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|Index||53 reviews in total|
Don't have to summarize the story, that's already been done many times.
Just have to say that I found the cast exceptional. At first I was
wondering if Krishna Gaipau was being played by a kid with no emotional
range. Later on in the movie I realized his stolidity was on purpose,
because when life slapped him down once too often, he suddenly revealed
the pain inside.
I also loved little Manju a lot. She was a delight and full of personality. The movie is now 18 years old, and it appears no one picked her up for more movies. What a crying shame that is. From her first impish grin when Krishna came out of the rain, and her wink while dancing with him to "Chin Chin Choo", she lit up the screen. Was she really just another street urchin? Hard to believe.
Many things in this movie do not "come out right". It isn't that sort of movie. A person needs to be ready for reality in its harsher form to take on this movie. But I think its an honest movie. For that it deserves credit.
And Mira Nair has gotten rare honors for this movie. The entire world has recognized the specialness of what she did. Someone said Monsoon Wedding was better, but I think the opposite. MW was good, but this was decisively better. Really what she did in Monsoon Wedding has been done so many times. Maybe she was a little better, but not that much. The story of Salaam Bombay has, at least in part, been told in other Indian movies, but never with this relentless realism. The directors simply backed off out of fear of losing their audience. Mira did the high wire without a net. Bravo for her!
Writer and director has done a wonderful job with her "docu-drama"
about the street kids of Bombay. Naive and trusting at first the
children soon learn the ways of the big city. They find that grown-ups
can be cruel and unjust. They can rob you of your meagre savings and
discharge you from your only job for no apparent reason. As we watch
the story unfold we soon find that our sympathies lie with the street
kids. Somehow they manage to live on the streets in this noisy
colourful city brimful of action and overflowing with people.
It seems to me there are no expensive sets or very few because the director Mira Nair has used the streets of Bombay as her true and authentic background for the simple story she has chosen to tell. I have a feeling she has a deep love of Bombay and its people. You feel it in every scene. And the splashes of colour in the streets lifts every camera shot to unbelievable heights. True artistry here.
I can imagine the people of Bombay who found them selves as a part of the moving background during the production of the film flocked to the cinemas to look for themselves on the big screen. As for myself I don't know how I have missed this film over so many years. It's a little treasure and highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this film about an hour ago...and I'll never get it out of my
head. It's a different way of life, a harder way of life that it makes
you see. And thats something that Mira Nair really hits home with - she
gives you the experience of actually being in Bombay, in the whole mix
up. If I had to choose one word to describe what I felt most while
watching this, it would be "helplessness." This really lets you see
that once you enter Bombay (no matter by choice or force), there is no
escape. This is my favourite foreign film. I enjoyed it immensely and
this film will touch everyone, because you feel like you are there.
Definitely touching and it something that everyone must see, and I'm glad that it was on TV just now because I would have probably never seen it other wise.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had the distinct pleasure and sadness after reading a book called "Maximum City" by one, Suketu Mehta, the pleasure of reading a beautiful non fiction and the sadness at the the misery of life portrayed in a place in India used to be called "Bombay". Then there is Mira Nair, who has the courage and conviction to put a face to the misery even though the movie was made before the book came out. The stark poverty, where it comes down to the survival of the fittest is beautifully portrayed by Nair, with some great acting by the child actors and Nana Patekar who could be considered "Morgan Freeman" of the Indian Cinema. The movie is depressing and sad but there is no way to sugar coat a story that is as naked as this. The saddest part would be that things have not changed that much if Nair revisited the city now called "Mumbai" even though Mira Nair herself has gone to greener-pasteur with "Monsoon Wedding" and "Vanity Fair".
The story revolves around a boy named Krishna who was abandoned by her
mother and swears to return when he gathered Rs 500 for his brother's
bicycle which he trashed. He visit Bombay and worked as a tea servant
and he known as Chai pau in his circle.
Watching 80's 90's movie in this era is a bliss and we can't even compare the cinema which have made in those era which remain a golden era for Bollywood with movies like DDLJ, Andaz Apna Apna, Angoor to name few. This was on my list since 1 year and never got time to watch it.
