or the representations of Bombay within the same (which of course vary from period to period) which which these images might be connected. And here I think one of the problems might be that Kashyap too is simply not as much at home in these traditions as he ought to be. There is Dev Anand’s Bombay in the 50s, there is Bachchan’s in the 70s, to pick two key moments (in general the 70s is the great age of Bombay representation in Hindi cinema). The Bombay in this song doesn’t really remind you of those films despite relying on some of the same iconic sites.
Yeah, so far in Kashyap’s period Bombay we have fedoras but no dhotis, no fisherwomen, little that one would expect to see — essentially what we have is an airbrushed Bombay (we saw the same problem in other period pieces, like Guru)…
I’d disagree on Guru though.. here there was hardly any period Bombay in the film.. in fact this is one of the things I always regretted here.. for budget reasons perhaps but in any case there is really no iconic image of the city here. You have a Marine Dr moment but it’s again a brief moment and done in a section where Ratnam can again get away without period detail. Then there are street scenes elsewhere that are relatively nondescript, you see a few old cars and so on. Here if anything the problem is the opposite one. Bombay is in a way absent from the film. which again always disappointed me a bit. Ratnam though got away with it by keeping the film always rather intensely focused on the Guru character.
You are right there — I guess I was thinking of that Marine Drive scene when I made that point, but yes, perhaps it’s the wrong criticism since the Marine Drive moment is atypical in the film, not representative of it…
I think this may turn out to be a decent venture for Ranbir. Anurag Kashyp always comes up with innovative ideas and most of the time, he’s bang on target though falls a bit short at box office occasionally. Ranbir is doing exceptionally well as far as selection of films is concerned and he should keep it up.
I am now optimistic about this film. Good thing is that Ranbir manages to look and act different in every other films, one of those rare qualities. Anushka is currently riding high, so her presence is enhancing the commercial appeal. Karan is looking suave in his role. The main villain played by KK is looking and acting superb in whatever glimpses this new song gives.
Overall looks to be a clean HIT kind of deal.
Bombay over the years is so well preserved in older films as Satyam mentions. It’s a pity no film maker takes inspiration from there. In fact to create an older Bombay they need to show some features which don’t exist anymore like ‘kala ghoda’.
In this song of early 60s you see this kala ghoda at around 1:11. It is now in the museum. The song is from Son of India and one gets a good idea of Bombay of early 60s
Of course the Bombay of 70s is preserved in Amitabh’s fims but there was a parallel cinema then which showed Bombay very well too. A Bombay of ordinary simple people represented by Amol Palekar, Vidya Sinha, Deepti Nval, Farooq Sheikh.
This song gives glimpses of Bombay through the taxi windows. Very nice. Song is excellent too.
Rahman? I am not so sure. I bought I, Kaviyathalaivan and Haider at the same time. I did like I and Kaviyathalaivan. But I stoppped listening to them months back, while I listen to Hiader still, getting goose pimples with each of the songs. I bought the Oh Kadal Kanmani CD a couple of days back, but after about 4 listens I dont want to listen to it any more. I seriously think Mani and Rahman should take a break from each other and Mani should do film witha solid script without lip-synced songs. Only that way can he get his mojo back. ( As far as Rahman is concerned maybe Tamasha will resurrect him. It was only Rockstar where he showed some fresh sparks. ( And incidentally, that’s an album I still listen to in the car.)
actually just on the basis of Ok kanmani, kadal, I, kaviyathalaivan (probably forgetting one or two others.. Lingaa of course was run of the mill) Rahman once again confirms that he’s light years ahead of the competition. I will be even impolite enough to say that those who understand music (which includes every composer in TN or Bombay) will accept this down to the last man or woman (and many have as well). I don’t even see this as a debatable point.
Aren’t we all barking up the wrong tree? Whatever in the film gave anyone the idea that is is a ‘ realistic’ recreation of the Mumbai in the 70s? Isn’t it obvious that it is a creative re-imagining of that era . Just as Detective Byomkesh Bakshi was of the Calcutta of the 40s. Theswimming suit that Angooribala wore did not belong to that era. The music that we hear in DDB was not heard in the 40s. I am sure the directors are fully aware of it. It is quite clearly a conscious decision. And thank god for that. Old-school research-led painstakingly recreating the past is so passe…and so boring.
Utkal: my objection is precisely that it is NOT a “creative re-imagining”, but appears to be a wholesale (and Unthinking) importing of a New York/American gangster feel to a “Bombay of the past”. I am not asking for a Bombay “exactly as it was”, I am simply asking for something that could plausibly BE Bombay — rather than a B-grade version of something better I have seen elsewhere. I don’t see much creative about getting the Bombay gangsters to dress like Capone bad boys from the 1930s etc.; to me that’s the kind of laziness that we often accuse mainstream filmmakers of (“if it’s romance there’s got to be a song in the mountains or fields”; this is no different: “period gangsters must look like the ones we are familiar with from Hollywood DVDs”). Say what you will about Ram Gopal Verma, his aesthetics seemed more authentic than this. Heck, Kashyap himself — before he sold out — made “Black Friday”, and I have no idea how “authentic” that was, but that was visually compelling in the extreme.
And as for painstaking recreations of the past being passe, I beg to differ (“Mad Men” and “The Americans” are cases in point).
Q: Agreed completely, but I think you are being far too harsh when you say that Kashyap has “sold out”…I don’t think that’s the case. Bombay Velvet might not end up being a very good film, but I doubt it’s because Kashyap sold out. I mean had he “sold out”, he would have never made something as small-scale and gritty as “Ugly” right after he made the Wasseypur films. And I am quite certain Bombay Velvet is going to be a better film than what the trailers suggest.
