Let’s start with this thought: Anurag Kashyap is a sellout.
Now don’t presume that this is an emotionally biased statement. I have put much thought in it and you need to hear me out first.
I had been waiting for the trailer of Bombay Velvet since the past two years. Basically ever since I heard that Kashyap is working on a period drama called Bombay Velvet. Clearly it’s been a long wait. And now I can say that it has been a disappointing wait as well.
It was rather unusual of a director who has mostly worked with off-beat names like Kay Kay Menon and Manoj Bajpayee and created films like Gulaal and Ugly, to team up with the A-listers of the Hindi film Industry: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar. More so because they have for the longest time been Kashyap’s worst foes. The world of social media still lies scarred with the memory of the twitter attacks the Gorakhpur director had unleashed on Arbaaz Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Karan Johar himself.
In Koffee with Karan, this is what Anurag once said of Karan: “For me you were… ‘Oh, these rich kids who have struggled only in Malabar Hills’. I hated you because you took all our awards from Satya, to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. At that time, I had resentment towards everything that was mainstream, and also I was more idealistic.” And now it seems he wants Malabar Hills for himself as well.
Most of Kashyap’s fans would defend the director by saying that he wouldn’t have cast certain actors if the script didn’t demand it. I couldn’t agree more. This particular auteur does know his basics well. But the point of contention is that the only thing the script has a need for is glamour and that’s precisely what the trailer oozes of it.
Ranbir Kapoor plays Johnny Balraj a street fighter who’s as bad as they come. He adds humour to death threats and has a single minded determination to get his punches right. He has the century old dream of making it big in Bombay no matter what it takes. And it is Khambatta (Karan Johar) who’s going to help him realize his dreams. But like most Bollywood films, he falls in love (with Rosy Noronha played by Anushka Sharma) and eventually realizes that he’s been betrayed.
The only thing Bombay Velvet promises to entertain you is in the production which has managed to re-create the 60s. Besides that, the trailer of this film promises absolutely nothing. It’s an amalgamation of stylish shots taken from films around the world (In the Mood for Love and Scarface to name a few). The way Ranbir Kapoor speaks, Karan Johar’s mannerisms and Anushka Sharma’s damsel-in-distress face is all so done to death that it just falls flat.
These are somethings I might expect from a Karan Johar movie but definitely one that ends with the screen flashing Anurag Kashyap’s name in a big bold font. Why, then would he make a film which has a trailer like this? Is it because he wants to swim over to the world of glamour and pretty people driving Lamborghinis to college? Maybe. Because when you have money you don’t need to think so much.
If you are still not convinced about Anurag Kashyap being a sellout then please give the trailer a view and let me know if you disagree.