A day after my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a film…considering I missed my Friday ritual last week. When someone told me that Mumbai Meri Jaan had received great reviews, I deliberately did not read it, coz most reviews contain spoilers. So I registered on Bookmyshow and bought myself 4 tickets…for me, my better half, brother and aunt. The movie was at 10 pm…the perfect reason for me to leave early from work!
The venue was Spice Mall in Noida, its almost become our regular haunt…we’ve watched close to 5 films back to back there. Anways, we reached late and everyone had a breezy dinner,except me, I decided to have popcorn for dinner….wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world!
Anyways, now for the film…what really struck me was that the film had set up his characters in the first quarter of the film, well before the real catalyst in the story, i.e, the 7/11 Mumbai local train blast took place. (Strangely, despite seeing the promos lots of people didn’t realise that the train blast was the subject of the film!) And through the next quarter, the problems the character were meant to face were defined. Post interval, the movie took an almost predictable turn…towards the resolution.
Soha plays a hard hitting journalist, who lives for her job. At all times of the day, she plays the role of a television professional, and never cringes at asking a bereaved villager how she feels after her husband’s death.
Kay Kay Menon is an out-of-job computer salesman who whiles away time at a local eatery with his equally useless friends. His most precious preoccupation? Bashing Mussalmans…
Irrfan Khan is a migrant Keralite who sells cutting chai and coffee (I think) during nights. A small man in a big city, he plays the guy who you see everyday at the corner of the road, but always miss.
Madhavan is a true Indian. A patriot at heart, he believes one man’s effort can change the world. He’s bid goodbye to the big American dream, laments the damage caused to the environment and swears by the Mumbai local trains.
Paresh Rawal plays the lovable constable who is serving his last week in the Mumbai Police force. Not the one to get into a controversy, he has had a satisfying career and is looked up to by everyone in the force.
The film does not have a great storyline…in fact there is none if you see it. Each character is following his/her own story and only two characters meet through the entire film. I am not here to add another spoiler…I won’t give the storyline away…in fact I’ll not write about the entire film…I’ll mention only what I really liked and why…
Paresh Rawal a.k.a Patil Saab – Lovable, the kind to get out of trouble smiling,Patil Saab has never done anything big in his nearly four decades of career. Adored and idolised by his juniors, Patil is the perfect cop that everyone wants to be. Even as Mumbai, the city that has given him all that he has is ripped apart by 7 blasts, he is nonplussed. He gets away smiling…but towards the end of the film he looks at himself in the eye. His final speech about all that he has never achieved is something that we all make in our hearts, but never confront them in our lives.
Kay Kay Menon a.ka. Suresh – He is the quintessential jobless guy and a living example of the axiom ‘an empty mind is a devil’s workshop’…but he is also the guy who is voicing the belief of many Indians – that all Muslims are terrorists. He is willing to change his name to Suleiman to spy on a suspect, he is willing to follow him to Haji Ali…but he refuses to work for a firm run by a Muslim only because he has sworn that he would never work with them. As events roll out he realises that his hatred has a cyclical effect, the consequences are worth watching.
Irffan Khan a.k.a Thomas – Through the film he has hardly spoken a word of Hindi…he speaks Malyalam through the film. But his expressions steal the show. He represents the people that move to the city of dreams in search of a better future, but they are the ones who are left behind. He too has his dreams, but he never gets to realise them. He is a nice guy who lets his evil side rule him only when he is hurt…but is also quick to regret and make up. He shows us a person that is in all of us…
For me, Soha and Madhavan’s characters weren’t all too impressive when compared to the other three for several reasons, but here is what I really couldn’t digest-
Soha’s character doesn’t resolve the conflict till the end of the film. She continues to be what she is and sheds a few tears in the process. Being a television professional, my heart goes out to her, but if I were in her place, I would have vindicated my existence in a different way!
Madhavan’s character was left thinking and introspecting through most of the film. While the blasts leave him shaken and no more a true blood Indian, through most of the show is seen counting the merits of America. Though his fear is an urban phenomena, he doesn’t quite face it whole heartedly…I think his character could have done much better, especially in the climax scene.
I’d say, watch Mumbai Meri Jaan only for these three guys…you’ll love them, connect with them and take a part of them with you when you step out of the hall.