On Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet



An anti-hero and his side kick, a rich and powerful antagonist, a glamorous heroine and a rags to riches story. This is not about the angry young man of the 70s; it is about the new angry young man - Ranbir Kapoor – I am Johnny Balraj, nice to meet you..  

The remarkable and vivacious sets recreate Bombay from the 60s and the 70s and make you go for a ride down the lanes of Bombay in style. The amber colour tint to the film brings back the Eastmancolor era.  The classic vintage cars, smoking pipes, double decker buses with monkey brand advertisements, almost empty streets and Amit Trivedi’s jazzy music score only add to the detailing required for a period film.

Anurag  Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet is more than just a typical rags to riches story. The story details on how Bombay was reclaimed from the ocean. The seven islands in Bombay were bought together by the then influential people of Bombay.  Jimmy Mistry and Kaizad Khambatta are media kingpins who are rivals. Johnny Balraj is the guy who wants to be a big shot. He is fascinated by watching a finale scene from the movie – The Roaring Twenties just as Kashyap is fascinated by L.A. Quartlet or Quentin Tarantino and world cinema in general. The film’s climax has a slow motion sequence where Johnny enters a room with tommy guns in his hands and there is drum roll in the background.

Karan Johar plays Khambatta and acts himself; quite literally where in one of the scenes he says this to Johnny Balraj over the phone, “Aisa kya hai Rosie ke paas jo mere paas nahi hai..” This is a serious scene though.

Also worth mentioning is that casting director Mukesh Chhabra has casted a child Johnny Balraj who looks exactly how Ranbir Kapoor would have looked like in his childhood. 

After losing the Ugly spat with the Censor Board over the disclaimer tag for smoking scenes; this time, Kashyap has put a permanent ‘Smoking Kills’ tag in Bombay Velvet whether his characters are smoking or not. Points level.

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