Just like he said in an interview recently, the story of Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet is basically a simple love story that happens in a kind of lawless gangster ruled Bombay/Mumbai. This based on true story stuff has a really interesting making that doesn’t try to look compromised in terms of production values and the director’s signature style. But the events happening in the script are too much that it couldn’t allocate much time and space for the much important romance.
Balraj is a wannabe big shot who lived his life with the usual pickpocket stuff and street fight. One such incident involving an actual big shot Kaizad Khambata changes Balraj’s life completely when he offers him a job to be his benami and manage his posh club Bombay Velvet. Johnny Balraj who was already in love with a Jazz singer Rosie takes this opportunity to bring her in to his life. The love story of this aspiring couple and the inner politics among the city’s other big heads on certain land acquisition deals is the soul of this gangster love story.
One thing that made me happy is the fact that it hasn’t changed the way Mr. Kashyap makes his movies. It is still that rough and tough realistic style with intriguing camera angles. As the movie is fundamentally a love story between two passionate people, we expect the narration to be exciting enough to take us closer to the characters. But the script can’t really create that intensity in its two and a half hour long narration. The main plot being reduced to a very small phase of Balraj’s Johnny career also makes it less exciting as we don’t get the depth of each character. But with some sound technical support and fabulous performances, Bombay Velvet kind of stays in your head for the era it recreated.
Ranbir Kapoor delivers a really good performance as the eccentric and enthusiastic Johnny Balraj. Anushka Sharma was also really superb in portraying the highly emotional jazz singer Rosie. Karan Johar’s casting was a really smart move from Anurag Kashyap. Kay Kay Menon, Manish Choudhary, Siddhartha Basu, Satyadeep Misra and Vivaan Shah chips in with some good performances.
The typical style of Anurag Kashyap has been followed here in the making. The way he uses the rawness of the characters to express their feelings is something you enjoy seeing on screen. The conversations as always are quite interesting, but as I already mentioned, the screenplay fails to contain everything in an exciting level. Kashyap who has made lengthier films in the past could have invested more time in showing the passionate romance and some more aspects of the political foul play to intensify the whole scenario. Rajeev Ravi’s cinematography and the edits that combines the jazzy rhythm of developments are on the positive side. Amit Trivedi deserves a loud round of applauds for his genuinely refreshing tunes that worked big time. The combined output of visual effects and the production design is outstanding.
Overall I felt Bombay Velvet as a technically rich film which got flawed by an overloaded script that couldn’t focus much on the romance. The rating for the movie is 3/5. It may not have lived up to the expectations, but it surely has its moments.
Bombay Velvet is a technically rich film which got flawed by an overloaded script that couldn’t focus much on the romance.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended