Bombay Velvet Reviews
Much of the film dazzles, but I found myself longing for some soul.
Lookswise, the film is pure gorgeousness. Trouble is, it is also largely overwrought and inert. The meticulous detailing in the re-creation of one of the most pulsating periods of Bombay’s history, is terrific. Much of the film stays, mostly and disappointingly, on its sumptuous surface.
Bombay Velvet is an obviously shallow film, an all-out retro masala-movie with homage on the rocks and cocktail-shakers brimming with cliche...
There is almost too much plot, and yet it isn’t gripping. Key plot points pop up and then randomly disappear. The climactic sequence has power and poetry, but it feels like too little too late. Bombay Velvet had the potential to be the definitive Mumbai noir. But the centre does not hold.
Detailing is Bombay Velvet’s real deal and that makes it a watchable movie. Also, don‘t expect it to be another film on the line of Gangs Of Wasseypur 1 and 2. This time, it’s more about the masses.
The visual grandeur and scale aside, Bombay Velvet fails to live up to its ambition. Don’t even try to search for sharp dialogues and Kashyap’s trademark wicked humour. That’s probably reserved for his indie ventures only.
Bombay Velvet is too bloodless to stun, too passionless to stir...paints a pretty postcard but not the soul of its decade.
Bombay Velvet spends too much time on period details and loses focus...is marred by weak storytelling
What you leave the hall with is a sense of disappointment. Bombay Velvet has neither the softness of velvet nor the sweep of the city it is an ode to. Unlike its pugilist protagonist, the film punches well below its weight.
The plot also wobbles between love story, crime saga, urban legend and corruption drama. Between lovers' fights, gun-battles and newspaper wars, you're thinking The. Godfather, Casablanca, Chicago - but you want to feel Bombay Velvet more.Its cinematography and performances, particularly Ranbir's edgy 'big shot', merit an extra half-star. But while Bombay Velvet is stylish, this fabric could have been smoother.
Some viewers might complain of an overdose of blood and gore, although I did enjoy the stylized gun-battle between a machine-gun wielding Ranbir and Khambatta’s henchmen. The ending feels clumsy and needlessly violent, with Kashyap trying to tie loose ends with a bare postscript before the final credits roll.
Bombay Velvet will go down in history as the film that had everything going for it – the actors, the budget, the scale and the promotion. And still somehow got derailed.If you are someone who wears velvet everyday, watch it.
...doesn't match up to the expectations one had from it. Despite all the grandiosity, one needs to be well-equipped in patience in order to savour the film. The external embellishments render the film quite heavy. It teeters on the edge, but ultimately manages to sail through. Bombay Velvet is grand, exquisite, elaborate ... and deserves a watch for Kashyap's style.
Bombay Velvet tries to be a classic fable. It would have been, if Kashyap had focussed on writing his film as he does on set design. Pardon the cliche, but that is the film's epic flaw.
Kashyap's foray into mainstream is ambitious in its scale but flawed in its execution.
...a visually enjoyable period drama. The love story is taut, chemistry is sizzling but thanks to an overstretched plot and a cliched second half, the film disappoints a little.
Audience Reviews for Bombay Velvet
I know Kashyap can make bad films, which are plainly unwatchable sometimes. But 'Bombay Velvet' is so disappointing and depressing, it is another level of bad. With Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in classy prints and stunning faces you do expect a lot. But the level of stupidity the film showcases is just unexpected, and in an Anurag Kashyap film, unwanted. The film never maages to keep us hooked even through the credits, forget the matter of lifting off. Amit Trivedi's music is the only find in this boring film. A genuine disappointment.
Among the list of much awaited Bollywood films of this year, Anurag Kashyap's "Bombay Velvet" would have figured prominently in the top half for most of the movie lovers. Well it was kinda understandable after all the cast & crew involved in the project were of proven credentials. Ever since the first look of the movie was released in January, just like many others even I was eagerly looking forward to its release. So does it have a script as captivating as its visual finesse???
India had recently earned its Independence & Bombay was making baby steps to being a metro as businessmen splurged money to make sure they reaped the profits by whatever means possible. One of the key players in this mad race was Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar), a stylish shrewd businessman & tabloid magnate who got all his dirty work done through his trusted aide, Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor). Johnny's journey from a small time con man to the manager of the iconic club, Bombay Velvet wasn't exactly a cake walk but his obsession to become a 'big shot' after being inspired by Hollywood gangster movies notably "The Roaring Twenties", made him commit crimes without batting an eyelid. If at all there was something which caused his heart to skip a beat, then it was Rosie (Anushka Sharma); who had also gone through a similar tumultuous childhood before becoming the most sought after singer of the club. Things moved along smoothly, until Johnny proved to be too big for his shoes. So has Johnny taken on more than what he can chew???
