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Movie Review : City Of Gold


 
 City Of Gold
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Mahesh Manjrekar
 Ajit Parab
 Srirang Godbole
 Vineet Kumar, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Kashmira Shah, Satish Kaushik, Ganesh Yadav, Sachin Khedekar, Seema Biswas, Ankush Choudhary, Siddharth Jadhav,Veena Jamkar,Shashank Shende,Karan Patel, Anousha Dandekar

City Of Gold Movie Review

April 23, 2010 07:23:12 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Director Mahesh Manjrekar has thought out an interesting subject. He begins on track but somewhere along loses grip and instead of focusing on mill workers and their plight, he moves off, and takes cinematic liberties focusing more on crime and more crime. Yes, the movie is hard-hitting and thought provoking. But to an extent. However, it does not let you empathize with what the mill workers went through. Instead, what you get is a VAASTAV like situation. Son taking to crime. Of course, the mother does not shoot him.

I felt terribly let down because Manjrekar had touched on a topic that has been buried deep beneath the multiplexes, business centres and residential towers in Mumbai's Parel areas where the mills once stood. What was supposed to be grim reminder about the mills and the thousands of mill workers who lost their livelihood (some their lives), turns out to be just another commentary on crime, or the genesis of the city's underbelly, as the synopsis reveals.

The plight of the mill workers is told through the tale of one such Maharashtrian family living in the millworker's chawl. The head of the family, Anna (Shashank Shende) decides on voluntary retirement in the hope of getting a sizeable chunk as remuneration. However, he does not realize that there are other forces at work, which are beyond his control. The mills are heading for a closure and not only Anna, but thousands will soon be jobless.

Anna lives in a one-room tenement with his wife, three sons and a daughter. All children take diverse routes as the family copes with one disaster after another.

Here's where, I feel, Manjrekar got it right.
  • The film is moving on track as he introduces the characters through flashback. The three boys and the girl's paths are well etched out. Even the sets, especially the chawl and the houses, are well shot and thought out.

  • The neighbours in the chawl are introduced intelligently. Then the film changes track.



Here's where, I feel, Manjrekar lost the plot.

  • Naru (Karan Patel) is the hotheaded youngest son in the Dhuri family who speaks through blows. He takes up for his friends who are bullied and lands up in the net of a local don, Parshya Bhai (Ganesh Yadav). A very weak portrayal.

  • The son-in-law of Khetaan Mills, Mahendra (Sameer Dharmadikhari), who wants to shut down and sell its land, is very unconvincing. His track is too filmi and lacks sting. It's more like a Bollywood villain of the 80s who lived in a den and called the shots. Here, Manjrekar had to inject some life to make the management-union tussle more real.

  • The local baniya's son seduces the girl of the family. His character is moronic. More like an MTV clown. But what surprises is that Naru takes on fights for 50 paise, but when his sister is impregnated, he does nothing. This is too hard to digest.

  • Manjrekar focuses more on Naru's daredevilry which takes the impact from the mill workers' plight.

  • From then on, it's a free fall into VAASTAV territory with the elimination of Naru on the beach in a very dramatic, emotional and power-packed scene.
Karan Patel and Siddharth Jadhav, who plays speedbreaker, the stammering buddy of Naru (who endears himself to the entire locality and the audience) are super duper. They are the life of the movie and each light up the scene whenever they come on. Seema Biswas as the mother, Shashank Shende, Sachin Khedekar as the Union Leader and Kashmera Shah all chip in to make life in the chawl more colourful and believable.

CITY OF GOLD is a classic case of honest intent, losing to crime content!

Rating - 2.5/5



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