What makes an Anurag Kashyap film special? The story, the characters or the technicalities? Known for his dark yet realistic work, Kashyap has given us quite a few groundbreaking Hindi films. Just like his previous films, Kashyap has stunned us with his latest film, Bombay Velvet. But unlike his previous films, Bombay Velvet is highly glamorized. Right from the opening credits to the very last frame, Bombay Velvet takes us on a whirlwind trip across an era filled with crime, romance and, of course, jazz.
Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) and Chimman (Satyadeep Misra) are small-time goons. Their lives revolve around street fights, petty crimes and movies. Rosie Noronha (Anushka Sharma) is a jazz singer. Abused by several men from a very early age, she moves to Bombay in search of a better future and a career as a singer. Their lives get entangled when Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar), a media baron, lures Balraj with money and dreams of becoming a "Big Shot".
In the first half of the film, the character build-up is strong. With ace cinematography by Rajeev Ravi, Kashyap takes storytelling to a whole new level. The film will impress you visually.
Ranbir Kapoor gives a flawless performance as Johnny Balraj. This is his most genuine performance after Rockstar. There is something about his character that makes you hate him and empathize with him, at the same time. He dreams of becoming a "big shot" (inspired by The Roaring Twenties), the reason behind which is Rosie. It was love at first sight for him. Anushka Sharma also gives an impressive performance. Karan Johar is sassy, and how! This is the director’s acting debut and he does a good job. And when there’s Karan Johar, there have to be sexual innuendos. No offence taken. The character of Chimman, played by Satydeep Misra, is very well done. As Tony, Vivaan Shah provides the much-needed comic relief. However, Kay Kay Menon is completely wasted as Inspector Kulkarni. Overall, the performances don’t disappoint. But Ranbir Kapoor is the winner here.
The music by Amit Trivedi is absolutely refreshing. It helps create a sense of heightened drama, with an added touch of romance.
Though the first half of Bombay Velvet touts with edgy drama and thrill, it falls back down with the cliched plot of any other gangster film. The climax is quite predictable, with slight hints from Scarface. Yes, now we (sort of) get our own "Say hello to my little friend" moment. But then again, who’s complaining?
Why should you watch the film?
Watch Bombay Velvet for Ranbir Kapoor’s stellar performance and KJo’s full fledged acting debut. Though the film has its flaws, it doesn’t disappoint. Anyone who loves a good love story with a whole lot of action and rush, Bombay Velvet is the film for you. It takes you back into a harsh yet beautiful era of struggles, dreams and hope.