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Bombairiya review: Chaotic drama that leaves you with a scrambled brain

Release Date: 18 Jan 2019 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 49min

Cinestaan Rating

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Mayur Lookhar

Though the black comedy touches upon the important issue of witness protection, the chaotic screenplay and drama would make any witness shoot himself in the head.

Success is all about being in the right place at the right time. So, perhaps, failure is the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But when you find yourself in the latter situation, it only leads to utter chaos.

A woman (Radhika Apte) is having a heated argument with a man (Siddhant Kapoor) and swears at him. The man raises his hand to hit her when a good-looking bystander (Akshay Oberoi) jumps in. But the lady reprimands the bystander for trying to be a hero! The three-way chaotic conversation only ends when Siddhant Kapoor’s character flees with the woman's phone on a pink scooter, wearing a pink helmet!

The woman is deeply stressed, but the bystander doesn’t stop buzzing around her ear. Eventually, she agrees to take his help. It takes about 30 minutes to figure out who the female protagonist is. Meghna Shergill [Apte] is a public relations manager of an out-of-shape superstar Karan Kapoor (Ravi Kishan). She is worried to death as her phone contains a sensitive video that could ruin Kapoor and her life.

Shortly before the chaotic showdown with the two strangers, Shergill was to bring Karan Kapoor to a radio station to meet two Sikh men, winners of a contest. Their prize was a pink scooter and a chance to meet their idol.

Meghna uses the bystander’s phone (a prepaid connection) to call up her number. The thief picks up the call, and the manner in which they speak suggests the duo know each other. Meanwhile, the bystander continues to indulge in his chivalrous behaviour. So far, we have an idea who Meghna and Karan Kapoor are, but we are still clueless about the characters of Oberoi and Kapoor. 

Then we have the politician Kamlesh Pandya (Adil Hussain), who is facing a criminal trial, the exact nature of which is only revealed at the end. Pandya surrenders and gets VIP treatment in jail. He sends CID officer Gujral (Amit Sial) on a mission to eliminate a witness, an old Muslim man. Before he dies, the old man had requested Angadiya (Siddhant Kapoor) to deliver a parcel at St Anne’s Church. So, Gujral is on the hunt for Angadiya, Meghna is chasing him for her phone, and Akshay Oberoi is happy to help the damsel in distress.

The film is said to be inspired by writer-producer Mark E Ward’s experiences of living in Mumbai with his wife, director Pia Sukanya. Ward shares the story credit with Sukanya and Aarti Bagdi. One doesn’t know what experiences Ward had, but the screenplay the team have put up is chaotic and shambolic. The film has the catchline, #BeAnIdiot. While Sukanya’s characters indulge themselves, the audience is unlikely to be amused by their idiocy.

The first half is all hush-hush. As a viewer, you wish you could press the pause button, rewind, watch the scenes again just to make sense of what is going on.

Meghna’s grandmother has no qualms gossiping about her to a stranger (Oberoi). Granny tells Oberoi Meghna is pregnant. In another bizarre scene, Meghna lands up at a restaurant looking for Abhishek (Oberoi) who is being introduced by his parents to Nandini (director Pia Sukanya herself). Chaos ensues and Nandini’s parents reject Abhishek’s proposal. But Nandini is all smiles as she leaves the restaurant planting a kiss on Meghna’s lips. The agonising, over-the-top reaction of Abhishek’s parents gets on your nerves, Sadly, Abhishek’s parents and Mr Shergill, another nauseating character, all gather at the climax only to create noise.

While Amil Sial, Siddhant Kapoor and Adil Hussain are competent in their acts, Apte and Oberoi are below par. Oberoi’s character is too weird for his own good. Why would you take off your T-shirt while shopping in a gift store? While Meghna's frustration is understandable, after a point it is plain irritating.

Sukanya touches upon the important issue of witness protection, but the shoddy, chaotic screenplay reduces the film to a joke. Non-linear narratives are fine, but eventually the suspense and mystery ought to be simplified. Black comedies are about projecting a crime or violence in a lighter way, but if characters come across as amusing in a grim situation, then it looks staged. The manner in which the prime plot unravels is laughable. Meghna uncorks the entire saga in an amusing tone, undermining the film's primary objective. 

Though just 108 minutes long, the painstaking, chaotic, hushed-up drama leaves you with a scrambled brain. It is better to shoot yourself in the head than 'witness' this poor drama.


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