Island City follows three comic-dramatic stories set in Mumbai - a diligent office worker who wins the office 'Fun Committee Award', but is most reluctant to leave the safety of his cubicle, a domineering head-of-family, Anil, who is on life support and finally Aarti, whose repetitive existence is slowly making her more and more mechanical and numb.Wikipedia
Island City Reviews
That big cities are empty and soul-less (and Mumbai, Oberoi’s location, is our biggest) is a familiar theme. Oberoi renews it with a couple of good ideas, but doesn’t manage to give us an underneath layer: you are left wanting more, more depth, something that goes beyond the obvious.But there’s no doubt that Oberoi has an eye. I will be keen to see what she comes up with next.
Barring a few glitches, the film is watchable, courtesy the cast that performs proficiently. ...the real star of Island City is Ruchika Oberoi who proves that cinema is truly a director’s medium.
Island City is well paced, nuanced and to the point. Watch it for the sake of good cinema.
Oberoi shows enough promise of a better off-mainstream cinema that should emerge from her kind of storytelling.
Laced with sly wit and captivating storytelling feints, Island City touches heights that Hindi films do only once in a blue moon. It is absolutely unmissable.
While the execution is effective, the length of the stories may test your patience somewhere. We wish they were crisper. Overall, this one deserves to be watched for its riveting take on love, longing and loneliness.
All three stories have their strong points, but there are times when Oberoi cannot resist the temptation to spell everything out. That takes some of the edge off from what is otherwise a rare and honest portrait of the lives of urban dwellers.
Island City is one of the best Hindi films in recent times. It is a very well-made, confident film that fearlessly eschews Bollywoodisms and just exists in its distinctive rhythm; never for a second, feeling the need to shock and impress the audience.
On the technical side of filmmaking, Island City is just superlative. But fact is, this film is not meant for everyone. You need to have an appetite for Isaac Asimov kind of sci-fi coupled with a taste for fine cinema. Else you’ll find yourself a little lost in the detailed and very dystopian world of this film. It’s a real mind bender but also not for the average joe.
These overlapping stories about Mumbai city display a variety of emotions...
Three stories, tenuously tied in a presentation that is so amateurish, you wonder why NFDC would back this film school type story-telling. Thankfully one story stands alone and puts a smile on your face. This should have been released on YouTube.
Watch it for some gritty stories narrated very realistically by all actors, especially the three leads.
What Island City achieves is far more important than where it trips up. As a tonally tricky, slyly subversive mood piece, it finds itself in a very small group of Hindi films. It’s also an intriguing new entry in the long tradition of films that explore the spiritual heartache of living in Mumbai.
Writer-director Ruchika Oberoi's Fedora prize at last year's Venice Film Festival for Island City is well-deserved. Her approach to storytelling could be variously inspired by many, but she delivers on the style and format to make this a compelling watch.
All three stories are about authoritarianism, the individual rebellions against it and the happy and not-so-happy consequences of these unheralded, unknown mini mutinies. While this core idea is strong, the representation of it and the cinematic tonality is inconsistent, varying from tale to tale.
The 111-minute movie has been beautifully shot by Sylvester Fonseca, set in vividly captured locations, and perfectly performed by its ensemble cast, but the screw-loose narrative needed some tightening to have been truly effective. Oberoi sometimes takes too long to set up and spell out obvious moments and scenes.
Audience Reviews for Island City
You would’ve heard about the films releasing this week – Akira, Sunshine Tours and Travels, but amidst these there’s an NFDC film that has released by the name Island City – an award winning film that you wouldn’t have heard of, but sure you must watch it. To know why, continue reading…
1 film mein 3 ka maza!
Well yes, Island City is an amalgamation of 3 different stories that are not just intertwined but also connected at the ends.
Starring Vinay Pathak Amruta Subhash and Tannishtha Chatterjee these 3 different stories, will take you into the lives of Mumbai’s working, middle and lower middle class and the best part is that Island City is an art film that is extremely entertaining.
It keeps you invested in the plots with able writing and direction by Ruchika Oberoi, very real shots and locations of Mumbai, relevant and impactful dialogues and a very active background score that as I feel is a character on its own!
Island City keeps you guessing, shocking you sometimes while at times predictable, but nonetheless keeps you hooked.
Island City is an underrated, must watch film that may never garner the publicity or the success of a commercial Bollywood flick but this is the film that checks all the boxes of being an award winning festival parallel film and then some more for being equally entertaining at the same time.
I am going with 3 and a half stars.