Not On Assignment

A journo's jottings under no deadline pressure (since Jan 1, 2010)

Manjrekar strikes gold

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If viewers went only by what movie reviewers said, all films would bomb at the box office. Fortunately that doesn’t happen all the time.
Take the case of City Of Gold, the Hindi version of Mahesh Manjrekar’s latest Marathi directorial venture Lalbaug Parel. The film is based on the plight of mill workers and their families affected by the Bombay textile strike of the eighties.
Many reviewers have panned the movie saying it focuses too much on the goings-on within a single family and only briefly touches the politician-mill owner-underworld nexus which led to the strike failing and the mill lands being developed into fancy malls and residential and commercial complexes and the worker class falling into deeper and deeper penury.
What hogwash! It is clear right from frame one that Manjrekar is out to make a commercial film and not a socio-political documentary. The end result is a gritty look at the period that forever changed the face of a portion of Bombay – in more ways than one.
What is most commendable about the movie is the right ambience created so very successfully. The art direction is perfect, the costumes, the mood, the dialogue, the acting (most main role players are drawn from the talented Marathi stage), the screenplay…. everything is, to use a Bambaiya phrase, jhakaas!

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Written by Raju Bist

May 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

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