Bombay Velvet Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film | UA | Crime, Drama
Regrettably the film turns out to be a way short of what is expected of Anurag Kashyap. At its best Bombay Velvet is a superficial, average attempt at an entertainer.
May 15, 2015 By Shishir Gautam

There is something that you cannot take away from Anurag Kashyap, the director. His capability to create a milieu so genuine that it can actually suck you in; bedazzled! And he does it immaculately with Bombay Velvet. Anurag created the Bombay that was in the era bygone and he does it with characters that stand out. So much that much after you are out of the theaters you might probably wonder if such a character actually existed. He does not even miss important real life milestones.

To compliment his vision he brings in some exhilarating music, composed by his favourite Amit Trivedi. The music does not let down at the moments that need it the most. Especially towards the end when his protagonist Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) decides to take things head on.

Unfortunately, Anurag Kashyap the director falters while laying the screenplay into the setting. While a lengthy first half breezes past due to its comic elements, things start wavering as the story gets into the second half. The charm of the characters start wearing off as the screenplay fails to create impact. So you as an audience will be unlikely to be moved as you witness the turmoil that Johnny and his lady love Rosie (Anushka Sharma) go through while Khambatta (unveils his evil plans).

Bombay Velvet is the story of the growth of the Bombay city from its quieter eras to a noisier city driven by capitalism. And Johnny Balraj, a small time conman turned wannabe 'big-shot', is one of the pawns that the hard-hearted capitalists used to move ahead in life. Brought up by a sex-worker in the infamous Falkland Road area of Mumbai, Johnny is smitten by Rosie as he sees her singing at a club and eaten by the desire to become a rich man. He is not the hero who would fight evil. He does not give a damn as long as he gets his right price. Somewhere along the road he get bigger than the boots that his boss provides him.

The stage is hence set. It could go anywhere from here. And it goes downhill. What you are forced to witness is a terrible waste of a fantastic build up. A meek submission after some exciting suspense. What you are a spectator to is a terrible, terrible letdown!

Irrespective of the fate, what cannot be denied are some amazing performances. Ranbir Kapoor is classy; Anushka Sharma gives it her all and Karan Johar surprises. Manish Choudhary is worth a mention and so is Satyadev Mishra. Kay Kay Menon does well but is given a very raw deal.

The technical team also deserves some kudos. To be able to pull off a film that looks and feels so true to an era is a hard job.

The letdown comes from the master director himself. We have always known Anurag is obsessed with technical finesse in his film and also indulgent at times. Regrettably, this time his attention on the script faltered. Bombay Velvet - his dream project - turns out to be a way short of what is expected of him. At its best Bombay Velvet is a superficial, average attempt at an entertainer. The disappointment is best captured by the character of Kay Kay Menon as he throws his hat in frustration. Oh, what waste!

Shishir Gautam