2 June 2008 | simian_ninja
Wish the rain would have washed this idea away...
The film bills itself as being a tribute to Mumbai, a tribute to the people that pulled together to face the dark side of mother nature. The film is obviously made for Mumbai, however, the film does not function as a tribute. If anything it serves as a reminder that where there is tragedy - there is money to be made. What the audience is presented with is the loosest of scripts, confused and lacking logic and it is these two major faults that cause the film to fall apart.
The film concerns a group of people who are trapped in a coffee shop during the storm. The majority are involved in the arts, with one man being from the financial sector. When the storm starts to kick in, some choose to flee while the others stay behind after the futile realization kicks in that they are trapped within the coffee shop.
Sharma obviously wants the audience to reflect on the power of Mumbai and it's citizens - and what we get are half baked dialogs on spirituality and philosophy courtesy of the films writer, Rahil Qazi, who desperately reads as if he is trying to salvage a potentially good idea into anything that will make the audience feel, unfortunately his failed manipulation is only too evident through Sharma's lack of direction. The idea of bringing characters together is lost on both as awkward cuts take the audience to the characters families who pray that their loved ones will reach home safely, not only that, but they attempt to create a love story that makes no sense and leaves us feeling cold.
That is not the worst of it. The film bills itself as a tribute to the fighting spirit, but what we get are a collection of scenes of people crying and praying to God with two awkward subplots that appear out of no where (not including the love angle). In one, a police officer shows up to interrogate the trapped (?) people about a bank robbery that has taken place during the storm, the officer in charge more hell bent on making the situation more miserable than previously while people are dying outside. In another, a prostitute with AIDS comes by and blames the storm on herself because of her profession only to be told that the city has failed her.
The characters are what should make this story work, after all, it's a film about people. However, they are all caricatures and stereotyped to such an extent that there is no sense of togetherness - the characters awkwardness (which can also be blamed on mediocre performances) doesn't help to unite the audience or even make the audience consider the triumphant spirit of Mumbai on that fateful day. Instead all we are left with are hollow vessels in a hollow film.