Splendid on surface, lacking in soul

Splendid on surface, lacking in soul

BOMBAY VELVET

Hindi (U/A)
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar
Director: Anurag Kashyap

Anushka Sharma strains her jaw (and duck lips) for two and a half hours, still doesn't get the jazz singer thing right. Then comes Raveena Tandon in a cameo, showing Sharma how to do it in seconds.

That's pretty much about the "performance" of the heroine. The elaborate gowns, however, ensure that Anushka's Rosie Noronha has a colourful recall value .

Ranbir Kapoor makes up for the gaps as Johnny Balraj, the streetfighter who dreams of becoming a "big shot" in the Bombay of late 60s. He plays the besotted lover to perfection, drooling all over Anushka Sharma. Kapoor's intense, pining eyes give a college-romance charm to the wooing drill.

Director Anurag Kashyap goes the extra mile in portraying a fledgling Bombay in great detail - from cars to buildings to the leading lady's headgear. But somewhere down the road, the grandiose sets rob the tale of its depth.

What keeps the story going is the chemistry between an unlikely pair - Ranbir Kapoor and Karan Johar (in a menacing debut). Johar plays newspaper mogul Kaizad Khambatta with vested real estate interests. The dark secrets of the corrupt city come alive in tabloid headlines as two media houses wash dirty linen in the press. Ranbir and Anushka turn pawns in their hands.

Ranbir is clearly the toast of Bombay Velvet, pulsating with emotions and pumping from machine guns. His heart thumps, but a skeletal script fails him.


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