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Bombay Velvet (U/A)

Audience Review

104 Ratings

Release Date

15 May 2015
Critics Reviews Audience Reviews

Bombay Velvet, a period crime drama set against the backdrop of 1960's stars Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. Karan Johar debuts in Bollywood and as an antagonist in this film.

Bombay Velvet is all about how the city became a Metropolis which is set against the backdrop of love, greed, violence and Jazz.

Bombay Velvet is more a throwback to older, better gangster films by Hollywood legends like Martin Scorsese, the Coen brothers and Curtis Hanson. There’s a noticeable lack of humour in the film, even though the film’s elements are not dark enough to warrant such seriousness. The film is mainstream and ‘filmi’, so it’s hard to imagine why there is only one joke in the whole movie.

However, make of it what you will, but for all its weaknesses, what Bombay Velvet lacks in complexity, it ultimately makes up for with its sheer beauty.

The film's director Anurag Kashyap needs to be applauded totally for having immense belief in his product named BOMBAY VELVET. Right from the word go, he transports you into an era that makes you believe in whatever you see and hear. Anurag, who has mostly been associated with offbeat cinema, sweeps you off the floor and also your imagination with BOMBAY VELVET.

On the whole, BOMBAY VELVET is a visual masterpiece that is rich in form. If you want to be wowed by the detailing of the 1960s, superb performances of Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar and Anushka Sharma, then go ahead and watch this film.

The first half is engaging as Kashyap draws you into Johnny, Rosie and Kaizad’s world. They are all collectively troubled and their present is dictated by their fractured pasts. You get into their heads to a large extent in the first half.

The second half isn’t as tightly knit as the first as their lives unravel at a frenetic and confused pace.

The climax is violent and gory as Balraj goes on a relentless killing spree with a machine gun. It’s all good, but somewhere you forget what he’s actually fighting for. Having said that, Bombay Velvet makes for a good one-time watch primarily due to good performances from its lead actors and a reminder of a forgotten era.

Depsite these few flaws, Bombay Velvet can be watched for Ranbir-Anushka's sizzling chemistry amidst drastically transforming Bombay into Mumbai. Also be ready for Karan Johar's surprise act.

Even if you are an ardent Anurag fan and are expecting another Gangs of Wasseypur, better give it a miss instead of getting monumentally disappointed. However, if you have nothing else to do this weekend and want to have a feeling of how Bombay…sorry Mumbai looked like in the ‘60s, it’s worth taking that risk.

Karan Johar makes his acting debut as a mustached villain Khambata who evokes some chuckles and a couple of full throated laughs at times unintended. Manish Chaudhary, K K Menon and Satyadeep Misra as Balraj’s childhood friend Chimman, ensure that the “velvet” in Bombay Velvet definitely belongs to the first half. The Sorceress touch unmistakable thanks to top notch editing by Thelma Schoonmaker.

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