NO SPOILERS. This is NOT a review.
So this morning I went to PVR Saket and saw the much talked about (and criticised) film of the week: Bombay Velvet. My first reaction at the end of the film: Why do I suddenly feel that this entire thing against BV is some serious kind of negative propaganda done by the media, critics and filmmakers together against Anurag Kashyap?
I haven’t read a single review of the film till now (I never do when I know that it is a film I have to see. Else I would have a biased opinion about it even before I see it and that would absolutely influence my movie watching experience). But with the kind of negative response coming from all sectors (you can’t avoid the internet right?) I did my best not to get influenced by any of the comments until I saw the film myself. Yes, whoever wrote it, said it right- the internet IS killing Bombay Velvet! And it’s not just BV. It is the internet (and facebook specifically) which is killing good films and encouraging stupid ones. And most of us have fallen into this trap. (Completely. Without knowing probably.)
Those star ratings- they are absolute bullshit, in general. What if I was a famous critic and said amazing words about a film and gave it a 4 or 5 star rating, when actually the film is absolutely rubbish? You wouldn’t want to believe me right? How can one man's view be regarded as an absolute view of anything? You might absolutely love something that everyone hates!
So about Bombay Velvet- Yes, the storyline doesn’t end to your utmost satisfaction. But that is absolutely OKAY. I am no fan of noir films, and I haven't seen many films of the genre, but if seen as a standalone film without comparing it to any other film, the fact remains that Bombay Velvet is one of the very good films I have seen coming out of Hindi cinema in a long time. The scale is absolutely EPIC.
The grandeur of the 'Bombay' set in Sri Lanka, the epic orchestrated background music, the elaborate costumes- adding to the acting, editing and direction- I loved it. (Plus, my love for the city of Mumbai was a major factor, of course). There wasn't a single moment when I wasn’t transfixed to the screen. Although yes, the interval came so late that I thought the director has actually chosen to not have one (And that would have been awesome).
And that so truly pun intended 'Smoking Kills' message at the bottom of the screen throughout the film after his ‘Ugly’ delay- Mr Kashyap, salutes for this slap to the censor board (I am not sure if there is another angle to this one). If you don’t want the audience to see something, show it so extensively as a part of the screen that they completely ignore it.
I have spent money on so many ‘mazaa aa gaya’ type films which were truly pathetic and I have told myself at the end of each one that it was just one more kind of story I saw. But this was absolutely NOT the case with Bombay Velvet. THIS ONE IS ACTUALLY GOOD.
I liked Bombay Velvet. And IT IS MY UNBIASED OPINION. You watch it and then decide for yourself. Like it or not, it’s YOUR choice, YOUR opinion. Just DON’T let other people's voice make your opinion about it or any film. YOU DECIDE. BE YOUR OWN VOICE.
PS: The editor of the film is an alumnus of my college and I say that proudly. The editing was absolutely NOT bad.
PPS: And no, I am NOT saying all this 'for the sake of saying them' because I am a 'huge Anurag Kashyap fanboy'. I appreciate films that I like. And Mr Kashyap has, no doubt, made films which have been really good. Bombay Velvet IS one of them.