Nine out of ten Indians would have dreamt of making it big on the silver screen. Such is the impact of Bollywood on our lives [which is so ingrained in our psyche with the lives of actors and actresses over-riding our daily dose of editorial intake], that, inadvertently, one starts thinking of becoming another success story on screen like that of Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan-outsiders who made it big, with name fame and money!
But not every 'Want-to-make-it-big-in-Bollywood' story ends like that of Dharam, Big B or SRK. Thousands die a frustrating death every day. This is what first-time director K D Satyam brings on screen: the desire, the hunger and the 'will-go-to-any-lengths' attitude, to get noticed.
When Vishnu learns that his dream will not be fulfilled, he goes nuts. He wants to be reborn in an actor's home. This is craziness at its height, captured well by Satyam. An image of Amitabh Bachchan looking quizzically at him from his Khaki poster as he lies dying, chanting Om Mumbai bollywood stayanarayana namah, is serious in its intent although it displays craziness beyond explanation. Ashish brings in his experience to portray his frustration.
Rohit going nuts towards the end when the judges tell him exactly how they feel about him, is brilliant. Both the scenes-at the reality show after his act with the judges and the after--effects of the opinion and his wondering of what will now happen to him--are honest. Salim brings the house down with this one act of his. To pull off a good act on screen requires talent. But to pull off an act where you have to portray that you cannot act requires immense talent. Good job, Salim!
Imli is heart-broken after losing her investment in Bollywood. Her move to Dubai, resigning herself to her fate, going through the motions in life is portrayed with underplayed emotions. Raima Sen starts off hesitantly, but as the movie progresses she immerses herself into her character to give out a fine performance. Her transformation in looks and performance as a prostitute in Kolkata to her scorching new avatar in Dubai also displays her mind-set. The problem with Raima is that, at most times (in her movies), she lets her character be. She needs to 'be there' like she is in the latter half of the film to do justice to her talent.
The reality show part when the camera crew visit Rohit's house gives you that ''I-know-this-scene-feel'. The judges (Ekavali Khanna, Mohit Tripathi and Manish Shankar) take time to grow on you. The female anchor Poorva Neeraj deserves a special mention for her act where she conveys the 'angst' of the moment with the judges with her powerful body language.
BOLLYWOOD DIARIES is an honest film with a great connect, and although the build-up gives you that disjointed feeling, it packs a punch towards the end. If there has been a time in your life when you had harbored hopes of being a part of Bollywood, or still wanting to make it big in Bollywood, then this movie is definitely for you.
The three star rating is for the honesty in the script and the final salvo fired on screen by Satyam.