Mumbai Meri Jaan

I caught Mumbai Meri Jaan a tad too late. Of course, when it was released I was quite taken up by other factors in my mind. So when I saw the DVD stacked neatly, I bought it.

Indian cinema has been changing quietly while Shah Rukh Khan and coterie have been paying tribute to the heavily hyped seventies and eighties. Parallel cinema is no longer parallel and there is nothing known as 'art films'. Come to think about it, this movie would have been termed as a parallel cinema movie or an art movie just ten years from now.

What does this movie speak about? Well, as the name and promos suggest, the movie speaks about the life of four people, which changed forever after the bomb blasts that rocked the train bogeys. Of them one is the news anchor who finds tragedy knocking at her own door, and the newspapermen trying to clamor through her home window for the so called 'byte'.

Then, there is the upcoming software professional that has a green heart and wishes to change Mumbai to what it was thirty years ago; who suddenly finds that getting down in the gutters and cleaning them has its own share of stink.

The movie is rounded off by the underbelly of Mumbai, a well seasoned constable along with some new blood and a mid-night coffee vendor.

But of course, there are some chinks in the movie. I do not think the part where the editor calls up the news anchor for a 'byte' was unrealistic. Worse things have happened in the media industry and not spoken about. In fact, I liked the way the editor was portrayed, a spineless animal who takes the help of his 'right hand woman' to handle the queasy. Yes, such characters are out and about in any media house.

And to meet them you do not have to spend much time there. Just attend and interview and you will find them coming out of the woodwork, including calling each other at 6:30 for a 'cup of coffee' after work. And yes, I loved the characterization of the 'right hand woman', an unassuming woman who'd lose her personality as soon as she lost her square framed glasses, and someone who panders you all along to get her job done… I like it.

What I thought unrealistic was the scene where the coffee vendor and his family are hounded out of the mall. All said and done, malls are the playgrounds of the urban world. And no mall in its right mind will ever hound people from the front door. The next unrealistic scene is where the family tries to climb the escalator. The guard standing right next to the woman and child would lose her job if she goes about just staring dumbly at the scene. At the most, she would go ahead and escort the trio to the nearest elevator or staircase.





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