Movie Review: Bombay Talkies (2013) Tribute to Indian Cinema by Four Prominent Film-Makers

Bombay Talkies

Wallpaper Poster - Indian Bollywood hindi movie Bombay Talkies

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan (Cameo), Rani Mukherji, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Katrina Kaif (Cameo), Vineet Kumar.
Directed by: Karan Johar (Segment), Anurag Kashyap (Segment), Dibakar Banerjee (Segment), Zoya Akhtar (Segment).
Review by: Faisal Saif
Ratings:  *  *  *

Somewhere I read about this movie getting a "5 Star" ratings and that made me more curious to go and watch this film. 5 Star ratings? But doesn't a "5 Star" ratings means a 'Perfect' and a 'Flawless' film? The review also said in the end (For Anurag Kashyap's segment-story especially) "It could have done with a tighter grip over the narrative" and it also pointed (For the whole film) "Long after each story ends we are left wondering what would happen to the vividly written characters. No, that's not a good thing in this case." It clearly means Bombay Talkies had it's Flaws. Still a "5 Star"?

Watch Bombay Talkies Official Trailer 2013 (You Tube)

I am still unable to get the answers, If Bombay Talkies had Flaws, How come a "5 Star" rating? How many stars does 'Mother India', 'Mughal-E-Azam', 'Pakeezah', 'Do Aankhen Barah Haath', 'Navrang', 'Do Bigha Zameen', 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun', 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge' and other (Unmentioned) cinematic gems deserved.

Bombay Talkies is prepared by four short stories by four best Indian Film makers we have.

Karan Johar

An urban couple (Randeep Hooda and Rani Mukherji) are happily married or at least it seems so until the wife meets a new colleague (Saqib Saleem) at work which changes her life forever and all hell breaks loose.

This story somewhere reminds you the woman courage and boldness what we have already seen in Karan Johar's Not-So-Succesful 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehnaa'. This story is shocking, But not a surprising one. Because Karan Johar had already tried this format earlier.

Still, For the well-crafted and astonishing performances by all the three characters, This one is worth a watch.

Dibakar Banerjee

A failed actor (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is struggling to make a living after his father’s death. All he stumbles upon is his last chance to prove himself to the world and more importantly, to his daughter. A small scene in a film with actor Ranbir Kapoor (No! Ranbir is not there in the film).

This story really hits you hard and gives you wet eyes especially for a brilliant and laudable performances by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sadashiv Amrapurkar. This story is inspired from Satyajit Ray's short story.

Zoya Akhta

A 12 year old boy (Naman Jain) from a middle-class family is inspired by a film-star (Katrina Kaif) to break the conventions of society and follow his dreams come what may. He is obsessed with Katrina Kaif's dance and songs, And makes his father (Ranvir Shorey) worried and irritated.

This one reminds you of Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane's 'Udaan' and Sanjay Gupta's (Long forgotten) Bipasha Basu starrer 'Pankh'. The film looks good only for the child actor Naman Jain.

Anurag Kashyap

A man from a small town in UP (Vineet Kumar) comes to Mumbai to fulfill his ailing father’s last wish which may also save his life. He wants to meet the superstar Amitabh Bachchan and he will not give up.

The story is dragging and funny at the same time. It also pinches your heart with Amitabh Bachchan and his home's aura. The film (again) stands out for Vineet Kumar's performance.

Yes, Bombay Talkies is a well made film because as I mentioned, It has been made by India's finest film makers. Bombay Talkies is a serious cinema which may attract to the the people who shell out money to watch something different and vibrant. But for the people (At least 75% Indian Moviegoers) who look for "Entertainment" value, Bombay Talkies cannot be recommended from my side.

The makers claimed Bombay Talkies to be a 'Tribute' to the 100 years of Indian Cinema. Tribute? If I try and analyze each story from Bombay Talkies, It gives me a 'Negative-Feeling' towards Indian Cinema. Indian Audience still go for films such as 'Rowdy Rathore', 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan', 'Race', the Munnabhai Series, the Golmaal Series, the Housefull Series, Rajinikanth Films, Salman Khan Films and the list goes on. In such films, They get their 'Paisa Vasool' (Worth-their-Money) factor.

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Om Shanti Om' can be termed a 'Perfect-Tribute' to 100 years of Indian Cinema according to me.

I would like to repeat myself here, Bombay Talkies is a good film. But it has it's Flaws and can be only recommended for a special but a small section of viewers who are looking for serious cinema.

PS: Please don't distribute "5 Star Ratings" like chocolate and candy, friends, You might need a Reality-Film-Check.

Faisal SaifFaisal Saif is co-editor of Global Movie Magazine and sub-editor of Youth Eye Magazine. A passionate Bollywood Feature News Writer and film critic, Saif is a regular contributor to Santabanta, Page 3 Bollywood, Orissa Diary, PardaPhash, NewsWala, The News Tribe, Bolega India and many more online and print journals. Saif lives in Mumbai and can be reached at thatfaisalsaif at gmail.