Anurag Kashyap belongs to the unique class of directors, whose movies are brutally realistic & that focuses more on the darker side of humans. In his latest venture, he has come with a stylised version of Bombay of the 1960s & actually it resembles more or less like a Hollywood movie of the yester years. Though he has done utmost justice to the technical aspects, he has failed to do the same when it came to the script. Based on Gyan Prakash's Mumbai Fables, the script by the quartet (Gyan, Anurag, Vasan Bala & S Thanikachalam) focuses on various plots against the backdrop of a romantic tale but unfortunately none of them woos the audience. The problem is such that the audience doesn't actually connect with the protagonist no matter whatever ill fate befalls on him.
However, from a technical point of view; "Bombay Velvet" absolutely rocks in all counts. Sonu Sawant's eye for detail with exquisite art designs & Niharika's elegant costumes were beyond words. Amit Trivedi's music which was predominantly jazz was outstanding & all kudos to Neeti Mohan for her brilliant rendition. Rajeev Ravi also deserves applause for his wonderful visuals while I felt the editing by Prerna Siagal & Thelma Schoonmaker could have been better.
Ranbir Kapoor has put on a scintillating performance as the protagonist which required charm & fury in adequate measure. Anushka has done a fine job though I felt maybe someone else like a Priyanka would have been a better choice as the character required more oomph & vulnerability; also she didnt seem so convincing as a singer. Karan Johar surprised me to be frank as he comes up with a credible act while Satyadeep Misra (as Ranbir's friend) was fantastic. As for the rest, Kay Kay impresses though he got a rather raw deal while Siddhartha Basu & Manish Chaudhury has done a fine job as well.
Verdict: The brand name of Anurag and an enviable cast & crew will ensure an encouraging initial at the box office. However, it's unlikely to cater to the taste of the audience due to a lack lustered script as the technical aspects could deliver only to a certain limit. In short, it had the potential to become a landmark movie but falls well short of expectations!!!
I really wanted to love this one! Though I don't agree with all the flak that it received!!!
One feels slightly intimidated and/or browbeaten to review Anurag Kashyap's films. His films are like the songs of American rock band Coldplay - most of them don't make much sense and because they don't make much sense, they can mean anything. Bombay Velvet is one such product.
Set between the late 40s and the late 60s in Bombay, story of a migrant, Balraj (Kapoor), who lives his life to grow exponentially on his own terms is hardly convincing. He begins his life with the monies hauled through pickpocketing and starts living his puzzling dream when he falls into the clutches of a bootlegger called Khambata (Johar). The build-up is faint as the story picks up pace to set the theme, which is about greed for power and fame that fixates our little, glam-doll protagonist.
Fear of anachronism is visible from frame one, and the brutal attention to details - to recapture (one prefers "reinvent" though) 50s'-60s' Bombay - is the greatest highlight of the film. This means the story is absorbingly clichéd.
The history of Bombay is heavily dealt with as the plot carves itself out, ending the crime drama with an epilogue that has a punctuation error in it. The touch of politics that drives the crime genre in the film is a cooler depiction of the developments that led to a city now called Mumbai, which became of Bombay and, is where I sit now and write this review. Now, THAT is fun to watch. Few familiar twists and turns drive the screenplay to a highly cribbed climax. Humor, if you can detect it, is wicked and forced.
Kapoor is phenomenal as the hero of the film, but my heart hardly ached for the lad as he went about gun-wielding to rip off men who denied his own way of maddeningly narcissistic life. The whole cast, including Sharma, Menon, and Basu do a beautiful job by staying in their characters. Debutante (that's what the intro credit says) Johar seems to have borrowed his natural effeminacy into the screen as he puts up a rather bad show at being a cool tycoon. His character is like a headless chicken who flounders (sic) after having pecked for cereals with other characters of the film. Pardon me for using a dialog from the film. If the makers can plagiarize (sorry, the right phrase is "be inspired"), why can't I?
I am tired of watching rip offs of that Godfather gun-in-the- flushbin idea, and that is when the film starts to fumble. With a soundtrack for the climax that reminds you of the Oscar Best Picture Birdman (2014) and FX TV show Fargo (2014), one can confirm the imagination quotient of the film. But do watch out for the mildest anti-smoking statutory warning in the history of Bollywood.
All said and done and having used few superlatives to describe the film's richness, I cannot use the word "original." And at a time when people go and die by originality, and partake in copyright fights, does a film made from ripping off old cult classics and popular ideas work? The audience have to decide. And boxing, if you wonder, from the trailers and the posters, is a gimmick. Apart from that, it is exhaustive at 150 long minutes.
BOTTOM LINE: Bombay Velvet, as an ambition, can be lauded for its art setup, which it never fails to brag about. But, with a phony villain and an over-smart hero, their joint saga is as raw as the blood that glimmers off the bodies of the men they kill. 5/10 - average.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO
This review was sponsored by ProdNote (www.prodnote.com)