Ode to cinema and its viewers

Ode to cinema and its viewers

Bombay Talkies
Hindi (U/A) ¬¬1/2
Cast:  Rani Mukherjee,
Randeep Hooda,
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Director: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap

Four stories. A common thread. And that thread has to be “cinema” as Bombay Talkies is saluting hundred years of Indian film industry along with its triumphs, tears and pelvic thrusts.

Karan Johan offers the first cinematic scoop where a luscious Rani Mukherjee plays a glossy mag editor and comes dressed up as a “dirty picture”. Husband Randeep Hooda is a news reader whose deep voice is sparsely resonated at home. “Want some sauce?

Breadsticks?” Hooda is a bland show both at the dinner table and in bed. Rani finds some colour in her new gay intern who eventually springs a coming-out surprise. Add a haunting “ajeeb daastan hai yeh” by a girl at a railway station and we have a KJo who is a pleasant deviation from his glitzy craft so far.

It’s Dibakar Banerjee’s turn next and he gives the best in the anthology, tracing a day in the life of a lower middle-class dreamer (Nawazuddin Siddiqui).

Living in a chawl with his family (and an emu that refuses to lay eggs) Nawazuddin finds it hard to find a job and keep his little daughter amused with Bollywood tales. It’s a touching tale that stirs up the right emotions.

Next, Zoya Akhtar brings back “Sheila” (her jawaani and all) with a kiddie fan of Katrina Kaif emulating her jhatkas and matkas. But dad Ranvir Shorey believes only a fit body will fetch jobs, and pushes the boy into the football ground. But the child gravitates to Kaif’s gyrations.

While the children in this episode do a jolly-good jig, the story fails to move.

Last comes Anurag Kashyap’s ode to Amitabh Bachchan where he portrays a youth (Vineet Kumar Singh) on a mission, in fact on his father’s mission — to meet the superstar and offer him a home-made delicacy. Hours and hours of wait later, Singh is offered his jaw-dropping moment. But we aren’t amused enough.

All the four stories of Bombay Talkies have their moments, but only one — Dibakar Banerjee’s — brings that familiar lump to your throat.

More than a tribute to hundred years of Hindi cinema, it’s a movie that celebrates its millions of viewers.

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