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CityLights (2014)

City Lights (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 30 May 2014 (India)
Deepak Singh is a farmer in Rajasthan. After a tragedy, he migrates to Mumbai with his wife and child to lead a better life. However, upon arriving, he soon discovers the challenges of life in a big city.

Director:

Hansal Mehta

Writers:

Sean Ellis (original story), Ritesh Shah (adapted by)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Rajkummar Rao ... Deepak Singh
Patralekhaa Paul ... Rakhee (as Patralekhaa)
Manav Kaul ... Vishnu- Deepak's workmate
Khushboo Upadhyay Khushboo Upadhyay ... Sonali - Bar Dancer
Sadiya Siddiqui ... Sudha- Vishnu's wife
Pramod Pathak Pramod Pathak ... Boss Mhatre - Security firm
Vinod Rawat Vinod Rawat ... Jayesh bhai
Gautam Berde Gautam Berde ... Thug Broker
Vaibhavi Upadhyay Vaibhavi Upadhyay ... Maahi- Deepak's daughter
Atul Mongia ... Bonnie
Resh Lamba Resh Lamba ... Waqaar
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mallhar Goenka Mallhar Goenka ... Sachin
Amarjeet Singh Amarjeet Singh ... Tea Shopkeeper
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Storyline

Deepak Singh is a farmer in Rajasthan. After a tragedy, he migrates to Mumbai with his wife and child to lead a better life. However, upon arriving, he soon discovers the challenges of life in a big city.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

30 May 2014 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

A város fényei See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vishesh Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

City Lights is an Indian language remake of Metro Manila. See more »

Goofs

The locket which Rakhee opens after Deepak's death was not worn by him when he was shot. See more »

Connections

References Murder (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
As an individual film it works partially but as a remake, remains a weak adaptation of the powerful original.
17 June 2014 | by bobbysingSee all my reviews

After MURDER 3, here is another official remake from Vishesh Films, of a widely acclaimed gem titled METRO MANILA directed by Sean Ellis (made in Tagalog language) in the year 2013. And the end result is almost the same as I felt while watching MURDER 3, wherein also the original film remained far better and a must watch classic indeed, as compared to its weak Indian adaptation focusing more on the commercial elements.

So as the film is an adapted version, therefore we need to analyze it from two distinctive viewpoints as below:

As an individual film Watching it as a new Hindi film with some fine tracks already popular before the release, this has a mixed bag to offer, impressing the viewer only in parts. Surprisingly beginning with a sensual scene itself, it clearly gives you the message that this is not an 'Art House' kind of drama, but has got every essential ingredient of a Hindi film following the routine. So we have good well written songs, long emotional sequences, tense revolting scenes featuring the underdog and bedroom insertions too as usual.

CITYLIGHTS begins calmly focusing on the couple's poor state of living in the village and their decision to move to the city for a better future. The energy first comes in with the sequence of them being robbed on the very first day and then it all goes back to the same slow mood as per the theme. The pace returns with the dance-bar scene and when the male protagonist manages to find a job in a security firm along with a great song. So till intermission it manages to impress the viewer only partially and one expects for something explosive to come in the next half.

However sadly the post intermission film disappoints mostly due to its various downers such as a few deliberately added songs, a long avoidable (but well-acted) dramatic scene, a heist scheme mystery revealed too early, the missing logic in the proceedings, a lifeless background score, all seen before feel and a muddled unexciting climax with many sudden twists ruining the overall impact of its exceptional performances.

To put it straight, CITYLIGHTS have few outstanding acts, two great songs and a fine story base to play with. But what annoys you is the over-polished presentation of the subject wherein neither the poverty makes you feel for the couple nor the city comes out as a cruel part of the film like a major character.

Director Hansal Mehta made a masterpiece SHAHID (2013) when he didn't care about anything else and just followed his script, vision and dream. But when he tries to make a theme based commercial movie having a wide release, he again stumbles like DIL PE MAT LE YAAR (2000), with many uneven highs & lows in a project which could have been another potential trendsetter for sure.

Musically it would have been better if the director had used only one brilliant song "Soney Do" repeatedly in the film to make a larger impact. Though "Muskaranke Ki Vajah" is equally good but the song doesn't give you the expected emotional high when it gets played on the screen. The background music also could have added a lot with something innovative and DOP is not able to give the much desired dark feel to the subject as required.

Performances being the major merit of CITYLIGHTS, its really sad that the narration couldn't provide them the much needed support to shine brighter. After winning the National Award, Rajkumar Rao once again delivers a stunning act getting deep into the skin of his character & he is just 4 years old in the trade, unbelievably. Patralekhaa doesn't get much scope in the later part of the film, but she does leave a solid impression in her very first film boldly. The child artist remains the neglected one throughout but plays it well in her limited scenes and Manav Kaul makes a terrific entry as the supervisor. The supporting cast adds a decent value to the key scenes, like the owner of the firm loving silly jokes and Sadia Siddique does it well as Manav's wife.

In all, CITYLIGHTS manages to impress only partially and could have achieved a much higher status en-cashing the strong build up given by its good songs and the performers. But you can still watch it for the fabulous acts and a decent theme talking about the harsh poverty resulting in a crime in 8 out of the 10 cases in our society.

As an official remake Watching the film as the official remake of METRO MANILA directed by Sean Ellis, CITYLIGHTS is not able to give you the same feeling of empathy, suffering, love, drama and thrill, since it strangely makes many major changes in the treatment, which in fact was the real soul of the foreign film till its final scene. To give you the details, the major elements they have messed with, are its depiction of the metro city Mumbai - which doesn't become an essential character of the film as Manila becomes in the original, Background music - which has been beautifully done in the foreign gem with a minimum arrangement and exceptional use of sounds. And lastly the actual revelation of the truth, which all happens in the final 10 minutes of the film only, unlike the Indian version where everything is revealed much earlier, ruining the magical end.

Plus on a personal note, I couldn't understand why they deleted the most touching and emotional aspect of METRO MANILA, wherein the 8-9 years old daughter constantly complains about her toothache, but the couple doesn't have any money to take her to the dentist. So in case you like its basic theme then essentially watch the original at the earliest and do yourself a favour.


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