Bombay Velvet has been in the news since the time it was announced. Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar in the lead, the film is inspired from Gyan Prakash’s book, Mumbai Fables, which is a story about the city’s recent history. Bombay Velvet is director Anurag Kashyap’s first big-budget film, which has had its share of controversies. But the big question is, has Kashyap managed to prove his detractors wrong, does Bombay Velvet keep the audience engaged for 2 and a half hours? Let’s find out!
Story: Bombay is the principal character in Bombay Velvet. It showcases how Bombay has evolved over the years through the journey of Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor). A boxer turned goon, his journey in boxing begins when he gets in the boxing ring of free-for-all fighting to earn some easy Money. As the film progresses Johnny and his best friend Chiman (Satyadeep Misra) become ace-henchmen for Kaizad Khambata (Karan Johar). Kaizad then gifts the ‘Bombay Velvet’ club as a goodwill gesture to Johnny. Bombay Velvet becomes the hub of Bombay, attracting everyone’s attention, especially Jimmy Mistry’s (Manish Chaudhary). Mistry, as a ploy to finish Johnny and Khambatta’s monopoly, sends the beautiful jazz singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma) as a honey trap to lure Johnny. He realises that Johnny already has his heart set on Rosie. Unable to guess the truth behind Rosie’s sudden love, Johnny immediately accepts her. Meanwhile things turn hunky-dory between Johnny and Kaizad as well. The plot thickens when Kaizad tries to create a divide between Johnny and Chinman. Johnny also realises the truth behind Rosie’s past. Who ultimately succeeds and emerges victorious forms the crux of the film.
Also Read: Bombay Velvet Critic Reviews
Bombay Velvet Review: The biggest flaw in Bombay Velvet is its pace and storytelling. The story of friendship, love and deceit, is something that we have all seen in several Bollywood films. The visual presentation and performances are brilliant, however, they cannot compensate for a good script. The film lacks soul and one really cannot feel for any of the characters. The climax is a big let-down. Ideally, Bombay Velvet should have been further edited as the film completely falls apart in the second half. So much so that you no longer care for the story or its characters.
The art and costume department deserves a special mention. The efforts that they have put into the film, deserves appreciation. Music by Amit Trivedi further adds to the woes. There is not a single song that one can recollect after the film. In fact, each song in Bombay Velvet acts as speed-breakers, ruining the pace of the film.
The biggest strength of Anurag Kashyap lies in extracting the best performances from all his characters. Ranbir Kapoor lives the character of Johnny Balraj, rising above the weak script in several scenes. Watch him in the scene where he threatens Kaizad Khambatta and one is rest assured that he has a long career ahead of him. Surprisingly, Karan Johar makes an impressive debut (full-fledged role) as the menacing Kaizad Khambatta. The unpredictability and uncertainty in his character is one of the key highlights of the film. Watch him in the scene where he just bursts out laughing when he hears Johnny’s accent. Anushka Sharma as Rosie is honest in her portrayal. However, she is overshadowed by the other characters in the film. Her chemistry with Ranbir is good.
Ranbir’s best friend Chinman (Satyadeep Mishra) is absolutely brilliant. He doesn’t have many dialogues in the film, but he impresses with his expressions. The same can be said for (Jimmy Mistry) Manish Chaudhary. Tony (Vivaan Shah) is good in a brief role. Kay Kay Menon does well too.
Overall, Bombay Velvet is a brave attempt that falls way short of expectations. If only the script was as impressive as the visual grandeur of the film. It does have good performances, excellent production design and fantastic costumes. Everything else misfires big time, including Anurag Kashyap’s direction.
- Performances are good. Ranbir and Karan Johar do well.
- Production design and
- Slow pace, direction
- Weak script