Bombay Velvet

On Bombay Velvet: How internet is killing the movie and the curse of being Anurag Kashyap #NotaReview

This is not a review of Bombay Velvet. Because whatever I say about Bombay Velvet doesn’t matter to you at all. You’ve already made up your mind about how you feel about Bombay Velvet, even especially if you haven’t seen it, because you have read gossip about the film’s edit issues before its release, or you’ve read Komal Nahta’s tweet about how two shows of the film got cancelled in the morning, or you’ve read a review of the film by critics who were ‘let down’ by this film.

For that matter, you have decided that no matter what others say, you will like this film because you are a Ranbir fan, an Anushka fan, or an Anurag Kashyap fan (are there any left though?). You may like it because everyone’s disliking it and you are a hipster, or you may like it because of the amazing irony of how a Rs 100 crore budget film has become an underdog. You may just like it because your expectations were lowered by the reviews of critics or your friends, and now you don’t find the film *that* bad.

It’s beside the point that I loved the film and its characters and its setting and the outstanding music, it’s pointless reviewing Bombay Velvet because invariably, I must belong to one or more of the sects I mentioned in the previous paragraph, perhaps without even knowing it. Because clearly, no one’s reviewing movies anymore, everyone’s reviewing their expectations of it.

Expectations vs the Film
Let me attempt to explain: When was the last time we walked into a movie theater without any expectations from the film whatsoever? Even if we didn’t have high expectations of the film, we certainly didn’t have no expectations else why would we spend your hard earned money and our precious time watching the film?

The reason we had these expectations (as little as they may be) is because we liked the trailer of the movie, or we like the actors in it, or the director of it or because it came recommended to us by a critic or a friend. So the film ultimately either lived up to these expectations, or fell short of them, and our opinion on the movie is an outcome of that. That’s largely how it’s always been when it comes to movie watching but ever since social media has happened to our lives, our expectations have started getting skewed much more sharply than ever before. With the groundswell of opinions on every movie, especially if they are STRONG and LOUD (whether positive or negative), our expectations have *become* our review of the movie. Think about it, we now rarely feel any different after watching a movie from what is being said about the movie, or the opinion we formed about it beforehand.

We already liked Piku before we entered the theater to watch it because EVERYONE LOVED IT. We were already impressed by the excellence of Court because EVERYONE WAS IMPRESSED BY IT. We were already disappointed with Detective Bymokesh Bakshy because EVERYONE WAS LET DOWN BY IT. We were already blown away by Fast and Furious because EVERYONE WAS BLOWN AWAY BY IT. Perhaps you are one of the rare people who felt the opposite for every movie I mentioned or you genuinely liked/disliked the previous movies and that has nothing to do with ‘everyone’. The truth, as they say, is probably somewhere in between.

The curse of being Anurag Kashyap
Let me put it another way: What if Court was made by Anurag Kashyap? What is Piku was made by Sajid Khan? What if Byomkesh Bakshy was made by Chaitanya Tamhane? What if Fast and Furious was made by Michael Bay? What if Bombay Velvet was made by Anand Gandhi?  Just think over this for a second. Would we still feel exactly the same about these movies? More importantly, would the *critics* feel the same way about them? Of course we wouldn’t. Because somewhere, we can’t disassociate the filmmaker from the film and that is true even moreso for critics.

Prove me wrong by showing me a review of Bombay Velvet that does not talk about Anurag Kashyap’s ambitions with this film, the film compared to his other work, the film with respect to other gangster film, the budget of the film, the expected box office, the negative buzz around it, etc etc etc. You’d be surprised if you find a review that only talks about the film and nothing else but the film because Anurag Kashyap is intricately linked to this film, but is that really fair? Why isn’t it only about the film anymore?

If you completely disagree with me on this, here’s another perspective: What if Woody Allen, who has been accused of being a pedophile, gets convicted? You’d certainly not be inclined to revere him as a person but would it have any bearing on what you think of him as a director? But that’s actually immaterial, to be honest, because the only question that matters is: would it change the way you feel about his films? Will Annie Hall make you feel any differently or will you love Midnight in Paris any less, knowing that the director behind him may not be a very good man? It won’t and it shouldn’t because it *really* doesn’t matter who has made a film. Only your connection to it matters.

Internet criticism
But that may not be true in the case of critics in the internet age. I read the reviews of a few critics who found Akshay Kumar’s Gabbar mildly enjoyable and gave it around 2.5 stars. I saw the film and it definitely didn’t suck as much as every other south remake but 2.5 stars? Bombay Velvet has got 2.5 stars. Byomkesh Bakshy got 2.5 stars. Are Gabbar and Bombay Velvet/Byomkesh Bakshy at the same level in ANY way? I’m not trying to be a condescending asshole or a cacophonous fanboy (although that’s beside the point too because you’ve already made up your mind either way, haven’t you?). What I’m trying to say is: Did Gabbar make you FEEL for even one second? What did you take back home after watching Gabbar? On the other hand – are you saying NOTHING in Bombay Velvet or Byomkesh made you feel? You took back NOTHING after watching them?

