I am just back from watching the universally declared flop “Bombay Velvet”, but let me tell you it Is hardly that! The movie stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Kay Kay menon and a slew of other famed actors. Mind it, actors. Not stars. And that’s where the difference lies, like in all Anurag Kashyap movies. I am a huge fan of AK’s style of movie making and you might say I am biased. And you might as well be true. But there is just something about his movies that makes me go WOW. Every.Single.Time.
His canvas is huge. His art, abstract. Not everyone can understand or love a Picaaso. Now, can we? He is, just that. Brilliant at what he does. I just LOVE his narrative. The way he uses his actors. What he gets out of them. The plot is invincible. The star cast enviable. The music, hummable, likeable and something that adds a lot of drama to the movies. In places, it takes the story forward. Sometimes becomes the narrative.
Ranbir Kapoor plays a street fighter who has grown up as a small time goon. He hopes to make it big. He has played his part to perfection. Every scene just makes Johnny Balraj (Ranbir’s character) grow more on you. His madness is his perfection. The ironies in his character make him loveable. He is a merciless goon on one side, and a hopeless romeo on the other. He falls in love with panache, you cry when his heart breaks and you smile when he gets his act together.
I don’t like Anushka Sharma a lot, but trust AK to bring out the best from his actors. She doesn’t have too many dialogues in the movie. She emotes. And pretty well, at that. I wouldn’t say this was the best performance, but probably her best till date!
And what can I say about Karan Johar? He is a show stealer. My god! Can he act? Or can he? He is bloody brilliant, pretty much like AK’s vision. You can totally paint Kaizaad Khambata’s character through him – sophisticated, mean, and merciless and a manipulator to the T. I still can’t get over the images of the ever-affable, always breaking into a giggle Karan Johar to portray this mean and complex character perfectly. I think I enjoyed his character the most, partly because I couldn’t believe what a brilliant actor he is! I totally loved the scene where Johnny goes to Khambata and asks for his hissa. And during the course of conversation, he wants to break into a giggle but doesn’t want to show his vulnerable side to Johnny. The way he switches from being mean, red eyed to giggly and that red eyed merciless expression again, is a stealer.
And like always, trust AK to treat you to a lot if style with his imagination as a director. There is violence in the movie, but he makes it indispensable. He makes it stylish. There is this scene during the climax where Johnny breaks into the Bombay Velvet club holding two machine guns, one in each hand. And the way that scene unfolds in slow motion, the machine guns sounding “dhoom, dhoom, dhoom”, I just wanted to stand up and applaud this genius of a man. What brilliance and creativity. I think I can always go on and on about how Anurag Kashyap is the one of the most intelligent film makers who have such an inherent style of story telling. His brilliance shows in each scene. I also like the fact that he likes to do away with dialogues in many places and just let the acting and emotions take the story forward. He doesn’t tell you the story. He paints a picture and let your imagination and perspective to take over. One day, this man will walk the echelons of the film industry and gain the cult status of the likes of Guru Dutt or an Amitabh Bacchan.
The only point I thought where the film could have better is if it were a little crisp. But then again, AK’s style of narration is expansive, and the back story that he builds so huge that it might have been a bad idea to cut it short. We might have just lost the plot altogether.
Also, Kay Kay Menon’s role was miniscule and I felt he was thoroughly wasted. He is one actor who totally demands more screen time.
Altogether, a thumbs up for the movie from me.
My rating 4/5