• Where ‘Citylights’ succeeds is in telling the story of ordinary people living below the poverty line people we seldom cast a second glance at people who sometimes have to resort to desperate measures just so they can keep their children alive. It’s a good film, but not without its flaws.

  • Shubhra Gupta
    Shubhra Gupta
    Indian Express


    Mehta does well with generating dread and creating a couple of surprising curves, which almost overcomes some of the plot’s uneven arcs. The songs nearly ruined the film for me, but ‘Citylights’ gives us pause. And an actor who makes us believe, all the way.

  • Anupama Chopra
    Anupama Chopra
    Hindustan Times


    Citylights is persuasive. It will work better for you if you haven’t seen the original.

  • Sweta Kaushal
    Sweta Kaushal
    Hindustan Times


    Citylights is a story we have seen many times before. However, the execution of the film by the National Award-winning director Hansal Mehta makes the film intensely gripping and thought-provoking.

    The film is not meant for audience which wants usual Bollywood fare. Its climax, for example, may disappoint many but is likely to gain its own niche audience.

  • Kusumita Das
    Kusumita Das
    Deccan Chronicle


    Citylights follows the graph of impoverishment, exploitation and the eventual rebellion. The film is as breathless as its protagonists, but there is a certain poetry in its treatment that leaves a mark. Given its premise, some might say it’s old wine in a new bottle. But this bottle’s certainly a keeper.

  • A hard, unrelenting film that doesn’t give in to over sentimentality, Citylights is just like the city of Mumbai. It beats you down and when you are broken, takes you in its arms and loves you.

  • CityLights isn’t a feel-good entertainer. It is a film that shocks, provokes and seeks to prick our collective complacency and apathy. That obviously adds up to infinitely more value than the price of a multiplex ticket.

  • Srijana Mitra Das
    Srijana Mitra Das
    Times Of India


    So, Citylights is based on Sean Ellis’ acclaimed Metro Manila, but it also unlocks the doors to other movies in your mind. This is both a strength and drawback for this remarkable film.

  • Rohit Khilnani
    Rohit Khilnani
    India Today


    CityLights is a very important film, it gives us a reality check. Mumbai is known to be the city of dreams but it does have a big share of shattered dreams too.

    It’s a good one but from the team of Shahid and with Mahesh Bhatt backing the project, we expected more.

  • Citylights might have its flaws but is overall a film that must be watched. A befitting commentary on social exploitation, the film’s humane touch and the expressive treatment catapults it to a different league. But mostly I find it hard to not sing praises of Raj Kumar Rao whose superlative work gives the film it’s mettle. I ordinarily was going to go with a 3 but for Raj Kumar’s brilliance I am giving this one a 3.5/5. Industry has found an heir to Irrfan Khan and when it comes from a fan, understand that he is a keeper.

  • Taran Adarsh
    Taran Adarsh
    Bollywood Hungama


    CITYLIGHTS is one of the most captivating movie experiences of late. An expertly-crafted heartbreaker, this tragic tale has a riveting plot, power-packed narrative, soulful music and arresting performances to haunt you much after the screening has concluded. A must watch!

  • Sachin Chatte
    Sachin Chatte
    The Navhind Times


    The cast plays an important role in City Lights – newcomer Patralekha puts up a good show, she conveys her vulnerability in the right measure and pulls through in the emotional scenes as well. Manav Kaul as the friend is first rate but ultimately the film belongs to Rajkummar Rao who is simply terrific. The film is yet another feather in his cap which is collecting them at a rapid pace. For his performance itself and as a film that has something to say, City Lights is worth a watch.

  • Rachit Gupta
    Rachit Gupta


    It’s a barren canvas of Mumbai’s underbelly and poverty and corruption. Things we’ve seen a thousand times before. Only this time they’re show in softer focus, more artful lighting. That’s the thing about lights. They can create a wonderful optical illusion. But it only lasts till you get up close and realise there’s nothing there.

