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Bombay (1995)
"Bumbai" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,474 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 3 critic

A Hindu man and a Muslim woman fall in love in a small village and move to Mumbai, where the have two children. However, growing religious tensions and erupting riots threaten to tear the family apart.

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Title: Bombay (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arvind Swamy ...
Shekhar Mishra Narayan
...
Shaila Bano
Tinnu Anand ...
Shakti Samaj Leader
Akash Khurana
...
Shekhar's father (as Nazar)
Kitty
Master Harsha
Master Hriday
Sonali Bendre
Nagendra Prasad ...
(as S. Nagendra Prasad)
Ratnakar
Prakash Raj
M.V. Vasudeva Rao ...
(as Vasudeva Rao)
Rallapalli ...
(as Raallapalli)
Deesh Mariwala
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Storyline

Based on true incidents, a south Indian Hindu man falls in love with a Muslim woman--taboo in the small village from which they hail. They marry against family wishes and move to Mumbai, where he works as a reporter for a large daily newspaper. Eventually, the couple has twin boys. The rest of the film is set during the December 1992-January 1993 period when the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid controversy raised religious tension in Mumbai and other parts of India, which sparked rioting and violence. The couple is separated from their children, and the fathers of both parents are killed when their home is burned by rioters. A reporter is shown interviewing politicians from both factions as well as the police. An underlying moral of thinking of oneself as an Indian rather than a Hindu or a Muslim is prevalent throughout the latter part of the film. The family is finally reunited after much searching through hospitals, morgues, and shelters. But the violence has left indelible impressions ... Written by Munesh Makhija <mmakhija@trc.tellabs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

25 July 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Bombay  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameraman Rajiv Menon was offered the lead role by Mani Ratnam, but he turned it down. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ye Maaya Chesave (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Kannalanae
(Hindi: "Kehna Hi Kya")
Sung by K.S. Chitra, A.R. Rahman and Chorus
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Tamil lyrics by Vairamuthu
Hindi lyrics by Mehboob
See more »

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User Reviews

By Far One of the Best Hindi Films I've Seen
7 November 2003 | by (Los Angeles, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a truly beautiful film. The story is essentially this: a Hindu man and a Muslim woman from a small village in India fall in love and decide to marry. The villagers disapprove of this marriage to the point that they are ready to incite a riot. Given the circumstances, the man and woman elope to Mumbai (Bombay.)

Everything is okay there, and the two have twins, Kamal Bano and Kabir Narayan (the names are a mix of Hindu and Muslim, to represent their heritage.) The grandfathers (while still in the village) naturally argue with each other and vow to make the children Hindu (or Muslim, depends on who wins.) Suddenly, the 1993 riots erupt, and the whole family is caught in the middle. The twins are almost burned alive, but they survive thanks to police intervention. Both grandfathers show up in Bombay (out of concern for their children and grandchildren) and continue to compete there.

When another riot ensues, and the Hindu grandfather (and grandson) are approached by a group of Muslim men, the Muslim grandfather arrives in the nick of time and tells the men "He is my brother." Later in the film, one of the twins is separated from the other and is taken in for about a day by a member of the "hijda" community (this is a community in India that is essentially composed of eunuchs or hermaphrodites, but they wear women's clothing.) In a conversation with one of the twins, the "hijda" says "Religion is a way to God." The child asks him, "Then why are all of these people killing each other?" To this the man replies, "I have no idea. And I've been thinking about it for a long time."

You don't necessarily have to be Indian to appreciate this film, but I think it helps. The underlying message is that "We (as residents of India) should be Indians first and Hindu/Muslim/whatever second. The film also conveys the message of tolerance and humanity. It is really an excellent film.


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