When four of Hindi Film Industry’s most distinctive directors come together to celeberate 100 years of Indian cinema and make 4 short films you know there’s something special about it. The four films do not come together linearly and form a bigger story. All of these 4 films are as different as chalk and cheese and have completely different storylines. Let’s discuss all these four films chronologically.
Karan Johar – Ajeeb Daastan Hai Yeh
Karan Johar finally makes you stand up and notice his talent. Where was this side of KJo all these years? He tackles the story of a gay man with utmost sincerity, aching honesty and humour. This results in a fine, crisp story of a married couple whose lives change forever when this particular gay man enters their lives. Karan goes out of his terrain and delves into an unexpected urban psyche and does it oh so well.
Rani Mukerji has always been a delight in serious roles and here she does her role full justice. Randeep Hooda does tremendously well too. He never goes out of character. But someone who makes you applaud his talent is Saqib Saleem who plays the bold role of a gay man convincingly. He needs to be applauded for signing on to do such a film so early in his career.
Bombay Talkies Movie Review
Dibakar Banerjee – Star
Dibakar teams up with Nawazuddin Siddiqui to adapt Satyajit Ray’s short story ‘Patol Babu, Film Star’ into a lower middle class Mumbaiyya setting and delivers what is the best short film among the four. This is the most subtle and least biographical, yet it tugs at your heart unlike most films we see these days. Watch the talented powerhouse of talent, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as he mimes into his daughter’s and the viewers’ hearts! A splendid effort indeed
The story takes place in one single day and finds Nawazuddin’s character land up on a film set by pure luck. The fact that inspite of unfulfilled dreams and unrealized ambitions, he doesn’t lose hope and tries to stay happy, is what makes this film so genuinely upbeat. Sadashiv Amarpukar delivers the best performance of all the 4 films. I am gladly he is finally getting his due!
Zoya Akhtar – Sheila Ki Jawaani
Zoya’s story seems autobiographical because of the lovely sibling relationship portrayed in this film. This film is about a boy being obsessed with Katrina Kaif and wanting to be just like her! Of course, the father sees this as extremely unusual behaviour and tries to do everything he can to stop his son from cross-dressing. To make things magical, Katrina Kaif appears in a pleasing cameo.
The little boy who is the universe of the film is simply amazing. He goes about his acting duties with a genuine spunk and never misses a beat. Ranvir Shorey plays the mortified father. And what a brilliant performance by this very talented actor! The girl who plays the sister is very good and the sibling chemistry between the two kids is something to behold. This year has seen very good performances by child actors (Ek Thi Daayan mainly) and the two kids here do even better.
Anurag Kashyap – Murabba
Anurag Kashyap’s involvement with Bombay Talkies got the other 3 directors on board. This story is partly autobiographical, as he traces the story of a man who comes to Mumbai from Allahabad just to meet Amitabh Bachchan. This was his father’s last wish. This film tells the story of this man’s struggles to meet Amitabh Bachchan when he finally arrives in Mumbai. It’s filled with humorous anectodes and you root for him to meet the BIG B!
Vineet Singh gets the nuances just right and plays an Allahabadi with the correct tone throughout. Anurag needs to be given a pat on the back for entrusting the film on Vineet’s capable shoulders. Vineet’s presence makes the film so much better than the wafer thin story had you believe. Amitabh Bachchan makes a guest appearance and it’s highly satisfying.
Conclusion: Catch this film because the 4 stories take you into their respective worlds, and they make you laugh, chuckle, ache, cry, anguish. This film shows how far India Cinema has come in these 100 years. It makes you and the Indian Film Industry proud. Behold as the magic unfolds on screen. Don’t miss this film at any cost!
Bombay Talkies Review by Zayden