  • CITYLIGHTS shows promise but is let down by an inconsistent script. At best, you can watch it for Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha’s outstanding performances.

  • Do watch this film as it narrates the sensitive-yet-disturbing story of how human greed and selfishness can wreck lives. It also shows how unfortunately survival in a big city more often than not comes at the cost of moral values.

  • Subhash K Jha
    Subhash K Jha


    Citylights would remain with me for a long time. Gripping glorious and unforgettable, it is a shattering life-changing experience.

  • OneIndia


    Hansal Mehta’s Citylights starring Rajkumar Rao and Patralekha is a delight to watch and even though it might make you saddened by virtue of it’s tragic tale, Citylights will surely leave you with the words in your mind, “Great movie yaar…!”

  • When there are so many factors going against a movie, you expect the story to compensate things. Sadly it’s paper thin, and crumbles under the weight of the film’s mediocrity. You might argue that it’s unfair to compare City Lights to Metro Manila, and that this film was made only for those who aren’t familiar with the original film, but those people do deserve better, more polished material.

  • Johnson Thomas
    Johnson Thomas
    The Free Press Journal


    A legitimate inspiration, Vishesh Film’s Hansal Mehta directed ‘Citylights,’ repackages the 2013 Sundance premiered, British-Filipino Indie production ‘Metro Manila,’ written and directed by Sean Ellis. Set within an Indianised setting and rewritten to suit the milieu in Rajasthan and Mumbai, it loses most of its charm in the bargain.

  • Komal Nahta
    Komal Nahta
    Komal Nahta's Blog


    Citylights is a very class-appealing film with not much novelty value. It can hope to do well in select multiplexes of the big cities but not otherwise. Its mediocre investment is a point in its favour.

  • To write about CityLights is difficult. It is one film that brings up so many thoughts that I rather shut up that write anything that does not do justice to the film. That’s the impact Hansal Mehta’s direction left on me. This film soaks you in, and refuses to leave you much after you have left the theater. The songs continue to haunt. Recommended must watch!

  • Daily Bhaskar
    Daily Bhaskar
    Daily Bhaskar


    CityLights is not a commercial film at all. It’s not a film which you would like to watch with your family to lighten up your mood. CityLights will make you think, cry and will stay with you even after the climax. Indian audience has so far maintained a distance from this genre of cinema. CityLights might change the trend.

  • Saumya Sharma
    Saumya Sharma


    An honest attempt at showing the search of a better life in the city of dreams.
    More than the performances that the film boasts of, it’s the smart use of the camera that captures emotions to the tee. Kudos to Hansal Mehta and to the entire crew for bringing this awe-inspiring work to the forefront.

  • Tushar Joshi
    Tushar Joshi
    Bollywood Life


    CityLights is deep, dark and extremely depressing. But Mehta deserve full marks for going all the way and giving us a glimpse of the city’s dark underbelly where dreams are often shattered and broken.

  • The film doesn’t quite work to its full potential. You might want to sample it for the story, formidable performances and few arresting moments.

  • Citylights tries to be two things at the same time for some things that cannot go together. True it keeps the setting real and the performances support that theme. But, other than that, it doesn’t engage. Just because a film is morose and grim, it doesn’t qualify as one that reaches out to you deep within. It is not good enough to have realistic setting and performances. The story has to make you believe too. That is what Citylights misses.

  • Purely as a film that explores the connection between immigration and crime – and for its ability to come together beautifully as a collaborative effort – City Lights is a fascinating watch.

  • Rahul Desai
    Rahul Desai
    Mumbai Mirror


    Citylights’ frighteningly carnivorous undertow singularly restores Mumbai’s reputation as India’s most absolute cinematic city.

  • Anuj Kumar
    Anuj Kumar
    The Hindu


    If you have watched the original try it to see how Manila could easily be Mumbai and if you haven’t, go get illuminated about the ground realities beneath your feet.