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By Abhishek Gurbani in Skkreen! - On

Lights, Camera and Action!  These three words when stitched together work just like a magical spell. This magical spell is cast every Friday on the silver screen and the ‘junta’ empties their pockets to get spellbound by the magician’s tricks. The Director, Actors and the entire crew as a team is the magician and we are the ‘junta’.  Bombay Talkies is a celebration of this magic that was first cast a century ago and is still captivating people.

Four of the better directors of our generation have come together to showcase how this magic unfolds. If you are reading this review there are high chances that at some point or the other you’ve been under the arrest of this spell too. The link between the four stories is Cinema and how it influences lives of people who are not even remotely connected to the art of making it.

Anurag Kashyap, who is now a household name thanks to his recent commercial success, is the man behind the ‘Bachchan Mania’ story starring Vineet Kumar and Mr. B himself. You must have heard stories similar to this one not just about Bachchan fans but fans of other stars as well. There is nothing novel about the story but it’s the treatment and Vineet’s performance which makes it remarkable and a pleasure to watch. It has got a few twists and turns which ensure that this train does not get derailed. But for all you AK fans out there sadly enough his is not the best short that you’ll get to see in this compilation.

Zoya Akhtar, the lady who is capable of leading the pack of present generation of film makers, her short is the most simple yet a touching one in this compilation. One doesn’t get to see a story like this on the screen often and full marks to Zoya for this experimentation. But most of the credit for the same should go to the young performer Naman Jain who manages to charm the audience with his innocent and honest portrayal of ‘Vicky’. 

Dibakar Banerjee, the man who has gifted us quality cinema like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Khosla ka Ghosla in the past and the very recent Shanghai has drawn inspiration from the story of the Stalwart film maker of Indian cinema Late Satyajit Ray. Dibakar could not have casted a better actor to play the character of ‘Purandar’. Yes, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the man of this short and boy oh boy isn’t he a perpetual mine of talent. He manages to capture your attention even while he is washing clothes at a community tap. The short is beautifully presented and even the finer nuances like the use of Emu and the girl who plays the Assistant Director add to the character of the short. Nawazuddin Siddiqui along with Naman Jain can be referred to as the best performers of this compilation.

Karan Johar, the man who taught a generation that love is friendship and it’s all about loving your parents has left me stunned through his short which is as crisp and hard hitting as a Mumbaiyya Cutting minus the sugar. The initial shot of Karan’s short is more intense than all his candy floss cum larger than life dramas put together. Saqib Saleem, Randeep Hooda and Rani Mukherjee have delivered performances that are dramatic yet believable. Special mention for the little girl who sings the evergreen ‘ajeeb daastan’, for that’ll be etched in your memory even after leaving the multiplex.  This short is definitely the best one out of the lot at least for me (Dibakar finished real close on the second spot). Take a bow Mr. Johar and please offer us some more full length feature films with the same intensity in near future.

Bombay Talkies is like that plectrum which pulls all the right strings of your heart and leaves you with the sweetest memory in form of a luscious rhythm. If your life revolves around cinema or has been influenced by cinema in one way or the other you cannot afford to miss this beautiful compilation.

Abhishek Gurbani

Motion picture lover, Chikna Vakeel, on the rocks relationship with Whisky, soon to be Law and Business grad. O.o

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