|Image Courtesy: http://tribune.com.pk/|
(Johnny Balaraj), Anushka Sharma (Rosie Noronha), Karan Johar (Kaizad
Khambatta), Kay Kay Menon (Vishwas Kularni), Manish Choudhary (Jimmy Mistry),
Siddhartha Basu (Romi Patel), Remo Fernandez (Portuguese Man), Satyadeep Misra
(Chimman), Vivaan Shah (Tony), Raveena Tandon (cameo)
Company: Phantom Films
film, I was confused, how to review this movie. I was in dilemma whether to
like the movie or not. And by this time, when I sit to review this movie, much
has been already written about this. Most of the reviews say that movie is a
disaster. I really don’t feel like calling this movie a disaster. Box office
results may be frustrating, but, here is a film, where a filmmaker has
definitely crafted it with great style. The most appealing aspects of this
movie are its visuals and soundtracks. But, the screenplay is very ordinary,
treated at a very superficial and shallow level, lacks depth. I wonder,
whether, Anurag Basu could have handled the plot differently, but I think, he
did experiment with a new style.
on a book called Mumbai Fables (by historian Gyan Prakash) projects the city of
1949-1969. Lot of street fights, boxing ring scenes, murders, political rivalries,
shootouts, treacheries, power play etc. all are shown in the film. And in the backdrop
of all these, jazz soirees happen. A love story also blooms.
opens the film with her Jazz song. Balraj and his friend Chimman (as kids), are
shown to stray into Bombay City. Balraj is raised by a sex-worker. He grows up
as a fiery young man. He gets his dream to be ‘a big shot’ when he watches ‘The
Roaring Twenties’ (a gangster film – 1939). The climax of this movie influences
him: James Cagney dies in the arms of Gladys George and she says to an
onlooker: “He used to be a big shot’. This
becomes the turning point of Balraj and he starts aspiring to make it big.
fall for Rosie Noronha (Anushka Sharma, this character is influenced by Lorna
Cordeiro, a Jazz singer who ruled the night clubs in 1960s). Rosie is finding
her own ways to survive in the city by modeling, working in a beauty parlour and
singing at night clubs.
aspirations to be a big shot, chooses wrong paths. His attempt of bank robbery
along with Chimman fails, but that is where, the antagonist of the movie sinister
media baron Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar)’s entry happens. Kaizad offers him
opportunities to be a big shot. Balraj becomes Johnny Balraj. His style
changes. Chimman is there with Johney Balraj in all his efforts to be a big
shot. Johnny Balraj very soon grows to be the owner of Kaizad’s nightclub
Bombay Velvet. Rosie becomes the star attraction of Bombay Velvet club with her
Jazz singing. Rosie is his life. Bombay Velvet becomes the center of all
next? How Kaizad’s manipulations shape the story? How does the mentor-protégé (Kaizad
– Balraj) relationship shape? What happens, when Balraj understands Kaizad’s
manipulations? Is the love story between Balraj and Rosie a smooth one? How politics,
power-play influences the story? What happens to the friendship between Balaraj
and Chimman ?
complete justice to his role as Johnny Balaraj. His retro look is convincing.
Anushka has less of dialogues and more of jazz singing. She is also good but appears
to be pretentious in some singing shots (is it due to her lip job gone wrong).
why the opening credits say –‘Introducing Karan Johar’, since Bombay Velvet is
not his acting debut. He has acted in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge. Karan Johar
is successful in defying his good-looking image to be a villain.
as Chimman stands out in the film. He is a terrific performer. Manish Choudhary
as Jimmy Mistry (a newspaper editor) fits into the character very well. Siddharth
Basu as Romi Patel is also good. Vivaan Shah as Tony (Rosie’s chauffeur), is
good. Kay Kay Menon is shown as a helpless Police officer who has to succumb to
high on style quotient. You would definitely appreciate Jazz Soiree and the authenticity
with which retro Bombay is shown.