O mumbai meri Jaan

August 28, 2008 at 7:00 am (Uncategorized)

Crash in 2004 with its intertwining stories created a new genre of its own and its success has prodded film makers like always to try and copy the formula with varying degrees of success. bollywood can never be far behind,can it? The trend was started by Life in Metro(or something like that) which was a mish-mash of Hollywood movies put together. Copy from one,it is plagiarism. copy from many,it is research.

Mumbai has been the subject of Bollywood movies since the beginning. Bollywood has started thinking out of the box every once in a while. and MMJ is a bold step in the right direction. With no A league stars and a new team as well, it comes out with shining colors specially considering the mindless crap Bollywood dishes day in and out.

The start is very promising with a global perspective thrown in. Zinedine’s infamous head butt is attributed by a perennial Muslim-hater as unjustified. The issue of sensational/unethical journalism is also introduced. But among all the stories the one that stands out is the one played out by the constables who are introduced in a very poignant manner. A woman has been raped by a police man and the constable questions whether being a policeman means that one is no longer subject to the inadequacies of the homo sapiens. The july train bombings form a backdrop for this movie. The bombing scene is done very effectively and the director convinces you that special effects are not necessary to carry your point across. A man traumatized by the incident and another coffee vendor who decides to take revenge on the society by making hoax bomb calls are the other stories.

The director uses irony and chance beautifully in the script- almost Quentin Tarantino style. The journalist, a big supporter of cheap thrills journalism finds the boot on the other foot when she loses her to be hubby in the incident and her channel wants to do a story on that. masterful. Soha Ali Khan comes up with a subtle yet powerful performance. The use of lights in the morgue scene is done with text book perfection.

The constables played by Vijay Maurya and Paresh Rawal (in one of his best performances to date) are the real heroes of the movie. Just like Crash, all the characters are neither black nor white, rather a tinge of gray( the constables take bribe but also honestly try to bring the crooks to the book). The movie starts losing steam with the Madhavan story which could have been cut from the script. but the director apparently wanted to show the IT guy’s perspective as well. Kay Kay Menon in another fiery performance tries to pass judgment on the entire issue by himself before he realises his folly. Irffan Khan brings to life an otherwise mundane character.

Some of the scenes are heartwarming for eg. a muslim listening to Md. Rafi (a muslim) singing “ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyo” but KK says that muslims are listening not out of patriotism but because it was sung by someone in their own community. A US returned friend of Madhavan tries to describe the post 9/11 scenario in US.

Backed by a strong script,brilliant performances and great direction the movie is a treat. The direction is noteworthy and camera work excellent. The idea of focussing the camera on different body parts of the characters fits beautifully with the theme of the movie.

It fails to hold out in the middle and becomes a bit too preachy by the end. The stories, though set against a common background do not criss-cross unlike Crash where all the stories come together in the end. Nevertheless, the movie is a signal that Indian junta is ready for some intelligent film making and not just mindless crap like singh is king.

The movie doesn’t present a solution to the mess around us. It does however remind you that when faced with such challenges, dust yourself off and keep on moving. because “jeena isi ka naam hai”

Go watch this movie, do Bollywood a favor.

Genre: Drama,Crime

Rating: They’ve got something there

Mumbai meri jaan

Mumbai meri jaan

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