It might be a ‘better’ film than that, it might even be pretty alright even otherwise but again what’s the bar here? It seems to me that we keep congratulating significant talents for making decent stuff. For someone like Kashyap there has to be higher standard. Also I’d reframe the sellout point this way — isn’t it already beside the point if Kashyap makes an ambitious period Bombay film only to give us stock Hollywood period and genre images and ‘iconic’ moments that reference a wholly ‘un-Bombay’ (which is to say a set of registers more ‘native’) archive? And the irony here is that the ‘colonial’ is already implicated in this more native archive. We’ve had at every moment the same interplay with other registers but the mix ultimately has been decidedly singular. That’s not what one sees in this case.
Yes, but shouldn’t those higher standards also apply to someone like Rathnam. I don’t see anything special in Ok Kanmani for instance, Rathnam says it’s a lightweight romance done nicely…Imtiaz Ali debut was also very enjoyable lightweight rom-com (Socha Na Tha)…not comparing Rathnam with Imtiaz Ali,, just saying that it is not necessary that every Rathnam film would always be better than… say an Imtiaz film (I haven’t seen it yet, but I don’t think Ok Kanmani would be better than Socha Na Tha). But anyway, if we consider your objections regarding Bombay Velvet, by what standards should we be congratulating Rathnam for making his recent film!
yes they do apply to ratnam too. I’d be stunned if Ok kanmani weren’t better than Socha na tha based on whatever I’ve read on the film including the Rangan piece. But do get to the larger point the issue isn’t about directors tackling genre films or doing something less ambitious. I was never under the illusion that (and much as I adore the film) AP was comparable too Iruvar or something! But the director here is clearly tackling a less ambitious genre, for commercial reasons or whatever. The question then ought to be about whether within that framework such a director can manage to be more interesting. I think that is true for AP. To my mind no Bombay youth romance or even loosely within that genre is as good as AP (since the release of that film that is..). Rangan pointed out the youth romance portion of AE the other day and I quite agree. For instance that tram scene in Yuva is wonderful with the song playing in the background and so on. A great director even doing genre has these little touches. This again does not mean that a film like AP becomes ‘important’. But even great directors don’t always have to make important films. The Kashyap analogy here that holds is that of Dev D. A film that I like a lot. Here you see Kashyap tackling a certain genre with a twist. From the subversive handling of the romance to the visual values on display you get a very interesting mix. But the bar is higher when its Wasseypur. The same for Ratnam. That Kashyap can shoot a film well is not in question, that he can offer homage in all sorts of ways also isn’t in doubt, that he can create interesting moments in a film is also something one can accept. But BV is surely intended to be more than this? Again I quite liked Ugly (though I suspect this entire mix also owes something to an ‘outside’ source.. recently an Italian movie released that seemed to have this sort of thing, can’t recall the name.. Kashyap possibly made his film before this but it’s again the sort of conceit that is seen elsewhere.. though I don’t hold this against it), it was ‘lumbering’ in certain ways but still it worked for me overall. Getting back to ratnam if you recall I was never that big on this film throughout its production but watching the trailer and then reading Rangan’s review convinces me that he’s still upto making a fresh youth romance. I like the fact that he’s doing it on Bombay as well. Do I still wish he’d done something else? Sure! I’m not confused about this. I personally doubt it will be as interesting as Kadal but I know it will be fine on its own. Which is something I doubt for BV. If I’m wrong I’d be even happier because I’d love to see a good period film in Bombay. But I’m someone who’s liked pretty much everything Kashyap has done at one level or the other with the exception of Girl with yellow boots (it’s fine as a film, it’s also a clone of film festival products), GoW (impressive at certain levels but vastly more about missed opportunities to my mind). And now there’s BV. My own sense is that this large scale thing doesn’t quite work well with Kashyap’s instincts that are much more suited for the Ugly kind of deal.
glad you said this Q.. and I’m quite surprised that Utkal could read some of the comments and think anyone was looking for a ‘realistic’ re-creation of things. of course having seen many such fine efforts from Hollywood and elsewhere I’m not quite sure why one would have a problem even here!
Qalandar: I kind of stand by both my comments. First. I have no problem with the details not being true to the way things were then. I do not care if all the singers sang with a nasal twang or not , or even whether they had cabaret bars like this or not. I find Mohabbat Buri Bimari interesting. I also agree with you about the American gangster costumes. I DO NOT find that interesting. So what i am saying is that I will be judging it as a piece of ‘ creative re-imagining’ . And it will fail with me if it’s quality of imagining is poor. It looked that way after the initial trailer. But after these two songs it is fifty-fifty for me, and I will take the final call only after seeing the film. To Kashyap I will grant that much.
The songs makes the movie more interesting..imo did better job than the trailer…although for majority of audience who love Pritam kind of music will snooze on this…but then dark, broody or kashyap films have rarely done well at boxoffice..i don’t expect any different result this time as well
He is playing himself in a way (gay man). Also trailers can be slickly cut to make anyone look good for few seconds. If I am not mistaken, Kjo will over-act though lets see what kashyap has done with him.