I’m not at all comparing popcorn films with ‘cinema’ and trying to draw a fail parallel. Because I LOVE popcorn cinema. Absolutely LOVE it. Because the best popcorn cinema also makes you FEEL – it could any feeling from awe and joy to aww and joy. (If you get the time, please do read this piece by Sady Doyle on popcorn cinema; possibly the best written article on cinema this year: Gabbar didn’t make me feel, neither do any of the umpteen other South remakes. Avengers (not part 2) did make me feel though, as did The Fault in our Stars in the same way that a Dhoom 3 and 2 States made me feel *something*. They are the epitome of popcorn films but I took away something back home after watching them. I took away something from Bombay Velvet and Byomkesh too, but nothing from Gabbar. Yet they are all given a star rating of 2.5 stars and to be honest, that blows my mind.

I am not calling out critics too (I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions and how am I to say my opinion is better than yours?) but I do have a problem with criticism connected with expectations. Because I fail to understand how ratings can be flexible according to expectations. The reason Gabbar got 2.5 was because the reviewers went into theaters expecting to see an absolutely horrible film but were surprised that it didn’t suck THAT BAD. On the other hand, Byomkesh got 2.5 because the reviewers were expecting to be blown away but that didn’t happen; and Bombay Velvet got 2.5 stars because the reviewers expected to be let down and that’s exactly what happened. I admit, some of this is informed from my understanding of criticism because I was a ‘critic’ for a while for and to be honest, I occasionally suffered from the same issues too.

It may have been JUST me and perhaps I wasn’t qualified enough to be an opinion-giver (‘critic’ is too strong a word to my liking), and I may be ENTIRELY wrong and presumptuous about internet criticism (because criticism without the support of the internet today does not exist). But the truth is, it was only after I left my opinion hat at home and started watching films as a filmbuff that I began to see them for what they are. My feelings towards any film, now, are based on what I feel *because* of the film, or if I feel because of it at all. It has nothing to do with the perception of the film or the cast and the crew.

Why Bombay Velvet cannot be left to die
I loved Bombay Velvet. I didn’t connect with it in the first thirty minutes at all, but then I was slowly pulled in by it and by the end of it, I had been wholly consumed by all the complexity at play – the class divide of Khambatta and Balraj, the love story of Johnny and Rosie, the angst of Balraj to rise above his so-called aukaad, the loyalty of Chiman, and all else. The music was the true champion of the film and Amit Trivedi’s OUTSTANDING score interpreted on film is reason alone to watch this film. I loved the world of the film created by its superlative cast (Ranbir, Anushka, Satyadeep, Karan and Kay Kay took my breath away) and crew, and contrary to what many have said, I felt that the film didn’t reach its full potential because of the edit, done by the great Thelma Schoonmaker and Prerna Saigal.

In the first thirty minutes, to give the film a certain pace and atmosphere, what I felt were crucial scenes of romance between Rosie and Johnny weren’t allowed to breathe and were cut off just when they needed that little pause for us to feel deeper. The uneven pace of the film throughout is its biggest downfall and somewhere, there is a director’s cut which could be 3 hours long but which I suspect I may love more. But I still love Bombay Velvet, but as I had mentioned upfront, what I think of the film doesn’t even matter.

The more time spent on the internet consuming about movies before watching them, is killing the experience of watching any movie for what it is. Remember the unparalleled pleasure of being in a cinema hall at one with a movie, and discovering it unfold one scene at a time, before the onslaught of teasers of teasers and trailers 2,7,10? Before Twitter and Facebook told you EVERYTHING you didn’t want to know about the film but would have liked seeing or deciding for yourself? Before opinions were jammed down your throat because you live on the internet and opinion-givers do too?

Hence my opinion of Bombay Velvet is immaterial. What matters is what *you* think of it. And the only way for you to decide is not by reading snarky comments about it on the internet but by going to the theater and watching it yourself. Watch it not because I or anyone else liked the film, but because such an intricately created and painstakingly mounted film is certainly worth your time – at least worth more than reading all the gossip about it. Whether you love, like or dislike it, watching a movie of this scale, design and feel isn’t an experience you get often in India cinema, and will certainly not get anymore if this film is doomed by the wrath of the internet and the curse of being Anurag Kashyap.

Do not let the internet kill Bombay Velvet. Do not let the internet kill movies.

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125 thoughts on “On Bombay Velvet: How internet is killing the movie and the curse of being Anurag Kashyap #NotaReview”

  1. Dhoom 3 made u feel something! It was a bad movie which was a blockbuster!its clear u like romantic movies! Gabbar is not a movie that you will appreciate! That’s obvious! Others liked it they gave it 2.5 rating..its their choice! Nobody can decide that.
    Now Bombay velevet-
    I decided not to watch that movie when I saw the trailer, bad songs ,nobody looks good in the movie! Let me not talk about the heroine!
    Why would anybody waste so much money and time watch a movie when they don’t feel like.
    Its not the review or internet that’s killing it.If actors have a fan base people will watch and word of mouth will make others watch it.Sadly BV doesn’t have both!
    Stop blaming social media!

    1. Gabbar is better than Kick and HNY but Kick and HNY made more money than Gabbar as Salman has more fan following and SRK releases one movie in a year where as Akshay releases four movies in a year

    2. People will relate to a shaeed movie because they read about it history books …bhagat singh .. untold stories about Bombay ..dont have any takers because they dont like how they look (What a joke). In your last para you are saying exactly what author here has pointed out …you will do things which you think others are doing ( dont relate it to jumping in the well dialouge). Its the lack of thinking audience in ohter words other words those who lack depth in there thinking in other words think and ask your self have you always watched movies by looking at trailers ..well as the author says you have decided not to watch a movie …so be it

    3. You are absolutely right! The whole idea about pushing teaser, trailers, making of the film, 5 reasons why one should watch BV, etc was all a PR exercise which was the makers’ and producers’ own doing. The only difference is that they were hoping for a positive response but the exact opposite happened. So now that they could not get what they wanted ” the grapes are sour” and they can blame the people and social media. Where was the whole idea about watching a film unfold only in the theater then? What happened about criticizing films with stars to attract crowds while doing the same yourself? Its just a bunch of hypocrites speaking! BV doesn’t need saving because it was doomed the day it began because it never began with due honesty and was never painstakingly mounted. And if anyone believes that spending a 100 crore is about hard work and conviction then I am a fool for thinking otherwise. And if someone believes that someone should see a film only because a lot of so-called hard work went into it then they have lost the essence of making films and entertainment, because first of all life isn’t fair, deal with it! And secondly, if this were to be the reason for people to watch films then people should have made Ram Gopal Verma’s AAG and Anubhav Sinha’s RA ONE also a hit! Ironical of course, Anurag Kashyap never lost sweat in criticizing other people’s work with full force and brutality, no matter how much hard work and pain (read: money) went into it! Karma’s a bitch! And BV sucks! I saw it. Hated it. Wasted my money. Wouldn’t want someone else I care for to waste it. So will stop them no matter what. Its not like if someone watches the film and doesn’t like it, the makers would refund their money. Talk to the Hand!

    4. Supritha, Ranbir kapoors besharam had generated an initial of 21 crs(read taran adarsh or k nahtas tweets), his YJHD had a gross 180 crs, so the fact that he doesnt have a fan base is pure bull shit. But you either have to be living in denial or a complete hypocrite to deny that internet killed bombay velvet. Look at its trailer and more than half of the negative comments are from the fans of a certain star(looking at their profile pics and no prizes for guessing which star). you may not like it but then didnt you just prove yourself to be a complete judgemental prick that you decided how the movie is going to be by watching two minute trailer. It is a pity that in our country that people are blind enough to make a movie like ready a block buster earning 150 plus crores but movie like bombay velvet or aamir not cross 25-30 crs. Internet can be a curse and bo=mbay velvet is just a victim of that

    5. U decided not to watch BV cos the trailer dint appeal, bad music (u must be deaf) , nobody looked good… Y don’t u keep watching barbie again n agian

    6. typical indian audience spotted…look at the reasons “nobody looks good in the movie!” …are you dumb….sure a bimbo…i feel sorry for you..

    7. Here’s my story abt Bombay Velvet: Saw the trailor – loved it..wanted to watch it. Saw the songs – replayed mohabbat Buri Bimar 23 times…wanted to watch the movie even more.
      Based on reviews on Internet/social media was incredibly disappointed and thought of giving it a miss…
      Then something happened and I went to see the movie and fell in love with it. For days I only thought of BV.
      Going tomorrow again (in a theater that’s far off..because it’s been removed from the theater close to me!) Yes!! Internet killed this movie!!!

  2. Reblogged this on Lets Talk Movies and commented:
    Every conversation has a movie in it. The audience needs to form their own opinion … not go by what a few have to say. Nicely written… but the ecosystem is evolving so Internet is giving u and us a chance to opine. Let’s hope stereotypes are broken .. content becomes better and communities influencing decision making of the audience become responsible.

  3. If you like Bombay Velvet, that’s you personal view. But don’t drag Gabbar, if you have the guts compare it with Kick and happy New Year. Or are you scared of the Khans.

    1. KICK is a way better film than Gabbar. HNY was very bad, so was Gabbar. His point is if you like a Gabbar, you should appreciate Bombay Velvet even more as the latter is any day a much much better film

  4. That is absolutely an honest review. I am a die hard fan of Anurag Kashyap.. These audience are either too dumb to understand these movies or they hate someone whos trying to bring a change in the cinema and then they compare it too hollywood.. They say we can make movie like hollywood. Its about believing in it. I did saw how this film got negative reviews right from the start. Media and internet had it embedded in people mind ‘will this film work or not’ so all got scared to believe in it not sure why. But Bombay Velvet is a CULT CLASSIC !!!

  5. oh shut up! the trailer already sucked big time! still i took out my time… n went to watch that crap movie… n trust me… its so boring… i started playing games on my cell phone… i think u’ve never watched a good movie before… dat u r praising this crap movie..the music is indeed nice… but i can listen to that on my phone as well.. just because u want this movie to work financially… u r asking oder ppl to waste their time… there r many movies in bollywood dat go unnoticed… havnt they wasted their time n money? just because its on a grand scale… n has ranbir anushka anurag… u r supporting dis one!

  6. So, why should we believe you and now the ones who are commenting on social media.

    Grapes are sour. First learn to make better movies . If we are spending 350 bucks on a movie, why should we not have an expectation? Most of us, like a particular genre and hence the expectation and hence the teaser/trailer to give a brief glimpse on what is on offer.
    Byomkesh had gaping holes in it, slow screenplay and unnecessarily extended. I understand you guys are making on effort to pull Bollywood out of shitty movies of Sajid Khan/Rohit Shetty but you need to keep trying. Till then we will criticize you and you can’t throttle us.

  7. If Bombay velvet had fotten a good first day, everybody would have said ranbhir’s fans did it but the content of film couldn’t help. But now everybody has forgotten that ranbhir is not the superstar the internet is making that’s why the movie couldn’t get a decent good opening and are now focusing on anurag kashyap. So what the actors’ contribution to the failure of the movie. This is how the same internet has made the likes of ranbhir, Sonam, katrina, etc. Superstars without much to their credits so please spare us with your biased article & face reality because this movie had nothing to do with anurag but it was just a bad movie minus the 60s look that was perfect

  8. I absolutely agree with your article, there was something ticking inside me when I saw so many negative reviews and bad WOM around such magnus opus. I decided not to get swindled or biased into something which I have not experienced yet.
    To be honest, I myself was let down by the trailer and the songs as it seemed overbearing to watch ranbir on those silly machine guns and anushka acting like an absolute joker with funny expressions on her face. But the combination of anurag ,ranbir, Kay Kay n anushka was ought to mean something grandiose and interesting.
    Being a fan of anurag s splendid work over the past, I could not have missed it at all. Everybody i know suggested me not to go for it and i was literally amazed with such perception building over bad reviews online / book my show review dip/ rumors about the cast being disappointed already/ ranbir s BV party pictures being trolled etc. I am not a movie critic, but m a die hard movie buff and could not have cared less about all this negative jazz.
    I watched it last night and I absolutely found the reviews rubbish and biased. Either the movie is supremely jinxed or its an exact case of expectations vs the film, as rightly written in this article. The first half was absolutely stunning and was true to it’s core – the era shown is simply amazing and the character sketch of both ranbir n anushka is apt and build up the story ahead. It’s slow paced, which is a tad necessary to sink urself in this saga. Though I feel the love story between the protagonists could have more depth n passion to it- the editing s bad and feels incomplete. The second half is dreary and over stretched and has notably a high n low in the movie. High being – the scene where karan johar mocks ranbir and laughs to his heart’s content and low being – ranbir s shots with machine gun which seems forced and wannabe.
    In all, BV might not be a masterpiece but it’s splendid work which should not be missed. It’s a great watch, and an example of fine film making though I agree the plot in second half became adrift and was incoherent and hence the movie turned out disappointing in the end.

  9. all I want to know is ‘Mark kidhar hai.’ No, jokes aside, seriously well written and thought provoking

  10. U feel for dhoom3 but not for gabbar… what a taste…..please tell me what you take away from dhoom3….u r paid for this article by kashyap….I saw velvet and I also feel something and that was sorry for kashyap and I take away headache… sucks…..I m a fan of kashyap but I fell sorry for his new movie velvet…..I saw gabbar and it’s much better than velvet…..

  11. I am an industry insider and a writer of one of such big film which flopped after much expectations. Yes..the director was famoous for some other genre..tried his hand and though we were proud of the product and still are we understood it has not clicked due to various reasons. We did not blame social media aor beg on it for viewers. And this time we dare say that our next film has worked wonders and the social media played a big role in making it a success it is now. So its stupid to blame thousands of viewers ghiving their hoest opinion on the net. This is a hopeless article that is spending so much effort asking for viewers. sir had the film been good viewers would have queued up by themselves !!!!!!!

  12. I don’t agree at all. The audience is been underestimated, even if EVERYONE hates Anurag or Ranbir or the entire cast, makers, producers, the trailer’s reception hint that the movie was dislike by the audiences, they ‘apparently’ went back and reworked but all attempts were not enough to save the film.
    As an cinemaholic : I don’t think Ranbir was convincing as a gangster in the making, don’t think he suit the role not even phisically, his performance was praised by many, fine, It was the wrong cast for me.
    Many people hate directors in film called masterpieces, will start with Alfred Hitchcock, even his actors hate him, he challenged his producer so often than many occasions he was financially cut out in the middle of the film just to try to destroy him, make him disapear…but not even his enemies could deny his craft and genius. Here is drag a comparison between Woody Allen and Kashiap? This would be same than compare young Pacino/De Niro to Ranbir…just crazy. The issue here is that all these monsters in cinema were never self praise, you never hear them to say that their movies flop because people is not ready yet for that kind of cinema, my question is what kind. Kashiap said the Indian audiences has to evolve first, I am not Indian audience and I was bore to death by the film.
    If thinking that if if Woody Allen was convicted for phedophilia, audiences would change their excitements about enery one if his film, it’s crazy Allen’s cinema is raising his own unique bar every time and people just love his movies. You need a convicted director, ther u have Roman Polanski, not only convicted but been internationally hunt, when the law finally catch up with him in Sweden or was Switzerland, people was worried that his film was ready to be released if we would stay in jail, the audiences were concern because of the much awaited film.
    Is not internet killing Bombay Velvet, if this is the conclusion, then journalist and filmmakers are in a place of arrogance passing the return point, the audiences hates the trailer, two minutes of the film were massive hated, leave alone the same product but 200 minutes. Is not that internet is cutting the chances for BV, stopping people going to the cinemas, spreading the bad word, instead of release a product that audiences were not ready to accept they got the chance to go back and reworked, but leaving the place of ‘I know better’ is sometimes very difficult, they choose to go ahead and released well there you have the result. Kashiap was kind if arrogance but now been back by Reliance money he reach new zones, if he was indeed putting his own money and salability on risk, perhaps his ears would be open more to criticism from the audiences, not haters, simple and pure cinema goers, in which ultimately he depend.
    Now his answer is he would leave to a place he does not feel encapsulated or with many boundaries, let him go and get a reality check of how the worldwide cinema reacts when a glimpse of their next release is not welcome. Even the most awarded director had face low moments, but he, even though, is hard to believe has not reach such levels. When you compare him to great director is not a favor to him, comparison can’t be stablish, he is out of the lead.
    International educated audience.

  13. So crap article.. I thought after spending 10 main reading it will justify sthg mildly revolting.. Wasted my precious time

  14. Every form of art or activity or for that matter even you job has an appraisal. That is the way of the world. Everyone will have an opinion and most of them will express.
    Now i would request you to think from the audience’s point of view. For me, going to a movie entails a cost of a grand per person. For u making movie might be a passion, but for me i m paying around 3 grand on a family of 4 to enjoy a movie for entertainment. So it better be entertaining. Agreed, a lot of sweat and blood go into it, but a lot of blood and sweat would go into earning the money spent on that one outing. So it better provide the worth of likeableness and entertainment. Like every profession, film makers need to also accept the viewers perceptions.

  15. This article is an eye-opener for me . I decided not to go to Bombay Velvet but after reading this I decided I will judge a film solely on the basis of trailers nd teasers nd etc etc but not on the basis of others are saying . You are ryt sometimes I loved films just because the others loved that film and I hate them just because others hated them , This is avery thought provoking article and I wsih everybody reads it before judging any film . Films like Bombay Velvet do not deserve that much hatred just because expectations are high …!!!!

  16. This article is an eye-opener for me . I decided not to go to Bombay Velvet but after reading this I decided I will judge a film solely on the basis of trailers nd teasers nd etc etc but not on the basis of others are saying . You are ryt sometimes I loved films just because the others loved that film and I hate them just because others hated them , This is avery thought provoking article and I wsih everybody reads it before judging any film . Films like Bombay Velvet do not deserve that much hatred just because expectations are high …!!!!

  17. This is a piece of convenience. I am surprised the writer didn’t think of something like this when crap is glorified, again by the same INTERNET. Every visual experience, be it theater or films needs to give you a reason to fork out time and money. This rant reminds be of the #ChetanBlocks, sour grapes. People have a mind of their own, those who don’t will always turn to someone else for surety, so if there are praises, there will be brickbats, one cannot control WOM publicity, whether good or bad. There is a lot of crap that is pushed out at film festivals, you don’t see people complaining because its either economical or free. I haven’t seen the film nor do I intend to because I have no desire to. I did watch PIKU and it was strictly average, a play CHAPPA KATA (Reema, Mukdha Barve) on the same topic had more depth. But then again its my POV, and i will share it if anyone asks me for my opinion in this regard. That way India is so much more liberal, and that alone is the most amazing thing about this country!

