The title suggests that the movie is all about Mumbai and its people – it’s a misnomer; the movie is about the issues that the nation struggles to grapple with; issues that threaten the fabric of unity and come dangerously close to dividing us into a myriad pieces that cannot be tied together again!
Vulgar display of wealth, creeping suspicions directed at particular groups and communities, corruption in the police force, tragedies being exploited by media for their own TRP-driven ends…the helplessness in the face of all these of the city dweller, of the ordinary citizen…this is what the movie speaks about and at the end of a masala-less, thought-provoking two hours and fifteen minutes, all one feels is elation at the ability of a Indian film maker, surprise at the genuineness and earnestness of his work, appreciation for the actors - a motley bunch of strongly under-rated men and women who have given some of their best performances and gratitude to the whole crew!
This is a movie that draws its strength from the reality it depicts on screen – the about-to-retire policeman - played by Paresh Rawal - personifying defeat and reconciliation and being able to crack jokes despite his plight, the poor Madrasi - played by Irfan Khan - with his cycle-shop who struggles to come to terms with his poverty and envies the rich at the same time cursing their abominable display of wealth, the successful journalist – played by Soha Ali Khan - who comes up with television friendly sound bytes in the midst of chaos and loss during the train blasts, the cash-deprived youth – played by Kay Kay Menon - who doubts every Muslim youth and sees them as bomb makers and architects of blasts and finally the IT employed gentleman – played by Madhavan – who prefers the city’s trains to travel for the comfort they provide and who advises a vendor not to use cheap plastic covers since they pollute the environs.
The movie is about these men and women whom we encounter every day in our lives. Bombs that go off in Mumbai’s trains affect these people in different ways and each of them emerges better from the blasts with some small but significant alterations in their convictions, in their belief of what is right and what is wrong.
Throughout the movie, one gets the feeling of “The world moving on”, indifferent to a man’s everyday concerns forcing the people to change and to adapt to the altering scenarios. This is the movie’s strength. The story by Vinayak Joshi is brilliant as the common man can relate to it and the direction by NishiKant kamat is excellent, the end result being a movie that signifies yet again the maturity towards which Hindi cinema appears to be moving. The end is touching with the song “Yeh dil hai mushkil jeena yahan, zara hatke zara bachke yeh hai Bombay meri jaan” playing as the city observes silence.