I think Johar is doing it in a certain masala way. He’s relying on that sort of gesturality. A certain kind of negative character if not outright villain, somewhat sinister or what have you. And he seems to be enjoying it too. A certain villain who’s always gloating and always has that self-congratulatory air. All of this works here, at least if the trailers are anything to go by. Ranbir is meanwhile operating in a totally different mode. A much more realist vein even if he too is relying on a certain iconic history. But this might constitute the tension in Kashyap’s film. The two modes don’t easily mix. You can do one kind of movie if you mythologize Bombay and then have larger-than-life characters and/or situations in this space. But then there’s another kind where the city’s past is simply one more bit of authentic narrative detail. In this case you cannot really do larger-than-life. If you juxtapose the Godfather with Scarface (De Palma) there is a downsizing that takes place in every sense from the former to the latter. or in something like Boardwalk Empire you don’t suddenly get grand characters with that sort o gesturally. Everything has to be more compressed along the same ‘realistic’ registers. Closer to home if you’re doing Satya you can’t suddenly have Vijay in it but nor can you have Madan Puri. But this is again where one has to think about these things seriously. Satya could not be made in period Bombay. why? Not because there weren’t petty gangsters in the 50s or 60s (though the larger archive Satya relies on came about later) but for the reason that the mythology of the city would immediately get in the way the moment a director tried to do this. In other words how would one evoke period Bombay without calling attention to it? Put differently the Deewar universe is an essentially mythologized one. It depends on the iconic portions of the city as much as the Vijay ‘mythos’. Both are equally part of the film’s texture. But Satya on the other hand relies on a deconstruction of the same. In a Scorsese film you don’t get ‘iconic’ NY, at least in the important 70s work. You get something else. Similarly the Deewar option isn’t available to RGV. If he incorporated those shots his film would immediately start seeming more epic and would distract from his world (the rest of it).
Now Kashyap of course is going in for that epic deal. Period Bombay here is the point in many ways. But he’s then populating it with characters and situations and filmic codes that are not necessarily ‘of’ this world. How does Hollywood do it? Well for one Hollywood has a certain history in this sense, a whole set of representations of NY or LA or Chicago, a history then to feed on. But Kashyap forecloses this path when he doesn’t take on the film tradition associated with Bombay or the ways in which Bombay has been represented in different ages. Moreover, and as I just pointed out, Hollywood eschews that iconic option when it’s about Scorsese or similar examples. Notice along the same lines how when Scorsese does the opposite in something like the Aviator he doesn’t suddenly have moments that belong to Mean Streets! Specially when doing period evocations one has to be very conscious of what archive one is depending on and what the consequences might be.
After a clip featuring actress Radhika Apte was circulated on WhatsApp over the weekend, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has filed a First Information Report or FIR against ‘persons unknown’ with the Cyber Crime branch of the Mumbai police. The clip, which Mr Kashyap says has been taken out of context, features actress Radhika Apte in a scene that required her to be partly-nude. (Also Read: Nude Clip of Radhika Apte Goes Viral, Anurag Kashyap ‘Feels Responsible’)
In an interview to the Times Of India, Mr Kashyap explained that the clip was from a short film that he directed as one in a series of shorts. He said, “”It took us so much time to do it in a non-sexual way, as it is meant to be absolutely non-sexual and we took all the care we could. It was not easy to find an actor who is brave enough to participate in it. The entire shooting crew was women as we knew that we were making something as sensitive as this. And there were girls at every stage of the post-production. At every stage of the post-production, that part was either sent blank or pixelated before being sent. So, nobody even knew who is a part of the film. And everybody assumes that since it is an Indian film, it will always be pixelated. After taking all the care, the film was delivered to New York a month back. And then, all of a sudden after a month from nowhere, this video popped up online.”
The Bombay Velvet director also said he’s ‘going to spend the rest of (his) life to find this guy,’ who he appears to be convinced is an Indian living in New York: “It has to be some Indian guy there, otherwise other material from other sources that is much more sexual is available to the West and something like this does not get them excited.”
Radhika Apte, who Mr Kashyap describes as ‘one of the bravest actresses we have’ and ‘forward thinking,’ last appeared in Hunterrr, produced by Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films. She also co-starred with Varun Dhawan and Hum Qureshi in the widely praised Badlapur.
I’ve liked both of the recent longer trailers more than the first one though my objections remain to this ‘representation’ (which is not to say it cannot be a worthwhile film otherwise). Anushka is very seriously miscast though and Ranbir has been quite flat in all the previews.
I think Anurag Kashyap’s intention here was to make a true blue noir-gangster film, and integrate it within the Bombay history/framework. It’s an interesting experiment, and I feel any film lover should support works like these.
I cannot think of a single big budget film in the last several years which is not box-office driven, and has been made with this much thought.
The ‘integration’ is not appearing seamless for me. The ‘American Gangster’ look and feel is far more dominating here than the parallel history of Bombay itself. Kay-Kay Menon with a hat, pristinely ironed half-shirt, and and tie to-boot is far away from the Bombay of yore and nearer to Capone’s Chicago. Pole-dancing? I am getting over-whelmed here by BOARDWALK EMPIRE rather than Bombay and the glorious history of mills. Besides, I don’t see a single shot in the previews that tugs at your heart-strings with iconic Bombay locations, be they the beaches, or be they the Asiatic Society.
More than ‘creative re-imagining’, what I am seeing here is ‘creative dislocation’ from Chicago to Bombay..
All fair points, and I don’t disagree at all. But perhaps Anurag has not attempted a realistic evocation of Bombay (unlike Gangs of Wasseypur), but just tried to satisfied his yearnings to make a noir film with sleazy journalists, blackmailing schemes, and a not-so-upright protagonist. Just trying to understand his choices, not defend them.
Actually, for all its realistic desi language and setting, even Gangs of Wasseypur was very much inspired by Tarantino’s cinema with oodles of macabre humor, and endless non-sequitur. But I guess the transition was more seamless here.
I don’t think the problem is realism though. In any case I’d never judge a film of this sort through that prism. It is whether this Bombay representation can be linked to any we have seen before or imagined before. Now there might be a certain multiplex desire to precisely see Bombay as Chicago. Much as there is a desire to see the Indian as global exactly in a Hollywood sense (Dhoom or Players or whatever). But at least those were escapist films that didn’t necessarily have to be taken very seriously (this decision was still problematic). So I’m not saying this is a box office problem. In fact the ‘bold’ thing ironically enough might have been to make the film in another way and not feed this obvious multiplex (colonized) desire to see India as simply as image of Western models (something we see in other areas too).