  18. 1st time I saw Court in MAMI..i didn’t knew who chaitanya tamhane was…or it won at venice..but throughout I enjoyed the film…I felt in love with every aspect of it..later on when it released commercially I passionately promoted the film on social sites…& of course watched it again…(moreover I also loved Byomkesh..but I am yet to watch Piku) Now I also criticised Bombay velvet on the Internet…BUT only after watching it on friday itself…yes because even though I took back a few( I repeat: a few) audio-visuals from bombay velvet…it couldn’t keep me interested throughout…yes the question of whether you take back the film with you comes later…1st & foremost you should at least be interested when it’s playing.

    & frankly all the outburst that’s taking place is not because ppl had expectations from anurag & all…IT’S SIMPLY BECAUSE BOMBAY VELVET COULDN’T KEEP US INTERESTED….

    & what plays the most important role in keeping the audience interested in a film while watching….??
    To me the answer to this question will always be….THE SCREENPLAY !

  19. It’s a lame piece – the ostensibly #notareview and not the film. Its lame in its reasoning (based on assumptions even the wisest sage wouldn’t attempt to make) and feels way too defensive. And thereby, is a cause of immense disservice to the film as it feels like a paid piece even if it’s not.

    I didn’t like the film but won’t call it lame.

  20. I liked & fully enjoyed Bombay Velvet on first day first show @ 10am…before anyone can give review or opinions about this movie.

    Surprised to read its review in one Gujarati newspaper on 17 May,given it only 1 star!!

    Thankfully I don’t pay much attention to Internet reviews.

    At last, everyone has their own perception/ interpretation about a movie. Nobody is wrong, only who tells others wrong, are the one.

  21. Bombay velvet didn’t make me FEEL a thing.. Except for probably feeling bored. Gabbar made me feel good about the various topics the film brought up in the movie.. Piku was okay.. I liked the performances.. Which is to say that apart from that.. I feel it could have had a stronger underlying theme. My point is that ultimately, these are my opinions after watching these particular movies. The public is smart enough to make their own opinions. You can not compare these movies and their ratings and no, I don’t feel that the internet is at play. These are our own opinions AFTER looking at all the hype about these movies.

  22. On the one hand, the writer says “our
    expectations *become* our review of the movie……We already liked Piku before we entered the theater to watch it because EVERYONE LOVED IT. We were already impressed by the excellence of Court because EVERYONE WAS IMPRESSED BY IT” etc.

    Later in the article, he claims the exact opposite.
    “The reason Gabbar got 2.5 was because the reviewers went into theaters expecting to see an absolutely horrible film but were surprised that it didn’t suck THAT BAD. On the other hand, Byomkesh got 2.5 because the reviewers were expecting to be blown away but that didn’t happen”.

    Hmmmm. Convenient.

    It appears the writer cannot understand why other people – critics or audiences alike – can have any opinion different from his, and tries to explain away their views/reviews as being severely influenced by their expectations – in opposite directions for different films!

    In other words, opinions on films contrary to the writers are not *true* opinions, but must be influenced one way or another by this concept of Expectations. Take that away, and everyone will definitely have the same opinion on every film as this writer.

    In doing so, methinks he is guilty of precisely what he accuses everyone else of. Not having a truly open mind.

  23. Absolutely agree with you, but nowadays the multiplex charge a huge amount of money and 90% of the movies are pathetic. So as a consumer, I’ll think before blowing off 1000 bucks on a movie. Besides in the age of internet, we have many more venues to get ourselves entertained. Gone are the days when films were the only entertainment option.
    So basically I would say that film makers have to reinvent themselves in everything from making films worth watching to marketing…

  24. Your article is partially true… When you see any movie you need to be connect with movie or movie has to be connect with audience. And it depends on the person and his likeing and dislikeing. If i have to say about this movie, cinematography and screenplay of the movie was excellent, acting and music is also very good but the story of the movie i didn’t like because i never connected with the movie at all. So when anybody write the review about movie is his personal opinion about it not yours. And opinions and liking disliking are change person by person. So whenever you see any movie forget all the reviews which you hear about and watch movie according to your liking-disliking.

