The much awaited Bombay Talkies creates a cocoon of emotions. And discomfort tops the list. Not because we chose to embark on an unsailed ship, but because we are thrown out into an arena of natural realism completely unalarmed.
The concepts are neither unnatural nor uncommon, yet we cringe, because these are stories we like to read about secretly and gossip about mockingly in the warm comforts of privacy.
Bombay talkies is honestly four good concepts disappointingly exaggerated, poorly executed and recklessly smothered into one film.
Concept 1 (Karan Johar) – This concept had the highest potential. They screwed up. And How! Homosexuality is NOT shameful. But this concept portrays negativity, pushing the audience away from it. It could have been so much better. It’s not bold, it’s a disaster.
Concept 2 (Dibakar Bannerji ) – This one is easy to relate with. Bringing out the best of Nawazzudin, the concept weaves the small joys of life and creates magical surrealism. Last 5 minutes display the best of expressions. The kind that will remain fresh in the memory forever.
Concept 3 (Zoya Aktar ) – This concept is the most powerful, it subtly transcends the boundaries of the acceptable and unacceptable. Simple, straight with a big question…why can’t dreams be irrational and raw? Why does it always have to make sense? My personal favourite.
Concept 4 (Anurag Kashyap) – The most natural and easiest to digest, this concept actually relates to Bollywood and the madness around it. Vineet Kumar Singh proves to be an amazing actor. However, the story is stretched beyond limits, allowing boredom to set in easily.
A meager 30 minutes per film does no justice to the concepts, nor evokes enlightenment or empathy. The time provided is insufficient to feel the concept, allow it to sink in and be moved by it. Sensitivity is not handled with utmost caution and dignity. They are abrupt and further inflate the prejudices of the audience. The leads however pull it off right through with their fantastic acting skills.
The credits roll over with an easily forgettable song of yesteryear visuals blending into current Bollywood biggies, ending with KING KHAN’s version of a retard.
All said and done, it is certainly no “tribute to Indian cinema”. The movie only hypes Bollywood., ignoring the rest of India, which do also make remarkable cinema. Ironically, it is no tribute to Bollywood either, for it speaks volumes about the negative influence of Bollywood in our lives. It fails to highlight the few masterpieces the industry has given us and makes the Indian public only appear blurry-eyed and moronic.
The concepts take all the credit as good insights to new perspectives that help us co-exist with nature.
Worth giving a try with an open mind.