On GoW I was never big on this one. Again won’t repeat everything I said in a piece at the time but this is the other side of BV. It too feeds the same multiplex desire and imagines the heartland in fairly ‘acceptable’ (for the multiplexes) fashion and as basically a site where bourgeois sensibilities can be shocked (women swear and have sex, men kill at the drop of a hat…). You essentially have an elemental man representation that is enormously problematic. Now of course this too happens in commercial films all the time. One just expects better from Kashyap. But again I’m not saying BV cannot be an engaging film otherwise.
But I’d say it’s American gangland history masquerading as Bombay history or American gangster archives grafted onto Bombay. I won’t repeat everything I’ve said in the longer comment earlier in this thread but I don’t have doubts that the film has been made with care. I am just supremely unmoved by a venture that precisely does not give me what it promises. And I’d say that the people who’ve liked this trailer also cannot relate it to the iconic Bombay representations of the past though they might like it for this very reason — that the city in this film becomes much more ‘recognizable’ in that ‘American’ or ‘globalist’ vein. And so shouldn’t one question even the ‘care’ that has been put into it in this sense? It’s also not the case that one cannot do a auteurist representation of Bombay without referencing these archives. I’m not being tough not he film but it must be questioned on the terms it sets out for itself.
By the way Mangal Pandey was made with a lot of care. every detail here was accurate though it surprised some people (a brothel serving only the British for example). Again not arguing for the film’s realism but it was a true effort. And the latter is always a greater virtue in my book than the former.
The landing cost of the movie is 120 crores. If the movie makes 100 crores it will be a disaster. It needs something around 170 crores to be a clean hit if my information is correct. To put this in perspective, the production cost of HNY was 90 crores and people here were giving me lot of flak for calling it a hit when it made 180 crores. I hope BV does well but it will be nothing short of a miracle with Anurag Kashyap’s zero track record. All hopes on Ranbir here…
yes but that’s not a reasonable way of measuring the success or failure of BV. In other words the economics of BV might be ‘impossible’. But that doesn’t mean it cannot be a success with the audience. This is the opposite of the usual scenario where films open massively and then fizzle out. Clearly the audience hasn’t liked them very much. I’m not saying that the economics doesn’t mean anything but in certain cases a film will always lose money even if it is liked by the audience (in other cases even big totals flatter to deceive). In other words there is no way to create period Bombay without spending a lot of money and then if you don’t make a completely regular film you can’t recover that sort of budget (again I don’t know what the actual budget is.. as always I am a bit skeptical when films like BV end up costing vastly more than films like HNY.. now I can see how that could be true at a somewhat obvious level but then films like HNY spend massively on advertising and so on..). let’s say BV opens at 40-60 crores for the week and does 80-120 crores. That’s a clean hit with the audience in terms of trending, specially going by today’s standards. But it still might be a loss otherwise (and I;m not saying this doesn’t have consequences for the director..JA trended well enough but was still overall a loss for UTV). All I’m saying is that this sort of film is sometimes in an ‘odd’ situation. Of course Kashyap has never attempted anything remotely like this in terms of scale of production or star cast. And so it’s hard to say how much he can get commercially. This film could be a total white elephant. He’ll certainly get the initial here, the rest remains to be seen.
Gangs of Wasseypur was far more deeply rooted in Indian folk and popular tradition than any film in recent times. Unlike what some people like Satyam and Rangan think, the Indian poular culture did not start and end with the 70’s masala cinema. ‘women swear and have sex, men kill at the drop of a hat’ is not a Hollywood invention ( Surely people have read Marquez, Borges, Ismat Chugtai and Manto). It is an insult to people like Piyush Mishra to say that it reflects a ‘ globalized ‘ view of India. Songs like ‘ Ek bagal mein roti, aur ek bagal mein chand’ is located squarely in the IPTA tradition. ‘Taar bijli se patley, humaare piya…O ri saasu bata tuney yeh kya biya…’ is straight out of our folk ribladry, as is ‘ Badle rupaiya ke dena chavaniyaa… Saiyyan ji jhaptte, to hona hiraniya…Oh Womaniya”. The lingustic invention and playfulness of thrse as well as songs like ‘ Frustiyaao nahin moora, Narbhasaao nahin moora,
Anytime moodwa ko,Anytime moodwa ko,Upsettaao nahin moora.’ is unparalleled in Indian cinema. THe only similar thrill I can recollect getting is while reading Anthony Burges’s Clockwork Orange with all the inventive gangster slang words. The concept of characters like Tangent and ‘ Main Trishulks Amitabh Bachchan” are all rooted in Indian folk story telling ( Which Kashyap further explored in the Bachchan story in Bombay Talkies. The biggest stylistic influence of GOW was Kamal Swaroop’s Om-Dar-Badar which was steeped in India mythologyl and folk allusions. But obviously you are going to miss all this if your reference points are only 70’s Bollywood.
since my claims in this context do not bear the slightest resemblance to your characterization I will simply reference my GoW piece once again. You just have a series of straw men in your comment. Neither I nor Rangan has said any such absurd thing. But then I suppose I’d choose this characterization of yours over one that sees Dostoevsky in Dhoom 3.
