'Bombay Velvet' - Movie Review

May 15, 2015, 09:10 IST | Shubha Shetty Saha

'Bombay Velvet' is more like a roller coaster ride, as it takes you on a dizzy high with its charming ambience and music that is bound to stay with you for long, but later you are brought down not so gently with the underwhelming plot and lack of punches

'Bombay Velvet'
U/A; Drama
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Manish Choudhury, Kay Kay Menon

'Bombay Velvet' review
Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in 'Bombay Velvet'. Pic/Santa Banta

Right from a stunning opening sequence, 'Bombay Velvet' deftly transports you to the city in 50s and 60s. A sepia toned, nostalgic world, where gullible men entertained themselves around a boxing ring and vulnerable women were still struggling to find their place under the sun.

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Brilliant and painstakingly detailed production designing makes sure that you are left with no doubts about where you are being sent back to, and combine that with the heady mix of robust jazz music (music director Amit Trivedi), and the magic is half done.

But then again what's beauty with little or no soul? 'Bombay Velvet' chronicles the tumultuous journey of young boxer Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) and his trusted pal, Chiman (Satyadeep Mishra). Johnny struggles to get out of his humble and shameful surrounding and he's willing to go to any lengths to be a "big shot". Johnny's desperation to make it big, is well exploited by a wily power broker, Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar). And then Johnny meets jazz singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma), leading to a childlike but deeply passionate relationship. Looming rather large in the scene is also the editor (Manish Choudhury) of a newspaper, who keeps a tight rein on Rosie's life.

The first half keeps you ensnared as you are busy soaking in the grandeur of the whole set up, the sizzling chemistry between Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma and of course, a whole lot of events unfolding in the course of one hour. But then again on the flip side, so many happenings are crammed together that you are reeling under the effect to be able to really connect with any of that. Second half plummets further as the screenplay largely hangs on to predictable clichés and even belies a few lacunae, which seems too silly to be part of this evidently well thought of film.

Ranbir Kapoor is beyond brilliant in his role of Johnny, a childlike, impetuous, stubborn but heartbreakingly passionate and vulnerable young man. Anushka Sharma gives good support as she lives Rosie, a silent sufferer of the atrocities of men who want to rule her, who comes to life only after Johnny showers her with love and unbridled passion. Satyadeep Mishra as Johnny's pal is fantastic.

Photos: The Kapoors and Varun Dhawan watch 'Bombay Velvet'

Karan Johar puts in an admirable effort but his character seems a bit too twisted to be convincing. One wishes we had less of KJO and more of Kay Kay Menon, who plays a small role of an honest cop but still manages to make an impact. Wish there was more of Raveena Tandon in the film.

'Bombay Velvet' is more like a roller coaster ride, as it takes you on a dizzy high with its charming ambience and music that is bound to stay with you for long, but later you are brought down not so gently with the underwhelming plot and lack of punches.

Watch it for the experience.

Bollywood celebs heap praises on 'Bombay Velvet'

Sonakshi Sinha: Visually stunning and great performances - Bombay Velvet. @anuragkashyap72 take a bow @karanjohar makes debut of the year

Varun Dhawan: Bombay velvet is grand and chaotically beautiful. Superb performances. @karanjohar is the best debut this year he's outstanding!!!

Kalki Koechlin: #BombayVelvet years later will b named a classic, next week it'll b the film that puts @anuragkashyap72 in the list of most wanted directors

#BombayVelvet RK steals the show, among brill actors, @AnushkaSharma sings her heart out, the Jazz is wacky, the world so stylish, go cinema

Abhishek Bachchan: Really enjoyed Bombay Velvet. Such a well made film. Well done Anurag, Ranbir, @AnushkaSharma, Kay Kay, Satyadeep and @TheVivaanShah

Everything about the film is pitch perfect.Every department.Such a joy to see,but not as much a joy as seeing @karanjohar make a full debut!

Add Actor to the Bio KJ. You are the surprise of BV. Biggest hug.

Anil Kapoor: Watching the uber-versatile @karanjohar flex his acting muscles in the visually stunning #BombayVelvet.

Arjun Kapoor: Bombay Velvet has a world which is a film lovers wet dream & the performances a viewers delight @anuragkashyap72 @karanjohar @AnushkaSharma

Rishi Kapoor: Anurag where's Srilanka?All my bachpan Bombay!Ranbir your frenzy Anushka your playback rendition Karan that laughter scene Manish Vivaan etc

Radhika Apte: #BombayVelvet so grand it transported me to another world! What an experience!! @anuragkashyap72 @satyadeepmisra @AnushkaSharma @karanjohar

Aditi Rao Hydari: I love being told a story...BombayVelvet what an experience!JOY! @anuragkashyap72 @AnushkaSharma @satyadeepmisra #RanbirKapoor @karanjohar

Arshad Warsi: Bombay Velvet is an example of how films should be made. Effort on detailing & back ground score is impeccable. Stylish & intense film

Manish Malhotra: Saw #BombayVelvet last night Excellent performances by Ranbhir Anushka and introducing @karanjohar SUPERB in the film

Shaan: Every department is phenomenal. The writing, the acting, the technical finesse. What composition! What music! What KJo!! #BombayVelvet

#BombayVelvet is a modern classic. Its in the history books @anuragkashyap72. Ranbir Kapoor makes you breath Johnny Balraj. Outstanding.

Kunal Kohli: Just saw #BombayVelvet @karanjohar is BRILLIANT. Ranbir as always unmissable. Take a bow @anuragkashyap72. Labour of love & hard work.

Watch the trailer of 'Bombay Velvet'

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