Banner: Phantom Films & Fox Star Studios
Producer: Vikas Bahl & Vikramaditya Motwane
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Kay Kay Menon, Manish Choudhary, Siddhartha Basu, Remo Fernandes, Satyadeep Misra, Vivaan Shah, Mukesh Chhanbra, Raveena Tandon, Mrinmoy Goldar & Varun Grover
Music: Amit Trivedi
Director Anurag Kashyap needs no special introduction in Bollywoodian arena. He has given offbeat films, some of his films have proved milestones in Indian Cinema while some of his films garnered enough critical acclaim & some have even won awards galore on the home front as well as the National as well as International festival circuits but…….perhaps all this success has gone to his head as he has gone totally bonkers in his latest directorial offering namely ‘Bombay Velvet’, need I say anything more.
Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) is a petty thief in Bombay, in the 1950s. Rosie (Anushka Sharma) has escaped her abusive teacher (Remo Fernandes), left Goa and come to the city of dreams to make a new beginning. Balraj is picked up by a gravelly-voiced smuggler in a fedora. Rosie meets a chap called Jimmy Mistry (Manish Chaudhary) while singing at a seedy bar. He’s rich, she gets into his car. Meanwhile, Balraj decides to rob a bank with his friend Chimman (Satyadeep Mishra). The only problem is that Balraj is planning to pull this caper off with a finger gun. Balraj picks as his target a coiffed dandy, Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar). Khambatta may be wearing a yellow coat, but he’s not completely senseless. He realises Balraj’s ploy, but is impressed by his bravado. Or maybe he just thinks Balraj is cute. Whatever the reason, Khambatta invites Balraj & Chimman to his office, offers them a job, then stares at Balraj’s crotch (Is he gay?) for a moment before declaring that henceforth Balraj will be called “Johnny”. So why does Khambatta need henchmen? Because he wants to befriend the mayor of Bombay (Siddharth Basu). Apparently, the best way to do this is by killing the mayor’s coterie so that when the mayor finds himself in need of company, Khambatta will appear at the mayor’s service. It sounds extreme to us now, but perhaps in the lawless 1950s, this was how people networked. So Johnny & Chimman go around kidnapping & killing people for Khambatta. Khambatta, when he isn’t thinking up unimaginative names for cute boys, owns a newspaper called Torrent, writes Page 1 articles for it, pimps his wife out and is also an entrepreneur looking to get into the construction business. It turns out that Mistry & Khambatta are childhood friends and present-day rivals. Mistry runs a paper called Glitz, which carries exposés that are actually conjecture & gossip. When Mistry realises that Khambatta has put Johnny in charge of a gentleman’s club called Bombay Velvet, where Khambatta entertains his contacts, Mistry sends Rosie to Johnny as a spy. Somehow, Mistry also learns that Johnny has in his possession a set of negatives that are being used to blackmail an honest minister into participating in a real estate scam. Rosie’s task is to get the job at Bombay Velvet, seduce Johnny, get the negatives and give them to Mistry.
Perhaps the film’s director Anurag Kashyap has lost his marbles as he has created a spectacular mess, his more than 2 hours of torture is enough to give you an incurable headache. In short it is a periodic mess of a romance gone awry. Sorry guys sometimes it is hard to find a single flaw in a movie but in sharp contrast searching for one + point in ‘Bombay Velvet’ was like searching for a needle in a haystack and I failed in this mission too. Need I say anything more.
Performance wise Ranbir Kapoor is confusing, Anushka Sharma is intolerable, Karan Johar is irritatingly boring, Kay Kay Menon is looking lost in the entire milieu, Siddhartha Basu is over dramatic and as for the rest of the cast comprising of Manish Choudhary, Remo Fernandes, Satyadeep Misra, Vivaan Shah, Mukesh Chhabra, Raveena Tandon, Mrinmoy Goldar & Varun Grover have hammed their way throughout the film.
Tail Piece: Stay miles away from this ‘Bombay Velvet’ Club unless you wish to get lost in another boring time frame of 1950.