Let me quote from Rangan’s review of Kick to show what I mean: ” The difference between Dabangg and Kick is also the difference between India and Poland. Masala movies are essentially warm movies. They need the spice of colours like red and yellow. They need the heat from numbers like Munni badnaam hui and Aare pritam pyaare. They need to be peppered with moving parent-child scenes, piquant romantic stretches, epic hero-villain showdowns. Late into Kick, we get a sequence that unfolds during a charity ball. What self-respecting masala movie goes to a charity ball? Why not situate the same scene in a mela?” A mela? Just because itw as done in the 70’s? Come on, the world has moved on. The mela of 70s can be a charity ball in 2014. That’s what I mean…getting stuck in a time wrap..somehow thinking that Munni Badnaam Hui and Preetam Pyare is masala and ‘Tere bina kick mujhe milti nahin’ or ‘ Jumma ki raat hai’ is not.
there is nothing confusing about this comment at all. It’s crystal clear. Rangan is describing masala and also illustrating how contemporary masala might be lacking in certain ways. He’s sticking to the very same genre. He’s hardly saying that to be rooted you must do it like 70s masala. Secondly every weak film cannot be defended by abstractions like ‘evolution’ and what not. Rangan’s making a very precise point here. He’s arguing for why those very features belong integrally to the masala universe. And I’d agree. I haven’t seen any contemporary manifestation of masala that represents any significant advance over the greatest examples of the 70s and a bit beyond. Yes they are sometimes better in other ways, technically and so on (though even here I wouldn’t generalize), but they do not ‘think’ masala any better for all that. Barring rare exceptions and all of them belong to Tamil cinema. But again it’s not about the elements (mela or otherwise) but what these were tropes for within that masala universe. One can rethink that terrain for sure but one can’t just produce weak recycling of masala and call it evolution. From Ratnam’s Thalapathy to some of RGV’s efforts to Shankar’s mega-productions to some more downsized Tamil ones there have been these attempts. But whether even these represent a genuine new thinking of masala remains questionable.
Where did I say I found the comments confusing, I only found them ridiculous. You cannot shoot a masala film in Poland? And you have to shoot a caper scene in a mela today? And not a charity ball? And you are telling me you ate not stuck in a time wrap?
It’s like many people I hear saying there can be no singer like Mohammad Rafi…forgetting that they feel that way because they heard Rafi when they were teenagers. Their parents felt the same way about KL Saigal and their children felt the same way about Kishore Kumar …
Here’s the slippage in your argument. It’s true that generational prejudice often prevents people from judging important talents. But the reverse does not follow. Just because people have these attitudes doesn’t mean that there are actually important talents in every single age. So Rafi or Kishore or Lata or Asha is one thing, however if someone wanted to say that there are talents comparable to those names or have been over the last 20 years and we just don’t see it I’d say they don’t know what they’re talking about. The same goes for music more generally in the context of Hindi cinema.
It might make one terribly insecure that no dramatist since Shakespeare has been as great but that doesn’t mean we start nominating lesser figures for the honor! In Japan no director over the last 40-50 years (and one can argue about this to some extent) has been able to rival the accomplishments of the generation preceding this period. There are good films being made, there are interesting voices but the great riches of an earlier age have simply not been equaled. There are any number of reasons why these renaissance moments occur but the point again is that all ages are not created equal. One simply has to live with this fact of life. Just pretending that things are different and that no one’s appreciating the new or whatever doesn’t get one very far. And it’s a denial in any case of all of human history in the arts. It would be quite absurd to suggest that the West has had a Shakespeare in every century! What would even a word like ‘renaissance’ mean if it were happening all over the place?!
In Bombay cinema similarly a great popular cinema that began in the late 40s or early 50s more or less expired in the early 80s. Bachchan bookends it in this sense. What we’ve had since has been designer cinema which is about consumption more than anything else. There are still some interesting films being made (though most of these are still good ideas poorly developed) but these are exceptions. By and large it isn’t a serious industry (for all its self-congratulation). Now I wouldn’t say this for Tamil cinema. I think this industry entered its best period precisely around the time of Hindi cinema’s decline. Even now they make the best commercial films.
And again there’s nothing odd about this point. everyone considers this a golden age of American TV. Obviously no one felt this in the 80s. People think Hollywood was great in the 70s in ways in which it has not been for quite some time. Unfortunately we don’t have the critical culture in India to truly enlighten people on this stuff. everyone just keeps mindlessly celebrating a lot of the stuff that comes out of Bollywood. The truly authentic is on the other hand criticized. Somewhere between this and diaspora politics we’ve convinced ourself that we’re doing important stuff. It’s just a rather bankrupt industry and unfortunately this bankruptcy is more often revealed on its stronger days than its weaker ones.
Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet is one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2015 and the ace filmmaker has spared no efforts for this one. Reportedly, Bombay Velvet is Kashyap’s most expensive film by far. The film set is extravagant and apparently took 11 months to construct. According to a report on Dnaindia.com, since the film depicts Bombay of the 1960s, the whole set was created in such a way that it resembled that era. Not only that, the entire city was recreated on 9.5 acres of land and the set of Bombay Velvet was created in Sri Lanka. Further to reports, the buildings, their interiors, the roads and even signage and decor matched the 60s.
The more I watch the trailers, the more I feel convinced that Kashyap has taken heavy inspiration from Tarantino’s period films off-late. The backdrop is of a bygone era but has the feel and grammar of popular movie culture. The blast off the hotel window in these trailers reminds me of how the entire movie theatre was blown up in Basterds.
The Censor Board of Film Certification has refused to pass Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet with an ‘U/A’ certificate citing reasons that its content is more suited for adult viewing. A source has been quoted in the report as saying that, “The Board asked for several cuts, including the deletion of certain cuss words like `son of a bitch’. They also wanted some violent sequences toned down.” However, with almost Rs 100 crore riding on the Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma starrer, an ‘A’ certification can limit its reach, hit collections and make recovery on the investment difficult. The filmmakers will challenge the Board’s decision by taking the film to the Revising Committee. Confirming this, Anurag was quoted as saying that, “There is absolutely nothing in the film that warrants an ‘A’ certificate. We are going to Revising Committee.” He further added, “I have more faith in the CBFC’s Revising Committee. Let’s see how it goes.”
I think it’s going to be a cult classic with RK winning all major awards. BO seems to be dicey.