  25. Nice post Nikhil…something different and fresh. However, I don’t agree with some of the points, esp some generalizations that u came up with. Just because you didn’t feel anything after watching Gabbar doesn’t mean the whole world also has the same opinion. I did feel for that character whose wife died and the hospital staff didn’t inform him till he paid the dues. Agreed it was over the top but it made for a nice watch and set the base for Akshay’s actions later on (class it was). And I didn’t feel that way for any character in BV or even Byomkesh. Anand Tiwari’s father dies in DBB but I don’t empathize with him or his loss at all…these are little things that, IMO, should have been taken care of by Dibakar. We often blame audiences that they don’t come to watch good films. But good films need to have emotional connect…technical finese, detailing etc can come next.


  26. nice read. although your thoughts are as pointless as those that have made up their mind to criticise the film. i have seen the film, and although a lot of the visuals, the soundtrack and the acting has left me spellbound, i felt nothing at the end of the film. just hollow. like the film itself. no, the internet is not killing this film. it is killing itself. because it is just style with no substance. never mind the myriad “inspirations” that the director has taken, he is responsible for this average film. and should have the courage to face the music. if he has spend 80-100crores he has to own up, to the disastrous consequences of a flop. which the film will surely become. your biased opinion not withstanding. cheers.

  27. Interesting…. .. When I came back home watching the movie , I almost had the same thought – Wasn’t Bad, Was it? And then I realized. Not Bad. But It Was Good.
    I wouldn’t know the intricacies of cinema, how ever, I learnt somethings that no history books would ever teach me. Today Mumbai is what it is – ambitious and authoritative ; probably ‘coz of the way things were made to turn out the way it did ! Must say – We Evolved. And yeah, I guess the people of the 60s had more ‘class’ than us. Anyday.

  28. I wouldn’t call watching Bombay Velvet a waste of time, but this article is certainly the crappiest defense of films in general, and of Bombay Velvet in particular, that one could think of. Now, it looks like you have been paid to sabotage Bombay Velvet. Of course, I didn’t like the film. It’s the most un-Anurag-like film that Anurag has made. I even doubt if he has made it himself. But, what the heck! A sincere request to the author of this article not to defame the film any further. Thank you!

  29. आपने सही कहा BOMBAY VELVET IS A GODD MOVIE. मुझे भी यह फिल्म बहुत पसंद आई. शायद इसके फ्लॉप होने का एक कारण यह भी है की यह इंडियन AUDIANCE के लिए नही बनी क्योकि भारत के ज्यादा दर्शको को गब्बर जेसी मूवीज ज्यादा पसंद आती है. और बॉम्बे वेलवेट एक आर्ट फिल्म की तरह थी . लेकिन पता नही क्यों कुछ क्रिटिक ने फिल्म को नापसंद किया जबकि फिल्म एक MASTERPEACE थी बॉलीवुड के लिए. क्योकि आज तक इस तरह की फिल्म बॉलीवुड में नही आई. जिसका बेहतरीन बैकग्राउंड म्यूजिक जो फिल्म की गति को स्पस्ट करता है. (आज तक मेने एसा BACKGROUND नही सुना ,इसने मेरे रोंगटे खड़े कर दिए थे .) फिल्म के यथार्थ को दिखाने वाले उसके सेट्स (जिन पर 100 करोड़ खर्च हुए). etc. शायद भारतीय दर्शक इस तरह की मूवीज देखने के लिए अभी तयार नही है. इसका एक और EXAMPLE DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHI . जो अच्छी फिल्म होने के बावजूद फ्लॉप हो गयी .

  30. I couldn’t agree with you more. Watching this film is a rare experience in Indian cinema and I pity those who can’t see Anurag’s grand vision at work. The music is superb, the sets are grand, the costumes spectacular. It achieved that willing suspension of disbelief for me and I loved the film. Please give it its due

  31. copy karna band karo 40s ka chicagoa aur new york dikhana chahoge aur mumbai ke gangster ko italian mafia ki tarah pesh karoge to yehi haal ho ga originality lao koi movie bana rahe ho aur piche koi book jo apne padi hai american mafia ke bare mai uska thought chal raha hai to problem ho gi jo hamare yaha nhi tah wah nhi tha par jo hai woh to dikha sakte ho kabhi dekha hai hollywood ke directors ko dusre desh mai huyi chizo ko apne apne desh mai recreate karte huye nhi woh itne guts rakhte hai ki jo jis country ka hai wo use wiasa hi us country mai jakar shoot kar ke ate hai na ki godfather ki sarkar ,aur aisi pata nhi kitni hi west obssesed movie banate nhi kuch to naya socho jo kisi great hollywood movie se inspired na hokar hamare hi country ka kuch original ho jaise paan singh tomar ,hunter ,sahab biwi aur gangster achi banayi thi obssesion mai se niklo bahar hamare yaha gangster us mafia ki tarah hat mai nhi ghumte the na hi us mafia ki sabse chaheti gun tommy gun chalate the

  32. Why is all this gyaan coming after BV falters. Why not when other big budget films failed. Is it because its a Kashyap film. Who is trying to be hipster here. A bullshit review. Reviewer trying too hard to be cool. Succeeded almost but in the end he is just a fanboy who is just trying to change few heads.

