Mumbai Meri Jaan: A disjointed effort

August 22, 2008

madhavan.jpgWhere were you on July 11? It’s a question Mumbaikars often ask one another. When seven blasts ripped through the city’s local trains in 2006, it changed its fabric forever, regardless of what anyone might tell you about Mumbai’s famous spirit.

So when a film comes along that seeks to document this tragedy and the reactions to it, curiosity is naturally aroused.

“Mumbai Meri Jaan” is directed by Nishikant Kamat and stars Soha Ali Khan, Kay Kay Menon, R Madhavan, Irrfan Khan and Paresh Rawal.

The film essentially narrates the stories of five characters, all affected by the events of 7/11.

Soha plays Rupali Joshi, a high-flying television reporter, who gets a taste of her own medicine when her fiancĂ© is killed in the blasts and her employer uses her as a “story”. Kamat uses Soha’s track to make a powerful point about the callousness of the media.

Madhavan plays a professional who questions his ideals after narrowly escaping the blasts. And Kay Kay and Irrfan embody one of the many biases that we have, whether it is against a particular religion, caste or economic strata.

The performance that takes the cake is Paresh Rawal’s realistic portrayal of Patil, a Mumbai police constable on the verge of retirement.

While all the tracks are interesting in themselves, Kamat fails to bind them together or hold viewer interest as he shifts from one track to the other.

I felt I was watching five different films. I am sure he had a message he wanted to convey, am just not sure he himself was clear what that message was.

When a film chronicles such an important real life event, it is important you don’t lose focus in the script.

Kamat tries to deal with too many issues in one film and ends up not doing justice to any of them. It’s a disjointed effort and one that doesn’t do justice to the event it set out to chronicle.


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good cast ! when is this being released?

Posted by Mohandas K Gandhi | Report as abusive

I think the movie has five different inferences and messages to deliver at end. It just requires a deeper understanding of all the 5 personalities depicted in the movie.

Posted by Gaurav | Report as abusive

I guess the writer more knowledge to say something about director. The movie is well directed and well acted. I never felt I was watching 5 movies..finally director wanted to show incidents from life of 5 people of different categories..and he has depicted them very well.

Posted by yogesh | Report as abusive

There are certain movies, where you focus on the “script” and then there are some that make you aware that you are watching what is going on in your mind.

Sometimes people need to be told what they are thinking.

Movies like “Mumbai meri Jaan” are one of those rare movies that achieve this. I can say that for majority of people, the script of the movie will not be a problem. Unfortunately for the writer, perhaps it is. Lot of viewers rely on movie reviews to watch it. If this blog is used as one by few, chances are that some of them will be turned off. I would certainly keep in mind if the article is well balanced while writing something so influential.

Posted by Raj G | Report as abusive

This is one of those movies that differentiates between the raw ,uncouth cinema that we churn out week after week and cinema that is meanigful and strikes a chord. The writer of the blog is perceptibly biased towards the former kind of cinema for whom havinga discordant bound script is more important than the meaning of a thought. Nishikant Kamat is not a friend of mine but while watching the movie i could very well understand his feelings towards the accident and the development of the characters shows it.

Posted by Swarup | Report as abusive

I watched this movie yesterday it was really good movie with good message than the other so called commercial mindless movies. I too agree that people fall on reviews to watch the movies so the write would have thought in different angles before writing. These kind of movies are the ones which make you think but unfortunately many of us don’t want to do that and writer is also one among us!!!!!

Posted by Shekhar | Report as abusive

I am very much impressed with the treatment given by Director Kamat to the plot. I did not feel like watching 5 stories/movies. The basic plot is about an event and its reflection on various people from their respective vantage points. These characters represent each of us… my wife identified with one and i myself identified with another, that’s the beauty!!

Nishikant Kamat, who has directed “Dombivali Fast” in marathi, has given a great debut performance in Hindi. It’s a talent to think from all perspectives about an event and to represent them equally well. Hats off !!

Posted by Dr Amit Karkare | Report as abusive

Where in South Bombay is this movie playing?
Stay in the Grant Road Area

Posted by Joseph M | Report as abusive

Get a new critic to write the movie reviews…I liked the movie and is beautifully directed. Congrats to the mumbai meri jaan`team.

Posted by ppillai | Report as abusive

Mumbai Meri Jaan is a really nice movie. Granted, it may have its own shortcomings. But nevertheless, it makes you think about all those things that are going around you, in your everyday life. The movie does tend to lose pace somewhere in the mid, but the message delivered more than makes up for any flaws.

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

@Joseph: Care to pick-up the newspaper and see the movie listing for your area. I don’t think this is the forum to ASK where a popular movie is being screened…

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

I completely agree with the blogger- Mumbai Meri Jaan is a disconnected film that is dealing with a topic no other filmmaker has dealt with yet and I think Nishikant Kamat could have done a far better job with the stellar cast and subject he had at hand. I think Irrfan Khan was an absolute waste in the film which is a shame.

Posted by Champa | Report as abusive