Kashyap in a TV interview told that he showed this movie to Martin Scorsese. He liked the film but suggested few editing to be done and asked his editors to work with Kashyap on it. This delayed the film and on Martin’s advise Kashyap reshot few scenes.
This grew my interest in the movie. I am assured that this will be a delight to watch now – a never seen before gangster’s love story. Usually not a favourite BO genre, but has potential to be loved by its target audience.
There is a JA kind of scenario available here. It doesn’t just have to be an absolute success or a total failure. A film finds its audience but which is not big enough to justify those massive production costs. But it’s also something the media likes. You combine the two and the film can be painted as some sort of success and get the awards. Of course no film that doesn’t do anything at the box office is ever awarded by Bollywood. Unless it’s an offbeat sort of film in a ‘critical’ category.
But Ranbir doesn’t sound confident in any of the interviews I’ve seen. Not that this is something definitive. Plenty of films surprise at the box office. It’s just that with Kashyap given his instincts as director this bridge is a wide one to build. Despite all my reservations about what is being attempted here I’d overall want the film to succeed. Because it is a genuine attempt one way or the other. On the other hand Dil Dhadakne Do is almost certainly going to be a success and it makes me queasy!
Ranbir talked about negativity surrounding the film and this very source (he gave the interview to) put up this sort of story recently!
by Box Office India (April 25, 2015)
This film is in the making for a very long time. A lot has been spoken about the film, it’s director, actor and production house. Initially it was supposed to be backed by another producer who backed out at the last moment and then the other production house stepped in without realising what budget they are putting in. Now that the film is made, it seems like no one is very happy about it, even the director himself. Reason: The film is on the verge of releasing and the song videos are getting edited at the last moment, the music of the film didn’t turn out the way it was expected. And everyone in the production team is working round the clock to finish the editing of the film. We also hear the director has decided to stick to the earlier kind of cinema he made.
well I certainly don’t want him to fail. Whatever my criticisms of Kashyap’s career path might be he’s certainly one of the important talents out there. Whether he has a cult following or not, encouraged by him or not, is a different matter. But he’s a strong filmmaker for sure. Of course missteps are a part of the business and in fairness the problem always is that the transition from one kind of cinema to another is always hard. Specially so when it’s someone like Kashyap because people will never really give you that kind of money to make big films and if they do they’ll spoil things in other ways. Not that the directors are necessarily blameless in this sense. It’s easy to keep blaming the system, it is after all rotten in many ways (though everywhere..), you have to make compromises in certain ways. But it’s better to make more strategic compromises rather than those that destabilize your very vision. Because such a compromise is always deceptive. If you take certain actors or do certain things you might be granted a bigger budget but then expectations also change for the same reason. Take something like Piku. Obviously a far smaller risk. But it;s hardly obvious here that Irrfan should be doing the role he has. It would be easy to take a star here. But the film would be much less if that happened. Because Irrfan’s casting is unusual for this sort of film and it works in a major way. So there’s no free ride. No one’s going to give you a 100 crores with Nawaz in the lead. That’s just a fact of life. But can you possibly do something in between before you graduate to such a truly big project? That’s a question to be asked. The other is: can you compromise completely on your instincts as a director to make that sort of big project completely audience-friendly. I suspect that with Kashyap the answer to this is negative. But if all these things are true together you’re likely to have a misfire. Again my own criticism of Kashyap assumes that he’s an important talent. I have never changed my mind about this. But I do believe he needs to be a better thinker of his own career and instincts. And I accept that this is hard for anyone to do in the midst of things. It’s not just the commercial stars who have this problem! There are so many good directors who lose their way because they are unable to answer such a self-questionnaire clearly! But I certainly wish him the best on this film. Hope it’s a success so that he has more options going forward not less. Which is something I’ve consistently maintained on actors and directors whose work I value. whatever the politics surrounding such a director or actor, whether the problems are self-created or not, one should want such voices to survive or even flourish. Because otherwise there’s just simply bankruptcy.
I too liked Black Friday, GOW-1 and loved DevD
My main problem with Kashyap is that he and his out of work Bhakts constantly bithched and moaned about the Hindi Commercial Cinema and always swore by hard to pronounce names directors…
End mei kya hua? sab saaley wohee kar rahen hain ab , then what ??
It’s easy to criticize Ghai, Manoj Kumar, Rakesh Roshan etc. ( coz. they cater to Single screens)
These bhakts do not have the balls to take on Karan Johar or the Studios or the Elgliss speaking film makers !!
The thing is any position must be sincerely held. otherwise the inconsistencies show up sooner or later. Johar in a Kashyap film? Even if he looks to be the scene-stealer let’s say there’s been some hypocrisy on both sides!
Some of those concerns, related to big and small films are answered here by Anurag Kashyap.
Q: What has the experience been like to jump from smaller budget to a big budget film? What’s the biggest difference?
AK: A big film has more democracy in the edit room than a small film. A small film will be completely yours. A big film has to go through a lot of process of simplifying it, to have a wider reach, having a U/A certificate etc. The higher the stakes, the lesser the freedom. Although I have had more freedom as compared to other filmmakers who shifted from small to big. On the other hand, the general bigger budget filmmakers are more free, because they are very clear about catering to the larger masses. With me there is a lot of confusion and vagueness, whether I’m trying to reach out or I’m trying to cater to the niche – so in that way I’m under a lot more scrutiny than most people.
Q: Since you said the film was made more mainstream and simplified, was the original script more complex than the finished version?
AK: The idea was much more complicated. Originally it had a lot to do with the land, and the politics of the land. It was like a Francesco Rosi film made with the budget of a Spielberg film, which was not feasible at all. So we had to find the right balance somewhere without losing the essence of the idea. We had to fictionalize the story and decide what to retain and what not to, and ultimately make a film that leaves hints and provokes discussions.
