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   Movie Review : Mumbai Meri Jaan

 Mumbai Meri Jaan
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Nishikant Kamat
 Sameer Phaterpekar
 Yogesh Joshi
 Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Madhvan, Paresh rawal, Vijay Maurya

Mumbai Meri Jaan Movie Review

August 30, 2008 8:37:58 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
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First the applause. Kudos to everyone involved in the making of this film. From the writer, to the director, to the actors, to the technicians, to the spot boys, to everyone even remotely connected to MUMBAI MERI JAAN. Now, to those not connected, my request is to please watch this movie. This is gripping cinema at its best. This is telling the story as it is. This is painting a picture on the canvas with every character. This is what good, meaningful, intelligent cinema is all about. This film does not teach, nor does it preach, but like Bhavana Talwar's DHARM, sends across a subtle message. It rings loud and clear.

The film revolves around the lives of six people and how they were affected by the July 11, 2006, serial train blasts that rocked Mumbai. There's Soha Ali Khan, a bright broadcast journalist whose life comes to a standstill after she loses her fiance in the blast. There Madhavan, who works in a multi-national, who narrowly misses being killed and how he lives with the trauma and fear of crowded locals. There's Kay Kay Menon, a racist unemployed young man who doubts everyone who is a Muslim. There's Paresh Rawal, a cop on the verge of retiring. There's Vijay Maurya, a young rookie police officer, who is as confused as Paresh with the working of the police force. Finally, there's Irfan Khan, a struggling tea vendor.

How director Nishikant Kamat weaves the lives of these six on screen, connecting them to the serial blasts is what the film is all about. It takes a genius to tackle such a difficult subject and deliver in style. Right from the build-up of every character, to moving towards the blast, to throwing light on the aspect of every character and the community they represent, Nishikant does a fab job. His execution is flawless. He has also used minimum of lighting, relying more on natural light to get the desired effect.

As a bright television journalist who frequently asks the question to every victim who has faced a tragedy, 'How do you feel', Soha, is rocked by the same question when she loses her fiance. That too, by her own channel. She wonders then about the stupidity of it all. She is hit flat in the face when an interview she had agreed to do for her channel, and which she is unable to go ahead with, is aired one day without her knowledge. The little footage they had managed to get of her is juxtaposed with her old images of covering events and of clips with her boyfriend. Nauseating. Soha is the surprise package.

Vijay Maurya as the confused cop jumps into the fray with a powerful performance himself. The situation of cops at the lower level is frighteningly clear. Irfan Khan does not say much; in fact, all throughout the movie he lets his body language reach out to you. You can smell the spirit of Mumbai in his performance. Kay Kay Menon comes out with yet another scorching performance. His shift from being racist to accommodating is portrayed convincingly. In Madhavan's act, you see another aspect of the train traveler and someone who loves his country. He would rather stay here than migrate to another land; at the same time, boarding the train gives him the jitters.

Finally, you have Paresh Rawal. I would rate this as his best performance till date. He cuts through the film with his witty dialogues delivered with deadpan accuracy. Understanding the system, he works along with it rather than fight it. It takes Vijay Maurya's inquiring comments to make him realize that he has wasted his life in the force, just living for his salary. I can go on and on about this one performance, but I'll round off by just saying A CLASS ACT.

This is a film that has to be seen. You will not leave the theatre without applauding this truly enriching cinematic experience.

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