Every applaud, every award is small for a movie like this. It shows the darkest side of Mumbai in a most perfect way and the performances made it a brilliant watch altogether. The cinematography is so impressive that you actually feel the movie while watching. It is a very brave attempt for the director and writer to show such dark and witty side of the city.
No one can ever imagine that the child character (Krishna) played by Shafiq Syed was his debut movie. His expressions are so real with full of emotions that it will keep you hooked with the film soul. Nana Patekar and Irfan Khan (Cameo) are a compelling watch as well. Some of the child in the movie are actual street children who has been given special training to prepare for the roles. The movie was a second nomination for an Oscar after Mother India in a best foreign film category.
Salaam Bombay is witty, Dark, Gloomy which may appeal negative to some audiences, but then its an art of cinema which comes with a disclaimer 'All characters and events depicted in this film are entirely fictitious'.
Krishna is abandoned by his mother to work at the circus. She tells him that he can return only after paying 500 rupees for destroying his brother's bike. The circus packs up and leaves him behind. He goes and roams the streets of Bombay. He befriends drug addict Chillum and sells tea for Chacha. He also befriends prostitute Rekha and her daughter Manju. Her husband Baba is a drug dealer and keeps Rekha working. Krishna takes a liking to virginal Sola Saal who is brought in and enticed into prostitution by Baba. There is a raw authenticity to the film. It's unflinging. The amateurs actors actually give a realistic feel to the movie. A Hollywood production would have a white person come in to save the boy. There is no such savior in this movie. The white reporter is out of her elements in this one.
Salaam Bombay is hard hitting, brazen and after 113 minutes of some of
the most realistic frames to come out of the Indian Cinema, it strips
you wide and naked. One is only left with a hypocritical sense of loss
Salaam Bombay slaps and slaps hard on our morality bearing middle class sensibility. It has shown the rubric of the great Indian society. The portrayal of the dirty fundamentals over which our great spiritual society has stood throughout the centuries, is unmistakably brazen and true. Through the lens of Salaam Bombay, the great Indian society and culture seems bloated and hypocritical.
Cinematically also, Salaam Bombay is a master piece. The atmosphere created by the camera-work and the background score deserve accolades. Mira Nair was right in saying "No Guts-No Glory".
Interestingly, even after quarter of a century, the issues raised in the movie still plagues Bombay and Indian society. Salaam Bombay is the mirror which is required to be shown to many Indian upholders of morality and society.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some films are really different, offbeat and less commercial yet
awesome Salaam Bombay is one such film The film is based on life of
people in Mumbai The problems shown are believable. There are several
great instances like Nana belting Raghuvir, Raghuvir's chelum
Direction is simply fab
Nana Patekar before hit stardom is superb in a negative role, Shafiq Syed is superb, Raghuvir Yadav is fab as always, Irrfan Khan makes one scene appearance as a writer rest are good The director cast actual people in the role of slum dwellers which looks apt.
The movie aptly portrays the harsh reality of slums of Mumbai and in itself is an act of bravery as it depicts the real India which we Indians knowingly ignore. 113 minutes of beautifully crafted drama through which you experience the life of characters through their eyes. This was my first Mira Nair movie and I must admit this by far was the best Indian movie i have ever watched. Nana Patekar who no doubt is one of the most talented actors gives at par performance as Baba(the pimp) and there are moments when you feel frustrated but sadly you slowly accept the situation and life of street kids, prostitutes and junkies who are trapped in vicious cycle and there is no escape. Movie is very different from the traditional Indian movies and a must watch for intense drama lovers.
I am late in seeing this movie "Salaam Bombay" , but this is one of the most touching and moving movies i have every seen !!!! I cant believe the movie was made in 1988 , it was probably 30 years ahead of its times !!!!! Chaipau is the protagonists name in the movie , a small boy whose actual name "Krishna" is lost when he starts working in the streets of Bombay , serving chai. The movie goes through many different aspects of how life is for the poor and desolate in Bombaby ; the background music is also haunting to listen to. Go and watch this movie if you haven't already , its a masterclass to watch !!!! You will like it for sure
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