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Mumbai Meri JaanMumbai Meri Jaan : Movie Review
23rd Aug 2008  21.45 IST
By Aparajita Ghosh  

Director Nishikant Kamat's Mumbai Meri Jaan is a fairly watchable film that explores the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the mindset of people.

Here's one of those few Bollywood films that take a shot at reality without pandering to commercial considerations. Keeping the infamous 7/11 Mumbai train blasts at its heart, the film shows how the incident affects the lives of different people in the city - from an IT professional to a tea vendor, from a Hindu fanatic to a rookie cop.

The best part about 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' is that the movie doesn't try to be judgmental or preachy. It takes no sides. It aims to present the facts as they are and leave it upon a viewer to make his own opinion.

The movie has five tracks running parallel to each other but bound by the same incident.

Nikhil ( Madhavan ) is software professional and a responsible citizen. On the fateful day of July he doesn't board his usual train compartment and is thus saved from the bomb blasts. But terror strikes so deep in his heart that he considers leaving Mumbai for good.

The blasts cause a personal loss to Rupali ( Soha Ali Khan ) who is a journalist working for a news channel and whose beliefs about the fourth estate are shaken by the incident.

Thomas ( Irrfan Khan ) is a coffee vendor who lets out his angst against the bourgeoisie by spreading fear among people after the attacks.

Suresh ( Kay Kay Menon ) is a Hindu fanatic whose hatred for Muslims is only strengthened after the blasts.

Tukaram ( Paresh Rawal ) is a senior constable about to retire in a week when he is assigned the patrolling duty with a rookie cop Sunil (Vijay Maurya). This episode shows the humour-laced apathy of a seasoned cop and the disillusionment and anger of a new recruit towards the corrupt system.

Of all the tracks the ones featuring Irrfan Khan and Paresh Rawal and Vijay Maurya stand out. All three actors have delivered stupendous performances but Vijay Maurya deserves a special mention because he is not as seasoned as the rest.

Soha Ali Khan's track, highlighting the insensitivity of the TRP-hungry media, is of great relevance in the times when media is getting notorious for sensationalizing stories just to grab more eyeballs. If only Soha had performed with more restraint, this could've been the best track.

R Madhavan is brilliant as a scared techie terrorized by the blasts. Kay Kay Menon plays the fanatic Suresh without going over the top.

'Mumbai Meri Jaan' has no songs but it has a subtle layer of comedy running through its plots involving Paresh Rawal and Irrfan Khan.

Director Nishikant Kamat deserves a pat on the back for his mature and sensitive handling of a serious subject. However, the movie does get slow at times. Some of the tracks keep stretching even after making their point. And there are many scenes that seem exaggerated because the director wanted them to strike a viewer.

Anyway, all these glitches notwithstanding, 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' does strike a right chord. It's not mind-blowing, but it is certainly an engrossing watch.

Rating: ***

Mumbai Meri Jaan Trailers
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Nishikant Kamat

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