After all the accolades that the director-actor duo, Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao amassed for Shahid, the talented duo gives the audience one more reason to shower compliments on them. Citylights, directed by Hansal Mehta, produced by the Bhatt Camp and stars Rajkummar Rao and debutante Patralekha, is a film that will prick you from start to finish. Prick, because of all the truth that the film is cumulatively made of.
The film is based on last year’s Metro Manila, that won many awards including a nomination at the BAFTA Awards 2014. Ritesh Shah (writer) has successfully adapted the original film’s script into an Indian setting. In search of a better life to live, a poor farmer shifts base from his village somewhere in Rajasthan, and comes all the way to the city of dreams – Mumbai. The concept works, yes, because it is a known fact how many people set foot into the city looking for an opportunity to shine but are seldom lucky. Why it may not completely work is due to the overtly-melodramatic scenes at places, and the obvious climax that the film goes towards.
Rajkummar Rao plays Deepak Singh who along with his wife and child travels to Mumbai in search of an opportunity to make their lives better. All they face, however, is treachery and lies from the people who befriend them. Immense misery and desperation drives the couple into taking a step that changes their normal lives and drives them to a point of no return.
Citylights are blinding and have the power to obscure your perspective. And the message that one gets from the film is as hard-hitting as it is true. Save for a few additions to the plot, the film is a watch to remember. More so, because at a certain level, it is a concatenation of commercial and parallel cinema.
Why should you watch this film?
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.