bombaytalkiesFour directors who hold forte in their own style come together to celebrate the centenary of Indian Cinema in a way best known to them. Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akthar and Anurag Kashyap have independently made 4 short stories and collection of the same is titled “Bombay Talkies” which has a running time of 127 minutes.

Though this film is made to mark the centenary of Indian Cinema, it has got nothing that runs through the history of India’s tinsel world. The film begins with Karan Johar’s segment where he in his typical style showcases the relationship of a distant but beautiful couple. Gayathri (Rani Mukherjee) is a tabloid journalist who along with her husband Randeep Hoda a political analyst are in rocky but ongoing relationship, in comes an intern to Gayathri’s office named Avinash (Saqid Saleem) who finds something amiss in Gayathri’s life and what is the reason for the same and what he does to her life is all about in the first 30 mins.

Rani Mukherjee seems to have embraced the glam route more seriously in this film with her low cut blouse exposing more than it need to thereby giving the front benchers and for those who would drool at skin show more than what they paid for. Randeep Hoda and Saqid Saleem play their roles well.

In the second segment where Dibakar Banerjee treads the life of a struggling father in a packed Mumbai chawl. This segment is an adaptation from Satyajit Ray’s short story “Patol Babu”. Nawazuddin Siddiqui who has a family and a daughter to whom he is unable to tell a convincing story roams in search of a job lands impromptu in a film set and lady luck smiles at him unexpectedly. What does the film set experience does to him and his family is depicted in the next 30 minutes. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has come good in this stellar role and he single handedly moves the story forward.

The third one happens to be the baby of Zoya Akthar’s where a little boy (Jain) earns his father’s ire only for the reason that he is more interested in becoming a star like Katrina Kaif in the song Shiela Ki Jawani whereas his dad (Ranvir Shorey) wants him to take up activities like football that are masculine in nature. Katrina Kaif makes a starry appearance in front of the little fellow asking him to follow his dream. Ably supported by his elder sister, what he does further is all about in this segment.

Anurag Kashyap decides to tell a story where an aging father in Allahabad sends his son Vijay (Vineet Singh) to Mumbai to meet Amitabh Bachan and give him a Murabba and bring it back after the idol has taken a bite of it. After Vijay lands in Mumbai, what are the events that get stacked in front of him before he attains his goal is in this last part. This story however fails to maintain the pace as there are few scenes that are repetitive and detrimental to the flow. However, in the scene where Amitabh makes a flashy appearance, he makes it count and proves why he is being considered as the first citizen of Bollywood.

Overall, the film scores on the fact that it is not just one story that drags for a good amount of over 2 hours but short packets of 4 stories that make up for the time. As mentioned earlier, each director has their own style of film making and all 4 make it count in their own way.

“Bombay Talkies” is a worthy watch but falls way short of being called a masterpiece made to commemorate the centenary celebrations of Indian Cinema.

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