  33. I do follow reviews and box office collections of the bollywood movies. Poor reviews and bad collections always make me beleive there is something in the movie and I beleive its very rare that a good genuine movie collect earnings in India and that Movie is always A Must watch for me.

  34. Hi there, i stopped reading this article when u said bombay velvet made u ‘feel’ something.. i think u wud say the same for my name is khan.. bv didnt make me feel anything but cheated, and hugely disappointed with anurag kashyap..

    1. Echoed my sentiments here.
      We as a society are so obsessed with ‘having an opinion’ that we forget how heavily influenced is this pseudo notion of ‘i have this opinion about this thing’. Add some ‘fear of missing out’ on the social media too it and you have the recipe of a self evolving disaster.
      Here is in advice, The next time critique a piece of art , lock yourself in a room, switch off that internet connection, go with a clean slate. Like the day you read your first comic book (and got amazed by it, remember?).
      Picture this, your favorite writer pens a fairly average blog this time. You know how he’s written all his life. His strengths and grey areas, you know it all.
      Some other friends of yours start slating it on social media . One of these friends is a school dropout who never moved out of his city. One of these is studying at a prestigious B school, another a doctor whose lived in a remote city for 10 years servicing the poor. and one of them is running a family grocery store and he’s the one who does moral policing for right wing parties for a living.
      They don’t anything in common but one thing – They own a facebook account.

      What would you do after reading a mixed reaction from these guys? Would you skip reading that blog? Or judge it by yourself?
      Influence is a good thing, being easily influenced is a habit we need to dump along with the ‘smart’ friends you have.

  35. So why should one disassociate the film from the film maker? no, one should not judge it for film makers personal life, as no one did in Woody Allen’s case, Anurag’s divorce or even as an actor..Salman’s case. But as an audience, i associate certain way of story telling, the nuances, the treatment which a director would bring and which might leave an impression on me and yes, build expectations.

    When a certain amount of budget (sometimes more than production cost) is devoted to build this expectations; in form of teasers, trailers, promotional songs. then a maker should live up to it. it’s fairly simple, the maker himself/herself are instrumenting that influence. Be it Anurag or Dibaker or Anyone else in your list.

    By FEEL as standard of measuring the worth of any film, which you talk about, how can you decide Gabbar was any day lesser than any of these films? Maybe it made few people including critics , FEEL something .
    And since that is a relative measure, well to each his/her own.

    Filmmaking is a craft. yes you experiment, showcase and tell a story through that craft. And Audience is both emotionally and intellectually evolved enough to understand that. So lets not cry FOUL when for once you didn’t arouse their empathy just cause you are the underdog or a sellout. They are still very willing to receive a good film.

  36. Well written article.
    But what you have mentioned is true for anything in life.
    Just go look around. I am sure you don’t jump the gun and suddenly buy stuffs online or otherwise without setting up an expectation baseline carved out of reviews.
    But its up to you to spot the outliers and make the call.
    You cannot blame people for having expectations from the film or the film maker.

  37. do i agree with nikhil?? Yes i do .. I think this is one of the few curse of information that is so easily available today . As a student first day first show was a weekly thing and sometimes two or three of them. It gave such a kick to find a great movie with no pre set notions about it,
    Also I think that amit trivedi and anurag are two people Who silently but surely have changed the outlook of hindi movie industry in past 5-6 years. Their is a certain honesty in their work . Not a big fan of lead actors in BV but i would definitely go for it whenever I can . For the love of cinema and appreciation of genuine work.

  38. I’ve never really cared for critics ratings. One person’s 2.5 may be another’s 3.5. However I disagree with you when you are horrified that a Gabbar gets the same rating as BV and BB. I tell you why 2.5 is perfect for the latest films by the venerable Kashyap and Bannerji. When filmmakers of their calibre and past body of work make films that disappoint a majority of their audience then it’s perfectly fair to rate their films on par with a Gabbar. Filmmaking is a learning curve. It’s not trial and error. When you make a film that a majority of people agree is worse than your previous work then I feel it’s perfectly fair for the critic or the audience to hold you up to a higher standard and hence give you a lower than normal rating. Raju Hirani’s last film wasn’t bad but when you compare it to Munnabhai you feel very disappointed. Also why should a film be evaluated in vacuum? It’s human nature to judge a work of art via the prism of the maker and his/her past work

  39. I dont think anyone goes to watch a film because of its director when its a ranbir movie or of a known star. So BV flopped just because it deserved to.

  40. I agree totally. People have to think and feel for themselves. I thought I was the only one laughing out loud during Fast and Furious and everyone else seemed to rave about it. I hardly watch movies but when I do, it’s for myself and not because everyone else is “talking” about it.

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