‘Even if he looks to be the scene-stealer let’s say there’s been some hypocrisy on both sides!’ I don’t see why it should be so. Johar and Kshyap collaborated on Mumbai Matinee and they both came up with fine episodes which were different from each other but fitted in with the flow of the film.
yes that’s where the hypocrisy began.. It’s not that two such figures cannot come together but not after polemicizing against each other forever! Then it’s a ‘I misunderstood Johar’ kind of ‘confession’ later! Yeah right! But the hypocrisy doesn’t end here. Because if you’ve been routinely criticizing Bollywood for a certain kind of systematic nepotism and influence-peddling and for supporting the worst films and what not, and entire litany.. well Johar is ultimate symbol of all these things. If you now suddenly find him acceptable you are really accepting that larger framework as well. On Johar I wouldn’t say much because I start with zero expectations where he’s concerned! Having said that of late and given what the likes of Zoya Akhtar subject one two I actually have developed some sympathy for his 90s paradigm. I haven’t forgotten what I’ve said in the past about all this and still stand by it. However at least Johar wasn’t pretending (at the time certainly). But with Zoya Akhtar and others of her ilk you get the same sort of cinema at its core which though pretends to be progressive or auteurist or whatever. And this is why it’s lapped up too. It gives you the veneer of difference without ever really going all the way. This is why Piku even within its more limited framework seems so much better. It indulges in some gestures which one would never find in a Zoya Akhtar film. These are bourgeois types to their core. They are simply the privileged sort who’ve never known any world outside their 5 Bandra streets. When they step out of this comfort zone they are quite literally in Venice or some place! They bypass ‘India’ in every other sense. Their entire filmmaking reflects this. And they of course have many in multiplex India who share these aspirations. Which is fine. But there’s such a conceited sense of self they also have. They really think they’re making something important here. ZNMD was a perfectly enjoyable film and Dil… might be the same. But otherwise ZNMD had an appalling mediocrity at its heart. At least Johar didn’t pretend it was otherwise in KKHH!
“But with Zoya Akhtar and others of her ilk you get the same sort of cinema at its core which though pretends to be progressive or auteurist or whatever. ”
Don’t have issue with johar as much as with zoya. Karan at least is honest and is his own best critic. don’t have issue with AK sleeping with ‘enemies’. Bachchan does that all the time 😉 Industry mai chalta hai. AK with so much angst caused himself acidity and divorce. It is better to take it lightly and let synergies flow.
which is why I’ve taken issue with Bachchan a million times in the past. Wouldn’t go so far as to call Johar his own best critic. That would be keeping him too much credit. Nor do I have a problem in sleeping with the enemies as you put it. But Kashyap I think went quite far in his polemics with respect to Bollywood to now be able to walk it back. After arguing for years and years against nepotism who’s his lead? Yeah.. ’nuff said!
Of course in fairness to him try picking a star in Bollywood who’s not from a film family. Maybe one or two options! No option probably if you want some kind of star and serious actor. Unless you think Ranvir Singh is a shining talent which I don’t (happily)! But there have always been too problems with Kashyap’s position in this sense. First of all because there’s nepotism it does not follow that those who come up this way are all poor actors or stars. But secondly regrettable though this nepotism is it is one that is perversely democratic! Even Tiger Shroff gets a better initial than someone who doesn’t belong to the industry. The audience is just more interested in genes! It’s not as if no one is interested in star-kids but producers are forcing them on audiences. That’s one thing.
But leaving this aside to the extent that most in New India also take this position they’re hypocritical too. why? New India first of all behaves suspiciously like Old India. From Azim premji to Narayana Murthy guess who’s they’ve placed either as direct heirs on on boards to more or less succeed them?! Aren’t they the ultimate New India representatives? So even as the audience pretends to hate nepotism they show up for precisely those films that point to the same nepotism! And their own generational icons have done exactly what the old industrial houses did for so long.
But here there’s a certain move afoot. By being harsher on Rahul Gandhi or Abhishek Bachchan you take care of your ‘guilt’ in this matter and then freely indulge in all the other privileged progeny! Or you indulge in fake arguments about how it’s about one star kid being more deserving than another. I’m reminded of that moment in Deewar when Shashi Kapor is interviewing, suddenly the other guy gets a call, says he’s hired his brother-in-law because the guy is deserving. This seems laughable but this is precisely the logic many in New India follow. Hrithik’s ok because he deserves to be there, not Abhishek (even accepting these terms which I of course don’t). In Deewar’s terms Shashi shouldn’t complain if the brother-in-law is in actuality a talented guy!
Now I will add an aside here. The problem people actually have with Abhishek or Rahul is not that they are ultimate heirs but they don’t acts as heirs enough! In other words no one had a problem with Rahul when he was winning (girls would shout out his name in colleges and so on) or Abhishek when he was going through a hot phase. So no one has an issue if an ultimate heir is seen as winning in an ultimate sense. It’s only when this doesn’t happen for whatever reason that the rage comes out. Which gets manifested in a certain hypocritical way but at its core it is exactly the opposite.
As a deeper matter though even this bourgeois obsession with nepotism should be questioned. Again first of all on hypocritical grounds. people are quite happy being nepotistic or using every last of influence in their own lives (jobs, colleges, housing authorities, troubles with the law et al), they only resent it when the super-privileged do the same. But the distance between the guy who goes to the bathroom on a garbage dump every night and the ‘ordinary’ person who just uses nepotism or influence to get a decent job is far greater than the one between the latter and the super privileged. It’s just that ‘regular’ people pretend that theirs is the most normal state of ordinariness while real poverty is simply abnormal and needn’t be counted. In the other direction they have no privileges while those above them do. Now of course people do struggle a lot in very basic ways in the in-between classes but they have no greater principles when it comes to these matters of nepotism and so on.
