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Mumbai must watch

By: By: Dinesh Shrinet
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Mumbai under threat is not a new subject for Bollywood movie makers. Great movies have always been inspired by real life tragedies. Most of modern European movies come from the darkest experiences of human sufferings in World War II. Greatest American classics like Casablanca, Gone With the Wind and A farewell to Arms have the human drama in the backdrop of historical tragedies. Unlike world cinema, in India there are very few movies where we can see the reflection of the great tragedies of modern history. The partition of India is a wound in the soul of this subcontinent but we can barely remember a few great movies of partition like M S Sathyu's Garam Hawa or Govind Nihalani's Tamas.

The new generation of Indian movies focus more on the social realities. In the past few years these young directors have been using Mumbai as a canvas to recreate the real life tragedies. The coincidence behind this creative effort is strange. From the very beginning Mumbai has been the center of Hindi cinema. The Mumbai filmmakers create an universal style without any local flavour, but it is natural that Mumbai is reflected through the images in Hindi movies. In the recent years Hindi movies have became more realistic in content and treatment. After so many terrorist attacks, Mumbai has become the symbol of the modern urban Indian life, filled with complications, terror, human suffering and hope .

There are a lot of movies dealing with communalism and some portraying the image of post independence Mumbai. But here we have a list of movies reflecting the real life situations, that one must watch.

Bombay (1995)
Bombay is a great movie with the striking use of the idiom of popular Hindi cinema to tackle a serious subject. This Mani Ratnam movie tells us the story of the Muslim-Hindu conflict of 1995 in Bombay from the viewpoint of a young Muslim-Hindu couple doomed to leave their home town and families. The film begins as a typical Indian romance; the protagonists in love are separated by different religions and families. They come to Mumbai and work hard to stay together in spite of their parents' disapproval. After sometime they find themselves trapped in the communal violence and the nightmare goes on.

Black Friday (2007)
Black Friday no doubt is one of the most powerful movies ever made in Indian cinema. The movie looks into an investigation following the horrifying Bombay bomb blasts. The movie based on a book by an investigative journalist Hussain Zaidi, tracks the investigation that takes place following the dreadful Mumbai serial bomb blast in '93. The film presents the hard facts about the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. The film gives a new dimension to real life cinema, with real name, real incidents, and real people. The movie opens with a 'boom' and from then on the intricate investigation proceeds. The film follows an episodic format, and keeps moving to and forth in time and location quite regularly. This film also has remarkable performances by Pavan Malhotra and Kay Kay Menon.

Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008)
Mumbai Meri Jaan chronicles the few days before and after the Mumbai serial blasts of 2006 through the lives of 5 characters. These characters are played by Kay Kay Menon, Soha Ali Khan, Irfan Khan, Paresh Rawal and Madhavan. The movie tells about the impact of the 7/11 Mumbai train bomb blasts on people's life. This is a dark story about how the blasts affect every character's life and finally how they manage to keep the 'Mumbai Spirit' alive. The title is derived from an old Hindi song in the movie CID sung by the late Mohammed Rafi and Geeta Bali and composed by the O.P. Nayyar. The two masters Irfan Khan & KK are again at their best and they prove once again why they are considered the finest among the younger generation.

A Wednesday (2008)
A Wednesday is a story during a Wednesday morning when a man threatens to blast several bombs in Mumbai if his wishes are not fulfilled. Writer-Director Neeraj Pandey has made an incredible debut through his film because it is one of those socially relevant films that are also as sleek as any good thriller. From the first frame, no time is wasted and as the story unfolds it takes complete control of your mind within a few moments. It keeps you on the edge thinking what next, but ends with a pleasant surprise. The acting done by legends like Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah cannot go unnoticed. The story is about a common man and about his hatred for terrorism. Naseeruddin Shah plays the "common man".

Aamir (2008)
Aamir is a modern masterpiece showing reality and colours of the typical Mumbai city. An Indian doctor upon returning from London finds himself in precarious circumstances where his family is kidnapped and he is made to run around the city. The screenplay is brilliant in identifying the face of terrorism in the backdrop of Mumbai. Director Rajkumar Gupta shoots the whole movie in real locations. Like A Wednesday this movie also deals with a real time story and ends with a message.

Read more about: black friday, aamir, a wednesday
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