The Hindi Film Industry also known as “Bollywood” forms a major part of the cultural fabric of the city of Mumbai. It is said that approximately 1000 movies belonging to a variety of genres such as romance, action, family drama, comedy etc are produced in Bollywood annually. Now, over the years there have also been a number of movies produced in the Hindi Film Industry that comprise of a story set in the city of Mumbai. So, here is presenting a list of 10 such “Bollywood” movies that have been based in the “Maximum City”.
a. Satya- Ram Gopal Varma:
“A microscopic look at the Mumbai underworld” would be the best way to describe the Ram Gopal Varma directed masterpiece Satya. Brilliantly shot by cameramen Gerard Hooper and Mazhar Kamran this movie basically tells a story of gangsters based in the Mumbai underworld. Supported by the brilliant direction of Varma, and the performances by the cast especially by Manoj Bajpai, this movie has captured the city of Mumbai as never before. Above all, over the years this movie has garnered cult status and is considered by many as “Mumbai noir at its best”.
b. Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai- Milan Luthria:
Based on the legend of Mumbai gangsters Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim was the Milan Luthria directed 2010 movie Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai. Set in the 1960’s and 70’s era of Mumbai City this movie is a fictional account of the conflict of ideologies between two gangsters. Comprising of some chartbusting songs such as “Pee Loon”, this movie also comprises of some wonderful “punch lines” worth remembering. In addition, this movie also consists of some magnificent performances by Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, and Randeep Hooda. Overall, this movie via the use of sets and costumes (in the form bell bottom pants) reminds us that Mumbai in the 60’s and 70’s was not only about “crime” but “style” too.
c. Salaam Bombay- Mira Nair:
Nominated for the Academy Award in 1989 under the “Foreign Film Language Category” is the brilliantly directed Mira Nair film Salaam Bombay. Based on the life of a child who comes to Mumbai and quickly gets entangled in the harsh realities of the city life, this movie has been executed brilliantly by one of India’s finest directors. Aided by some brilliant performance by lead protagonist Shafiq Syed and supporting cast including Raghubir Yadav and Nana Patekar, this movie beautifully captures the reality of street life seen mainly in the red light area of Mumbai known as “Kamathipura”. To sum up, it would be safe to say that this movie captures the true essence of the brutality that Mumbai city most of the time offers an outsider.
d. Black Friday- Anurag Kashyap:
Based on a novel written by famous Mumbai crime journalist Hussain Zaidi, is a movie called Black Friday directed by Anurag Kashyap. Directed with a lot of style this movie basically tells the story of the conspiracy behind the 1993 blasts that rocked Mumbai. Studded with magnificent performances by talented actors such as Pawan Malhotra, Kay Kay Menon, and Aditya Shrivastav this high voltage drama captures the city with an interesting combination of “realism” and “style”. More importantly this is a rare movie in Bollywood that openly reveals the “evil” that inhabits maximum city.
e. The Lunchbox- Ritesh Batra:
“An appetizing and sensitive love story initiated by a lunchbox” would be the apt way to describe the Ritesh Batra directed movie The Lunchbox. Sensitively crafted, this movie set in the city of Mumbai is a story of two lonely individuals who fall in love with each other via the delivery of a lunchbox. Comprising of brilliant performances by protagonists Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur, this movie also visually captures the daily life of Mumbai city. Of note, is the manner in which the “dabbawala service” used by many in the city is interwoven beautifully into the narrative. Having garnered praise in many film festivals, it would be right to say that here is one Bollywood movie which shows that love can blossom between any two individuals via any medium including the stomach.
f. Parinda- Vidhu Vinod Chopra:
“A story of two brothers set against the background of the Mumbai Underworld” is what the Vidhu Vinod Chopra directed masterpiece can best be described as. Studded with some magnificent performances especially by Nana Patekar, this movie brilliantly captures the brutality of crime in the city of Mumbai. Furthermore, the fact that this movie basically combines a traditional Hindi film “storyline” with realistic “style” is what makes it unique. Over the years this movie due to its performances and brilliant direction has become a cult classic but, above all it is still remembered for its realistic portrayal of Mumbai city.
g. Bombay- Mani Ratnam:
“A love saga set in the midst of riots” is what the movie Bombay directed by Mani Ratnam is all about. This bilingual movie (made in Tamil and dubbed in Hindi) tells a love story between a Hindu man and a Muslim woman with the 1992-93 riots in the city of Mumbai serving as the backdrop. Aided with a haunting background score and melodious music by AR Rahman, this movie not only captures the city beautifully but also the mad chaos created during the riots. In addition, it also comprises of superlative performances by the cast especially by actress Manisha Koirala. Having created quite a stir during its release, this movie over the years has become a classic which realistically captured the brutality of the riots that inflicted Mumbai city in 1992-93.
h. Mumbai Meri Jaan- Nishikant Kamat:
“A story of five people and their lives after the 2006 Mumbai train terror attacks” is what the movie Mumbai Meri Jaan directed by Nishikant Kamat deals with. Comprising of an extremely talented ensemble cast, this movie tells a story of how the 2006 terror attacks that occurred in the Mumbai local trains affects the lives of five individuals. Capturing the city beautifully this movie is also supported by magnificent performances especially by Irrfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Paresh Rawal, and Vijay Maurya. Having won a number of Filmfare Awards, this movie is certainly an ideal ode not only to the city of Mumbai but also, to the people who lost their lives in the horrific 2006 terror attack.
i. Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin- Sudhir Mishra:
“The collision of the advertising and underworld” is what this brilliantly directed Sudhir Mishra film Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin deals with. Revolving around an advertising executive who accidentally happens to slap a dreaded gangster, this movie is filled with lots of “thrills” and “light hearted” moments. Supported by some fine performances especially by Saurabh Shukla and Ashish Vidyarthi, it also captures the essence of Mumbai city especially at night in a realistic manner. Above all, this movie revolving around one chaos filled night is a gem that tells us how in a matter of few hours the life of any human can go from bad to worse.
j. Bombay Velvet- Anurag Kashyap:
“A love saga set in 1960’s Mumbai” is how Anurag Kashyap’s magnum opus Bombay Velvet can best be described as. Based on historian Gyan Prakash’s book “Mumbai Fables”, this movie via the use of an opulent set (built in Sri Lanka) captures the city of Mumbai in the 60’s when “Jazz” music was at its peak beautifully. Aided by some brilliant music (Jazz) composed by Amit Trivedi, and good performances by lead protagonists Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, this movie is essentially is a classic love story with the political and social development of the city serving as a backdrop. Although, this movie did not work at the box office due to poor execution of content, it shall always be remembered for accurately representing Mumbai as it was in the 1960’s.