Bollywood rehaul 101

Bollywood rehaul 101
The time's come to sit up and pay attention B'wood audience. When four director's of brilliant caliber get together to create a series – the odds will be in their favour. Bombay Talkies doesn't have mistakes, and that perhaps happens when one has three other directors are peering over your shoulder.

Four stories, four thought processes and four distinct styles that stand out and surprise. The stories are not very far removed from the regular and the everyday. They almost seem like glimpses into daily life.

Karan Johar kicks off the movie with flair as he takes on a married couple (Rani Mukherji and Randeep Hooda), successful and established in their own rights yet their marriage seems battered with bullet holes that they are turning a blind eye to. You have not seen Karan Johar in this form. Of all directors it would not be wrong to say that he awes the most. All the social conventions in their saccharine wraps that Johar is known for has been yanked away revealing a very real and poignant story that seems so unlike the likes of
Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham
, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and the likes. Johar shocks you and we couldn't be happier. The caliber notch has been turned up high form the beginning.

Well begun is half done? Why not! Next comes Dibakar Banerjee with his story that is entirely Nawazuddin Siddiqui's game. No other actor (barring an Irrfan Khan) could have pulled off what Nawazuddin does. There is a haunting surreal quality in Banerjee's narrative and as he pans out shot by shot and we are left looking at a wildly gesticulating and happy Nawazuddin in his little room, there is a calm that settles. Though Banerjee has been known for his capacity to get the real in your face and have you laughing, in
Bombay Talkies
he takes the game to a whole different level. The character and his issues are as crazy as they get and at moments it almost seems like absurd theatre on screen. But so perfect.

Zoya Akhtar comes armed with one motto – let's break conventions. What Akhtar does is she takes a simple story of a little boy and turns it to the very thing dreams are made of in Bollywood. The boy doesn't want to score a goal, he wants to be Sheila (yes the same Sheila ki Jawani woman). And his father – Ranvir Shorey is not okay with that. At all. In comes fairy godmother Katrina Kaif and the boy can't give up on dreams. Akhtar takes on the regular – but what she does is that she injects this does of gritty reality to subtly that you don't know it till it hits you. While Johar makes his characters say that it is wrong to lie, Akhtar shows how simply children learn to lie because adults clamp them down.

The closing shot is Anurag Kashyap's. He tells the story of a man who must travel to Mumbai and meet Amitabh Bachchan and make him take a bite out of a
(sweet pickle) as that is his father's 'death' wish. Vijay (Vineet Kumar) takes on the mission with tremendous passion but Mumbai has different plans for him. What comes to be is heart-wrenching at moments, Kumar plays his part brilliantly. How Kashyap ends it is briliantly toungue-in-cheek. No more 'Aww poor man!' but 'Hahah! Never mind – it was an experience!'

100 years of Indian Cinema could not have had a better tribute (if one may call Bombay Talkies so). The movie is flawless and we perhaps give it a star less only because it leaves us wanting. Encore!
Jhinuk Sen

Jhinuk Sen

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