What is the story?
Street fighter Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) dreams of becoming a big shot, to achieve this ambition Kaizaad Khambatta (Karan Johar) helps him. Rosie (Anushka Sharma) is a jazz singer who is wooed by Johnny. Soon Johnny realises that he is just a trump card for Khambatta, and other big entrepreneurs are using him for their big projects in the city. So what will Johnny do now? Watch Bombay Velvet to know it all.
What works for the movie?
Anurag Kashyap undoubtedly is one of the finest directors Bollywood has and the manner in which he shifts gears swiftly; no doubt he is conquering Indian cinema.
Through Bombay Velvet, he transports you to the bygone era of 1950's and 60's that is encapsulated with great finesse.
It's a gripping tale, courtesy to the detailing in costume, set design, makeup, the body language, the language and of course, the jazz. It's not just a love story neither is just about the lust for power and supremacy. It's about Mumbai, (then called Bombay) that saw itself transforming into a metropolitan marred by greedy collusion between governments and corporate.
Stars - Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Kay Kay Menon
Director- Anurag Kashyap
Music- Amit Trivedi
The greed here has overpowered the vision while people's needs are used as an excuse to grab land or to build structures. Kashyap, known for giving intricate details about whatever he gets his hand on once again excels in it.
Not for a second, you will realise that it's Sri Lanka where most of the film is outlined and shot. It's sheer art and is intoxicating.
What makes the lightings and the other settings more erotic is the chemistry between Ranbir and Anushka.
The couple comes as a breath of fresh air in the flick. Their love is passionate while their hatred too intense.
Ranbir Kapoor shows traits of his great grand father Raj Kapoor, but that is just for them who wants to make any resemblance out of him. Ranbir is just himself. He accelerates the character of Balraj with his extraordinary act that would be cherished by the audience for sure.
Anushka Sharma as a jazz singer is lovable. She is every man's dream lady and she indeed manages to prove that beautifully.
The surprise package of the star cast of Bombay Velvet is Karan Johar. As Khambatha, Johar makes an extraordinary acting debut. More than his dialogues, it's his expression that leaves us awe-struck.
Satyadeep Mishra as Balraj's friend too leaves a mark.
What spoils the mood?
It's sad that the entire aura of classified sets and brilliant performances are brought down by its weak narration, while the screenplay and dialogues are too cliche. Anurag in his Gang of Wasseypur narrated the story that travelled post India's Independence to the current timeline without creating any stereotypes in the movie. Here, his characters and even sequences are more inspired from the 70's film arena. Also there are many loose threads, which remain untied till the end.
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.