Movie Review: Bombay Velvet

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Kay Kay Menon, Manish Choudhary, Vivaan Shah, Siddhartha Basu

Simply put, Bombay Velvet is a love story and a beautiful throwback to the Bombay of 1960s. Inspired from the book Mumbai Fables by historian Gyan Prakash, the film is about dreams colliding with individual realities.

Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) is a boxer turned mobster. Accompanied by his loyal side-kick and buddy, Chiman Chopra (Satyadeep Mishra), the two commit petty crimes and learn the ways of the street. Balraj however dreams of making it big in life. Enter Kaizaad Khambatta (Karan Johar), villainous newspaper biggie, who takes Balraj under his wing for his own selfish motives. Meanwhile a young Rosie (Anuska Sharma) escapes from Goa and makes her way to Bombay, where she becomes a jazz singer at a shady bar. Jimmy Mistry (Manish Choudhary), a newspaper editor and opponent to Kaizaad, whisks Rosie away. Following the blackmailing of a politician, Mistry sends Rosie as a spy to get her hands on the negative of a photograph. Love blossoms between Balraj and Rosie when she is made the leading jazz singer at Bombay Velvet, a club owned by Balraj.

Speaking of the other elements in the movie, director Anurag Kashyap said this movie was his attempt at entering into mainstream bollywood. Kudos to the entire crew for recreating Bombay so spectacularly! The set up and the costumes play the perfect catalyst to the love story, which is less about words and more about actions. The music is a delight for jazz lovers. Although the other songs composed by Amit Trivedi may not have gained commercial popularity, they definitely add to the feel of the movie as superb visual treats of old Bombay appear on the screen. The second half of the movie however is a let down and loses its depth. You end up getting confused about the characters and their motives.  For example, the climax is way too violent and one forgets what Balraj is really fighting for.

Ranbir Kapoor as usual pulls off Balraj convincingly and charmingly. Anushka Sharma doesn’t say much throughout the movie but looks her part as an abused yet pretty jazz singer (minus the lips of course). As the leading couple the two are a hit! We are definitely going to see this pair and their chemistry being repeated in movies to come. Karan Johar is the not-so-surprise package in the movie. Although he plays the suave, villainous character well, there’s something about his face that might make you want to crack up in the climax scene.

Although the story is not well-knit, I give this movie 3 shor out of 5 for the superb art details, costumes and for the nostalgia. The performances deserve a one-time watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Tags: Bombay Velvet, Bombay Velvet Movie Review, Bollywood Movie Review, Hindi Movie Review

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