Finally and in the same vein there’s so much that is accidental in life. The very fact that one is born in a certain family where one can take certain privileges of education and class and so on for granted (to even come up the hard way you have to be minimally someone from a certain background.. otherwise you still can but the chances of doing so are like winning a huge lottery or something). is already a lot of advantage to start with. So that luck doesn’t begin only if one is a movie star’s son.
‘ZNMD was a perfectly enjoyable film and Dil… might be the same.’ I will be more than happy if it is. After a hard day’s work, a perfectly enjoyable film is not something I will sneeze at. And I guess there are many like me who won’t.
I think you are mis-reading poor Utkalji’s comment. “After a hard day’s work, a perfectly enjoyable film is not something I will sneeze at”. He means after his hard day at his office, he is ok relaxing with ZNMD. You should be ok with that too 😉
but that’s not what my comment is about at all. And with all due respect I have little patience for this move whereby a proper argument about a film is converted into ‘poor me, I work so hard, those mean people won’t let me enjoy my guilty pleasures’! That is NOT what my comment is about. And I still think no one can beat me when it comes to enjoying guilty pleasures by the droves so it would be quite absurd for me to argue otherwise.
I enjoyed Deewar and Trishul tremendously after a hard day’s work. Any clip from the films gives me tremendous enjoyment. I have watched Haider , the second and the third time, hurrying to the theatre on working days to catch the discounted rates in the multiplex on Tuesdays. Why but for the enjoyment the film offers me?
Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma have been paired for the first time in Bombay Velvet! Ranbir plays the character of Johnny Balraj, who is passionately and obsessively in love with Rosie Noronha (played by Anushka). The dramatic twist in the tale is that Rosie has been sent to the Bombay Velvet club (managed by Johnny and owned by Kaizad Khambatta – played by Karan Johar) to find a negative that holds the evidence to a deadly crime committed by Johnny and Khambatta. As Rosie gets to know Johnny, she falls for him. As their romance blooms, Rosie’s mysterious past seem to haunt her present. What will be the final outcome? That’s what Bombay Velvet is all about.
Few films have the ability to get your attention right from the opening shot. In Bombay Velvet, Anurag Kashyap — jumping from a mid-budget-indie scale to no-holds-barred mainstream mode — does this exceptionally well. As the opening credits roll, a nostalgic surprise from the ‘90s greets you against the backdrop of Amit Trivedi’s jazz score, and the world of Bombay Velvet becomes yours before you can blink. The atmosphere is intoxicating; the sets, costumes and scope are far beyond anything done so far in Bollywood.
The film is supposed to borrow from Gyan Prakash’s book, Mumbai Fables, which is a look at the city’s recent history. But Bombay Velvet is no historical sermon. It’s a love story, pure and simple. Ranbir Kapoor is Johnny Balraj, a boxer turned mobster. It’s a showy role and he looks great in a boxing vest. He also looks extremely cool as he chats up Rosie, the girl of his dreams, played by an equally attractive Anushka Sharma.
Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in Bombay Velvet. Image from Facebook.
She croons velvet on stage, he woos her with his eyes and smile. When Anuskha beautifully lip syncs to “Dhadaam Dhadaam”, it’s paisa vasool date movie stuff, hyper romanticized. Sharma and Kapoor make a great couple – convincingly and deeply in love, even when the girl smashes furniture on the guy. It’s been a while since we saw an on screen romantic couple to root for in a Hindi film. This duo’s chemistry is a breath of fresh air.
anbir Kapoor has delivered one of his career’s best performances in BOMBAY VELVET. There is a crazy energy around his madness that gets you hooked from start to finish. In spite of his roguish ways, there is an impetuous innocence in him that strikes you as an audience. The relentless attempts to rise from being a mere thug (laughed off by his masters) to almost-being a ‘big shot’ has a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull intensity that carves a place in your heart-n-mind. Anushka Sharma, on the other hand, looks beautiful and delectably sensuous. She manages to say a lot through her silences and deep tear-laden-eyes. There is a mischievous side to her as well and also the one that learns to dominate the domineering men. She excellently portrays the singing-on-screen. The gigantic emotion in ‘Dhadaam Dhadaam’ has been brilliantly portrayed by her. The love story between Rosie and Johnny is heartwarming and endearing, but there’s too much of blood that’s spilled to really savor the romance. After PK and NH10, Anushka seems to be coming of age with the selection of the right script and also the character driven association. She gets into the skin of the character she is playing. By the time the film ends, you almost forget Anushka, because your mind is already filled with the memories of Rosie. If you thought that Karan Johar was only about making larger than life candy floss romantic films, BOMBAY VELVET is bound to change the way you look at him. He is bound to stun everyone with his acting debut. He gets into his character so effortlessly that you can’t think of anyone else having played that role so effortlessly. He is outstanding in a scene where he goes out of the room to laugh uncontrollably at Balraj’s demands. There is a sharp comment on Johar’s sexual preferences. He coins the name Johnny for Balraj while looking at a strategic location in Ranbir’s anatomy. There is at least one more incident where you get to understand that Khambata has a leaning for men and his trophy wife is just a honey trap for seducing powerful men in compromising positions. A special word of mention to Satyadeep Misra for having delivered such a realistic performance. The rest of the characters help in moving the film towards its destination.
Special brownie points to the film’s production designer (Sonal Sawant) for having created the ‘Bombay’ of the 1960’s. The vintage cars, the buses, the trams, the roads, the building spare no efforts in transporting you in a different world altogether. Niharika Bhasin has tirelessly crafted authentic costumes and the detailing is bang on.
On the whole, BOMBAY VELVET is a visual masterpiece that is rich in form. If you want to be wowed by the detailing of the 1960s, superb performances of Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar and Anushka Sharma, then go ahead and watch this film.