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Bombay Talkies Review : Good Talkies, but lacks little bit of Bombay masala!!!

Dated : May, 3, 2013 BY Divya Solgama

Ratings : star


As we all know that 'Bombay Talkies' is one of the biggest names from early era of Indian Cinema. The studio house that had launched the career of many legends gave Indian cinema some of their finest gems along with first blockbuster film - 'Kismet'. Times changed and this studio house vanished away leaving behind the mammoth name along with great stories attached to it. With completion of 100 years of Indian cinema, lots of celebrations have been going on around the country. But most of them just use it as a reason for celebration rather than actually celebrating it. Also the fact that Hindi cinema incepted in the year 1931, as the first Hindi talkie film 'Alam Ara' had released at that time. Thus, should be celebrations of all the films made in India and not just Hindi cinema. Keeping the confusion apart, four talented film makers decides to make a film with short stories based on celebrations of 100 years of Indian cinema in form of a film named 'Bombay Talkies'. There could never be any other apt name for such a film which dares to do something different. So let's find out whether this innovative effort by these film makers will be like a cherry on the cake or be another money making event in the name of 100 years of Indian cinema.

Bombay Talkies 2013


'Bombay Talkies' is an Anthology film consisting of four different short films tied together by single theme; celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema. The first one {Karan Johar's Film}, talks about a couple {Rani Mukherjee & Randeep Hooda} whose monotonous life changes after the arrival of Avinash {Saqib Saleem}. Second - {Dibakar Banerjee's Film}, is about a failed stage actor Purandar {Nawazuddin Siddiqui}, who accidently bumps into a shoot of a popular Hindi cinema. The third story {Zoya Akhtar's Film}, revolves around a 12 year old boy{Naman Jai} who dreams to become a great dancer like Katrina Kaif. The last {Anurag Kashyap's Film} of Vijay {Vineet Kumar} who comes to Mumbai with a sole purpose of meeting the legend, Amitabh Bachchan. How does cinema indulge in all these stories is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technicalities:

The story of Karan Johar's film may remind you few shades from Mira Nair's short film 'Migration' starring Irfan Khan. This story has some witty dialogs performed by Saqib Saleem and an interesting story telling. There are some notable scenes like the whole Madhuri Dixit-Sridevi funda followed by Rani's outburst in the end. But sadly the story fails to connect with its theme of 100 years of Indian cinema. Also, it was more like an Onir type of film rather than a KJO film, which are known for larger than life style granger in Hindi films. On individual basis it is good work from Karan Johar but as per the theme of the film, it's a big letdown. The Second story of Dibakar Banerjee's film is adaptation of Satyajit Ray's short story 'Potal Babu- Film Star'. The story telling and screenplay of this film is brilliant. There are some fantastic scenes like Nawazuddin wishing the watchmen, Nawazuddin rehearsing the dialog, the whole Sadashiv Amrapurkar - Nawazuddin chat followed by Nawazuddin's preparation for his role and silent performance in the end for his little girl. The finale part touches you with Nawazuddin's brilliant performance and a fine story telling. The third story of Zoya Akhtar's film reminds you few shades from Bipasha Basu's 'Pankh'. It has the whole soul of celebration of films as the kid wants to follow his dream which he saw due to films and film stars. Loved the scene where Naman Jain fools Ranvir Shourie followed by his dance performance in the finale. On the negative side the male child discrimination by Ranvir was overdone. The last story - Anuraag Kashyap's film has full fan boy moments attached to it along with the impact of legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan in a common man's life. This story has been narrated in very interesting manner with few good scenes like Sudhir Pandey telling the story of Dilip Kumar to his son Vineet Kumar, Vineets requesting the security guard at Amitabh Bachchan's bungalow followed by his pledge at watchman's house, the bragging in the train followed by the Sudhir Pandey's chat in the end. This story along with Dibakar Banerjee's is flawless and the best among all four. Camera work by various great technicians is good and goes well with its story.

Bombay Talkies Movie Review

Music & Direction:

Music by Amit Trivedi gives fantastic tribute to the legend Amitabh Bachchan and 100 years of Indian cinema in form of two good songs like 'Bachchan' & 'Akkad Bakkad'. "Murabba" is sweet and soothing. The title track is a big disappointment over the audio and visual part with collage of best scenes from Hindi films along with dances by today's actors. Though, it might work in a big way for the mainstream cinema audience. The clips might remind you of Krishna Shah's 'Cinema Cinema', which was a fantastic docu-drama over the films made in our country.

Bombay talkies Movie

Karan Johar dares to attempt something different rather than his typical candy floss films. But the story appeals only on individual basis and not connecting with the theme of the film. Also it is more of mourning rather than celebrations. Dibakar Banerjee's story is fantastically told and performed brilliantly by Nawazuddin. There is the whole human feel good factor attached in this story. Zoya Akhtar pulls out the daring performance by Naman Jain and tells a taboo story. She portrays the impact of songs and dances from our films in a kid's mind nicely. Anurag Kashyap shows the madness in people's heart for love of Amitabh Bachchan. He keeps you glued to the silver screen with his rustic story telling. Though, was expecting more from him. Sadly none of the films had the whole 'wow' factor attached to it. All the stories lacked the masala factor, which is most important as our cinemas are known mostly for songs and dances. The makers could have done wonders with this great opportunity.


Rani Mukherjee looked great as per her character and gives a stunning performance. Saqib Saleem is entertaining and does his part perfectly. Randeep Hooda is average. Nawazuddin is outstanding in his part and gives another fantastic performance. Sadashiv Amrapurkar impresses with his cameo after a long time. Ranvir Shourie is below average. Naman Jain is superb in his part and carries it so well. Vineet Kumar shines in his story along with good support from Sudhir Pandey. Amitabh Bachchan's appearances adds a sign of relieve in the film and goes very well with the feel of the film. Cameo by various super stars in the finale song is a big letdown.

Bombay Talkies Wallpaper

So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?

Dum hain, kaafi dum hain especially in the Dibakar and Anurag's story followed by Zoya's story, though the Karan Johar's track fails to connect with the theme and the audience. Enjoyed watching the film and yes few stories have the feeling of celebrations of 100 years of Indian cinema. On the overall basis its bit below expectation and as per the level of these ace filmmakers. This movie 'Bombay Talkies' is like a very good talkies but lacks little bit of Bombay masala of entertainment along with proper celebrations of Hindi cinema, misinterpreted as Indian cinema. It had all potential to end up as a classic. Still it's a definite watch for all those who love different style of cinema.

  • Ratings: 3.5/5

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