New Delhi: Mumbai with
its varied faces - slums cheek by jowl with skyscrapers, page 3
celebrities, underworld dons, the wide expanse of sea - has always
captivated filmmakers and many have painted different portraits of
the Maximum City in their films. The latest is debutante director Kiran Rao's "Dhobi Ghat" and 2011 will see quite a few films
dwelling on the multi-hued megapolis.
Besides "Dhobi Ghat", the year will see other films based on
India's commercial capital - Sudhir Mishra's "Tera Kya Hoga
Johnny", Anurag Kashyap's "That Girl In Yellow Boots", Ram Gopal
Varma's "Department" and "The Business Man", Ankush Bhatt's "Bhindi
Bazar INC", Sanjay Singh Mastan's "Mumbai Chakachak" and Ekta
"Mumbai is one of the cities in India that offers one a chance and
lets one be what one wants to be. I have a fascination for the
city. I adore it and love it. I have an affection for that place.
You can smell it in my work. I have always made films that revolve
around Mumbai and its spirit," filmmaker Sudhir Mishra told IANS.
Mishra's has profoundly explored the city through films like "Dharavi",
"Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi" and "Chameli". His long delayed "Tera Kya
Hoga Johnny" too is about the city and the director describes it
as "an insider's tribute to the city".
Filmmakers have regularly drawn inspiration from the movie capital
of the country and woven its myriad moods in the form of big
screen odes and anthologies to compliment its complexity and
Director Aman Mihani's attempt to lay bare the soul of the city
for a bunch of immigrants in "Mumbai Mast Kallander", which
released last Friday, was a failed attempt. The movie sank without
But expectations are high from Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao's
directorial debut "Dhobi Ghat", which focuses on various aspects
of the city through four different characters.
"'Dhobi Ghat' describes the city of Mumbai as intricate and vast
that is so difficult to explain it actually in a really accurate
and poetic way," debutante actress Monica Dogra from the movie
There are many more filmmakers ready to show the city in different
light such as avantgarde filmmaker Anurag Kashyap who has movies
like "That Girl In Yellow Boots" and Danny Boyle produced trilogy
"Bombay Velvet" in the offing. He also has to his credit the
critically-acclaimed commercial documentation of Mumbai bomb
blasts in "Black Friday".
Set during the Ganpati festival, Ekta Kapoor's "Shorr" is a
gritty, funny composite of Mumbai inspired from various daily
newspaper stories while "Bhindi Bazaar" sheds light on the
pickpockets in the city.
In the past different directors highlighted different aspects of
the metropolis with their enchanting scripts.
If Guru Dutt's "Kagaz Ke Phool" (1959) and Zoya Akhtar's "Luck By
Chance" (2009) put the spotlight on the glitz, glamour and the
dark side of the film industry that has lured thousands to the
city, Raj Kapoor's "Jaagte Raho" (1956) and Anurag Basu's "Life...
In A Metro" (2007) showed life and its challenges across different
strata of the city.
Different facets of the city have been explored in movies like
"Gateway of India" (1957), "Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi" (1958), "Salaam
Bombay!" (1988), "Parinda" (1989), "Sadak" (1991), "Bombay"
(1995), "Traffic Signal" (2007), "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "Aamir"
(2008) and "Tum Mile" (2009), etc.
Multi-tasking filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, known for his
glorification of Mumbai hoodlums and its crime, focused on the
city's underworld with Indian gangster trilogy "Satya", "D" and
"Company" before exploring a bit futher with "Sarkar" and "Sarkar
Raj". The director has two other outings "Department" and "The
Business Man" peeping into the city's crime nexus.
"Bombay as a theme binds all communities and religions together.
People from all across the country come to this city with
aspirations and most of them realise it. Bombay is a metaphor for
success," film historian SMM Ausaja told IANS.
"Bombay is also the centre of film industry and filmmakers
definitely want to pay an ode to the city as it has so much to
offer. The biggest reason is that Bombay has an universal appeal.
It is the quintessential cosmopolitan city," he added.
Call it utopia, muse or the city that never sleeps, whoever comes
here stays here. After all "Ye hai Bombay meri jaan".
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at email@example.com)