IBTimes India Rating: 2
Remember that one time you bought a really attractive pair of heels, tumbled and boxed it up promising yourself to never see them again? Anurag Kashyap's "Bombay Velvet" gives you a similar vibe.
The grandiose of the richly decorated sets draws you in, but as the story unfolds you begin to see how big a let-down it is.
Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor), a street-fighter who loses fights, and his obsession with Rosie Noronha (Anushka Sharma), the struggling jazz singer, is what makes up for the loopholes in the narrative.
Enter Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar), who takes the wanting to be 'big-shot' thug closer to his dreams of being successful and having the damsel in his arms.
At its heart, the story is very regular with nothing to look forward to yet it could've been made into something exceptional had the filmmaker not fallen prey to the trappings of commercial cinema.
Blingy night clubs, shady alleys, string of vintage cars and all things 60s, are superficial elements which somewhat salvage the poor plot execution.
With characters and twists, the first half gets filled to its brim yet gives the audience something to stay hooked to. But, post-interval unnecessary slomo sequences, Tommy guns and RK's made-up accent gets too much to take.
RK's portrayal of the power-hungry, selfish Johnny Balraj is close to real and could very well redeem his career after it was left devastated by two gems called "Besharam" and "Roy". Anushka does the feisty bar singer with aplomb leaving no scope for scrutiny.
Karan was a big surprise, who played the cold, calculative negative character to perfection. He may not be remembered for his performance, but it was a great maiden attempt at being an antagonist.
Director Anurag lost his touch with this one. He is one of the few directors who believes in keeping things real, and yet this neo-noir thriller couldn't find a way out of the tangled thickets of clichés.
The technical team shines and walks away with the highest points considering they've done all they could to make the story look visually appealing on celluloid.
Niharika Khan's costumes helped Rosie fit in to the era, Rajeev Ravi's cinematography captured the angst of the decade, and Sonal Sawant's production design is what makes "Bombay Velvet" watchable.
Takeaway: It is good, bad rolled into one. Watch it for Ranbir and Anushka's sizzling chemistry.