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Salaam Bombay!
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Reviews & Ratings for
Salaam Bombay! More at IMDbPro »

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50 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

A heart wrenching and very realistic drama.

10/10
Author: (tegg02@optushome.com.au) from Melbourne, Australia
7 July 2001



Having just returned from an extended trip to India I was keen to see a quality Indian film (not bollywood drival)and I have come across one of the most realistic and moving films I have ever seen. Having been involved in helping street kids in India I was pleased to come across this film which so accurately depicts life, love and death around a group of street boys in Bombay.

SALAAM BOMBAY is the story of a 12-year-old street boy surviving and etching out an existence on the squalled streets of Bombay. The interactions these kids have with each other made me feel I was watching a doco. The kids in India are so much like Chipau and the others depicted in Salaam Bombay its amazing. They all have there individual lives and dreams like us all but are burdened with extreame poverty.

The story lines in the film are about the prostitution business, drug addiction and homeless children. All these elements combine so as we see the people and lives behind them. These issues are rarely dealt with on such a personal and emotional level as we see in this film. This ain't Hollywood and it sure ain't Bollywood.

For me my favorite all time film. You may have difficulty in finding this film at your local video library but it truly is worth viewing.

Recently we showed this film to a group of street kids in Pune, India. They were amazed at its realism. All thought they were watching real people not actors,(These kids have grown up watching Bollywood films). This same group would have watched this film 5 times now. And all could identify with the characters.

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32 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Haunting - more people should see it

9/10
Author: apursansar from Columbus
20 July 2004

This is one of the single most powerful films I've ever seen. Having been to India several times and knowing to an extent what it's like for the poor kids that have to make it on the streets, it really gets to me. I know that it received quite a bit of critical acclaim when it came out, but I didn't discover it until recently, and, judging from the number of votes that its gotten on this site, it doesn't seem as though too many people have seen it. I hope more people do; these kids don't have much of a voice in their own country, let alone the rest of the world, but movies like this give them one and it should be heard by everyone.

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25 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Moving Work

Author: Scott Schriewer from Dallas, Texas
25 May 1999

Writer/Director Mira Nair presents the tribulations of life on the streets of Bombay, India through the eyes of a young, homeless boy. His arduous story is captured in spectacular cinematography by Nair, whose use of heavy tones and color combined with intriguing camera angels lend to the film's melancholic nature. Not a commercial blockbuster in the United States, this is moving piece of work that deserves every bit of the critical claim it received. A film that stays with you long after viewing!

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece.

10/10
Author: akatosh from Windsor, Calif
9 January 2001

The story of Chaipu, a youngster thrown on the streets of Bombay, and his struggle to keep it all together. Excellent performances all around. I especially liked Chanda Sharma as 'Solasaal' and Hansa Vithal as her daughter 'Manju'.

This film gives the creepy feeling you aren't watching actors but a movie made of people going about their daily life.

Even if you don't like the story the cinematography is stunning. Filmed on location in Bombay the movie gives an unvarnished glimpse of many places you'd be unlikely to visit on a vacation there.

The credits state 43 locations in 43 days.

I've seen this movie so many times I don't need to read the sub-titles anymore as I know the dialogue by heart.

A masterpiece. Easily one of the top 100 films of the last 50 years.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Haunting

9/10
Author: apursansar from Columbus
24 July 2004

This is one of the single most powerful films I've ever seen. Having been to India several times and knowing to an extent what it's like for the poor kids that have to make it on the streets, it really gets to me. I know that it received quite a bit of critical acclaim when it came out, but I didn't discover it until recently, and, judging from the number of votes that its gotten on this site, it doesn't seem as though too many people have seen it. I hope more people do; these kids don't have much of a voice in their own country, let alone the rest of the world, but movies like this give them one and it should be heard by everyone.

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Superb!

Author: renato castilho from New York
9 February 2003

Came across this film on a Public channel last night, by mistake... or should I say, by luck! Amazing film, so many layers deep, it got me thinking. I've been a fan of Mira's work since "Mississippi Masala", but had never heard of Salaam Bombay. She demonstrates in this fine film a sense of lighting and composition that's nothing short then breathtaking. The locations were rich as the characters, the acting was touching and sincere... this is a film I won't forget.

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A story of lost innocence

8/10
Author: nqure from North Wales, UK
17 December 2001

Like the 'Square Circle' which came after it, Mira Nair's film is a wonderful counterpoint to traditional Bollywood cinema, depicting issues that many in India would like conveniently swept under the carpet. Filled with humanity and compassion, the film does have a parallel with Bollywood dramas as it too is about 'escapism'. However, the story shows how these dreams are illusory; the silent 'Sweet Sixteen' showing her romantic photograph - a pretence - as her brothel madam hawks her virginity to a prospective buyer; Krishna's hopes of being forgiven and returning home to his family; the prostitute Rekha's hopes of a 'family life' with the pimp Baba.

I particularly liked the way Nair paralleled childhood innocence with adult cynicism and cruelty. The final scene where Krishna the teaboy weeps for his lost innocence and at what he has become is very moving; like the drug-addict Chillum, he has 'forgotten' how he first came to Bombay and now only sees a life of despair and suffering.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

one of the best about India - from India...watch it.

9/10
Author: arbit-writer from India
7 January 2005

i have been late in watching it, but after watching it u feel that you can never be late in watching such a movie. The movie is excellent. Perhaps Mira Nair's best. I was particularly moved by the story and the picturization. you see the striking poverty and its madness, but Mira has been brilliant to show life in it. a lost boy in a big city with a dream to get back home, keeps himself in control, while everything around him is so much polluted with drugs, and prostitution. Poverty is never neat, in the movie also it is validly not shown as such. But the innocence and strength of children, and them growing up in such conditions, makes them more enduring than adults. to say the least the movie is all about life. it is there to show that no matter how hard it is, life exists in slums, in poverty, and people are living it. the movie is a collectors item. one of the best about India - from India...watch it. Salaam Bombay.

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19 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Probably my all-time international favorite!

10/10
Author: timit_ (ttownsen@columbus.rr.com) from Columbus, Ohio
3 February 2000

This film has haunted me since I saw it in 1988. Mira Nair's production is all-enveloping and makes you feel as though you live within what is for me a completely different lifestyle and place. The saturated colors of the sets alone would have stayed with me these 12 years, but I find that so has the plot, the movement of the camera, and the overall tenor of the work. Probably the only other film that has stayed with me in such detail and with such power is Wim Wenders's _Wings of Desire_, a completely different kind of work. Both films are alike, though, in their ability to encompass the viewer and take her to another world that she will not soon forget.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Brilliant

8/10
Author: jforkix (murari@iastate.edu) from Ames, Iowa
27 July 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A superb portrayal of the homeless in the streets of Bombay through the eyes of a young kid. Bombay with its conglomeration of people becomes a character in the movie. The cinematography was excellent as it leaves a lasting impact on the viewers. Few movies handle such a difficult subject and I must say that Mira Nair and Sooni Taraporevala have done an excellent job. The music of L. Subramaniam has an haunting effect (sound track available under the same name), especially the movie theme and chillum's theme when he dies. Top jazz guitarists like Larry Correl have played for subramaniam, probably difficult to notice in the movie, so check the soundtrack. Overall very impressive.

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