In an interesting development having long-term implications, the Mumbai-centric films that have released this year so far, have presented the city in a realistic manner bereft of the romanticism associated with the city. The realistic portrayal for the year started with AAMIR, where for the first time the Muslim populated settlements of Mumbai where shown in a graphic detail. It was an interesting insight and the film as it unfolded against this background was able to portray a different underbelly of the city never done before, the city of the real people having day-to-day struggle.
A hard-hitting film MUMBAI MERI JAAN, which set aside the sepia, toned romantic and surreal image of Mumbai followed it. It has been able to portray the reality of day-to-day struggle for existence that an individual has to face in this city, and the existentialist dilemmas that he has to cope up in his quest for survival in Mumbai.
It has been followed by WEDNESDAY that has brought the problems of policing a city like Mumbai on a day-to-day basis, when faced with the monster of a problem of ever expanding city physically and in terms of human numbers.
It has been owing to the new breed of directors and the new crop of actors along with the established actors who have the inclination and the aptitude to move away from the leak and to take up the challenge to provide a real portrayal of the city. This is what also facilitates in their success quotient as the common movie going public is able to identify with the problem and once he is able to identify with it; his attachment to the film grows. Ram Gopal Verma should take some credit as he had used the backdrop of chawls of Mumbai in a realistic manner in SATYA.
In this sense Mumbai is now growing closer to New York as far as the cinematic portrayal is concerned. New York forms an interesting backdrop in most of the films, and it never appears as if one has seen this location, for the sheer fact the location keeps on shifting from one settlement to another. In the same manner AAMIR, WEDNESDAY and MUMBAI MERI JAAN have created the magic for Mumbai. The by-lanes are dreaded and are the places where actions happen.
An aspect, which still has to find a cinematic attention is the legendary traffic jams in Mumbai and may be someone will take leaf out of the book and highlight this problem as, has been done by Hollywood in course of films.