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Films 2015 - India - Bombay Talkies

Bombay Talkies

Director: Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Karan Johar, 2013

Language: Hindi, English
127 minutes – India

An anthology of 4 short films, celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema:

  • Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh, directed by Karan Johar: A short film dealing with the issue of sexual identity and honesty.
  • Star, directed by Dibakar Banerjee: The story is an adaptation of Satyajit Ray's short story "Patol Babu, Film Star" about a failed actor who is struggling to make a living after his father’s death. In an important turn of events, he stumbles upon a final chance to prove himself to the world and more importantly, to his daughter.
  • Sheila Ki Jawaani, directed by Zoya Akhtar: A 12-year-old boy aspires to be a Bollywood dancer. His father however wants him to be a football player. Meanwhile, his sister wants money to go on a School trip but is refused by their father who spent all his funds on the son's football training. But the brother comes to his sister's rescue and offers to perform to raise money for her trip. They organize a small ticketed event at an old garage, where the boy gets to help his sister AND to dance.
  • Murabba (Fruit Preserve), directed by Anurag Kashyap: The story begins with Vijay traveling to Mumbai to fulfill his ailing father's desire: that Vijay meet Bollywood superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, feed him homemade 'murabba'—and bring the remaining half-jar of murabba back to the father. Vijay's father believes that doing so will bring comfort to him and in turn lengthen his life. After Vijay has initial success in reaching Mr. Bacchchan, an accident makes fulfilling his father’s desire impossible—until the movie’s end, with Vijay's father contemplating how life takes a full circle.

Critical reception:

  • Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film 4/5 stars, and noted that the film "is one of those infrequent movies wherein you get to eyeball the superior efforts of four top notch film-makers in less than two hours. This reality alone makes the film a compelling watch, [along with] superior performances and absorbing themes … This celebration of cinema is a must watch!"
  • Hindustan Times also raved: "Bombay Talkies is a unique experiment that works very well. The collaboration between four leading directors suggests a confidence that was rare in the industry even a decade ago."
  • Tushar Joshi wrote that "Bombay Talkies is a format that needs to be praised for its concept. The sequencing of the stories works and the pace is swift, never showing signs of lethargy...."
  • Sukanya Verma gave it 3.5/5 stars: "Bombay Talkies is an absorbing ode to the language of cinema that is part of our collective system. … Rani Mukerji’s flawless artistry as an imprisoned soul wearing a mark of normalcy elevates the emotional core of Johar’s story."