So this post is about another old film that I’m recalling and reviewing because it’s such a good film. This film includes a love story but for me, the main message is about us getting along regardless of our faith.
If I come across as blahzay about the hurt and pain that the casualties on either side of a ‘war’ have gone through; I’m not. Please don’t misunderstand me? I am aware and sorry for the pain that many people have gone through whether they have survived, died or simply been left behind. It’s happened all over the world between, to name a few, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs! In many ways, this film may help you understand why generations of people who have not witnessed or directly experienced these ‘wars’ currently detest, mistrust or feel anger towards people who fall into the ‘opposite side’ who probably weren’t there either. However, when emotions are involved and when you’ve hear people you know recall what they went through and what they saw, I guess it’s difficult to remain objective.
Loaded with boundless charm, Bombay is set amidst the savage communal strife that ravaged parts of India in the early 1990s following the demolition of the disputed Muslim shrine Babri Masjid by Hindu extremists.
Bombay relates the love story of a Hindu youth Shekhar (Arvind Swamy) and a Muslim girl Sheila Banu (Manisha Koirala) from Malampur village who are caught in a senseless communal maelstrom they cannot fathom.
Shekhar and Sheila face severe opposition to their love from their orthodox parents. But amor vincit omnia and the two move away to Bombay, where Shekhar works as a proof reader in a newspaper. They get married in Bombay in a civil ceremony and lead a happy life with twin sons named Kamal Bashir and Kabir Narayan (The childrens’ names are a combination of the names of their two grandfathers’ and that of both Hindu and Muslim Gods).
But Shekhar and Sheila’s happiness is shortlived. Communal violence rocks Bombay in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by Hindu fundamentalists. In the orgy of violence, the young twins are separated from their parents. Searching for the young boys, a distraught Shekhar and Sheila Banu run desperately from city street to hospital to morgue.
The payoffs are aplenty in Bombay. Both Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala have rendered memorable performances without engaging in the over dramatization common to Indian cinema.
A.R.Rehman’s fine music adds to the allure of this movie. Every single song is a treat to the ears. Our favorite songs were Kehna Hi Kya, Humma Humma and the fast-paced Kuchh Bhi Na Socha.
Some more info about Bombay
Actors: Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala, Nasser, Arvind Khurana
Director: Mani Ratnam
Story & Screenplay: Mani Ratnam
Dialogs: Umesh Sharma