Movie Review – Salaam Bombay!

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Movie Reviews
Tags: , ,

Salaam Bombay is a way of how Firang’s (the word being used here is intentional) look India, like how they looked India in Slumdog Millionaire. But the only difference is we too are Firang’s here. Between the two movies the only major difference is the language. Of the two I’d definitely prefer Slumdog Millionaire. I could excuse the English being spoken and I’m not a pseudo intellect to write off a movie just because it shows the poorer section of Indian society. Who is Danny Boyle? Tourism minister of India? He’s a bloody filmmaker who makes bloody good movies. At least he did as much as to fund the children for their studies.


SALAAM BOMBAY, (aka SALAAM BOMBAY!), Chanda Sharma, 1988. ©Cinecom Pictures

Why I call ourselves Firang’s here is. Ok I don’t like in Mumbai. But even if you are living in Mumbai, how many exactly knows what all is going on in the part of Mumbai which is shown in the movie. Aren’t we still alien to a part of city which brought us up? It’s the same case with any city in any world. Credit has to be given to the research made and the boldness of the movie but this movie isn’t a badly made over the top entertainer like Dirty Picture. There were enough cinematic intricacies involved in the movie to be called as a world classic.

A big question arises as to whether to get a film noticed in world platform (not Oscar, there is a difference) does it have to either deal with poverty or yoga. The things you generally associate with India. Can’t a movie which we make for ourselves which involves songs and dance still be world class. Lagaan is a primary example of this. Lagaan felt like a truly Indian movie and it’s such a kick ass idea to use cricket and cinema, two biggest medium in India together.

Salaam Bombay is an apt title which works in the favor of the movie. That’s the best thing about the word ‘salaam’. Can be used both for saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. The elation as well as dejection. How the life of ‘Chaipau’ (Shafiq Syed), even though poor begins with a lot of hope but around and around he goes finally to be dejected. When she mentions the film is dedicated to the kids on streets, it’s a truly honest dedication, rather than just a publicity gimmick. When Chaipau who somehow goes on with life with whatever he has got finally succumbs to the fact that he will remain the same guy no matter what, truly wrecks your heart. But the best thing here is it doesn’t follow Iranian template of teary interludes. Even though you see glimpses of sadness, it’s only when Chaipau cries who cry, till then you resist like he resists.

Even though you see a lot of brilliant actors, especially Chillum (Raghuvir Yadav), Chaipu and even Irfaan Khan in a guest role, Nana Patekar shows what a master he is. And the way his character is built by showing his a pimp with golden heart and that sudden confrontation with Chillum in front of the foreigner was epic. For me it was the best scene of the movie, hands down.

Is the final shot of Dhobi Ghat where the Dhobi goes behind the car a tribute to this movie, similarly how the climax of this film a tribute to 400 blows.




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