Johnny Balraj enters the gigantic night club of which he is a manager, dressed as Santa. He soon disarms the guys at the door, seizes their machine guns and barges in flattening 15 odd bodyguards of Kaizad Khambhatta who has taken his lover, Rosie as hostage inside. This is Khambhatta's night club.
As the guns blaze away, the sound of drums dramatize the tempo, the snare drum and the toms are played with finesse. Ditto the choke cymbals, ride and crash cymbals. Even if you don't like the sound of guns, you cannot escape the brilliant sound of drums.
But after Johnny is done with killing all, he enters the room where Khambhatta is having a meal, with Rosie tied to a chair and makes no use of his gun or the machine guns. All it needed was to put a bullet in Khambhatta's head and walk out with Rosie. We know that Khambhatta is not 'man' enough. His wife sleeps with other powerful men and he has expressed his preference for Johnny. Taking him off would be like taking an ice-cream from a kid's hands.
But no, Johnny loves a good beating as we are time and again shown. He likes raw fist. But here, he is not even doing that, he just wants to take Rosie to safety. Dude, if you have come so far, braving the odds, why not feed Khambhatta a bullet and scoot off?
That and many other little loopholes in the script take off from the intensity of the first 20 minutes that Anurag Kashyap creates, giving you the impression that this is going to be a ''Wow'' movie. CHECK OUT- Bombay Velvet : Songs Lyrics
In the first 20 minutes, Kashyap goes brilliantly about of getting the plot in place; even the use of Jazz music is superb. That was the time Bombay boasted of musicians who knew their ''do re mi.'' Where Brass was class; that aspect and the use of the name of yesteryear musician Perry (Chris Perry) is well used by Kashyap, albeit in a fleeting manner.
After that, the movie nose-dives. Too much sound, too much of everything; it's like someone who has gone to a buffet table and come back filling his plate with every delicacy laid out. How on earth are you going to put that into your stomach?
BOMBAY VELVET may be directed by Anurag Kashyap, but the credit for its authenticity of creating a city long forgotten, with its trams and busses and sparse streets and styling, goes to Sonal Sawant.
Had it not been for Sonal's consistent creativity from start to finish, interest in the goings-on, on the screen would have reached its nadir, even though Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma were belting out a good performance.
Bombay looked good then; the city is bursting at the seams now. And that is exactly what Kashyap is trying to educate us with in his latest. This is a glamourized, and I dare say, boring lesson in history on how Bombay became the city that it is today.
We are educated on how the waters were filled to make one big island, of how Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade developed, and also the coming up of the World Trade Centre. It also throws light on the plight of the mill workers. We are also given to understand how the high and mighty squeezed the City for their benefit.
And then there are the 'scums of the earth' who were made use of.
In this case, Balraj (Ranbir Kapor). Wanting to get rich overnight, Balraj who has teamed up with his childhood street friend Chiman (Satyadeep Mishra), who both grew up in a brothel, hatches a plan to rob a bank. He tries to run away with Kaizad Khambhatta's (Karan Johar) bag of cash. Khambata calls off his bluff and runs behind him to give him the bag! Funny! CHECK OUT: Bombay Velvet Movie Dialogues
He has seen a spark in Balraj and wants him to work for him. He rechristens him Johnny and sends him out to eliminate his foes, something Johnny does without a qualm. He also makes him the manager of Bombay Velvet, Bombay's most happening night club. But then, Johnny wants more, and then Khambhatta realizes that he has to do away with him.
In the meanwhile Rosie (Anushka Sharma) whose childhood is traced back to Portuguese occupied Goa is a good singer who escapes the clutches of her teacher to come to Bombay, tries her hand at 'Back Page' modelling and makes it with the publisher of the leading tabloid, Jimmy Mistry (Manish Choudhary). There is no mistaking the similarity between Blitz, the investigative tabloid which was edited by Russi Karanjia.
BOMBAY VELVET cannot be compared to any of Kashyap's brilliant style of story-telling. It does not even match a patch on THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS or his last film, UGLY. But yes, one does see shades of NO SMOKING!
Take a bow, Sonal Sawant; you are the star of the film.
If you want to watch Bombay in its pristine glory of the past, BOMBAY VELVET is a must watch. However, if content is what you are looking for, stay away!
It's a Phantom let down!