Bombay Velvet Flops, But Director Anurag Kashyap Has No Regrets


“Films is what I breathe, what I live for, does not matter where I go and where I stay , I will only make films, and no I am not done with making films in and about my country, rest is just a little detour. None of you need to worry about me, we have survived so much, have been standing 22 years in the face of adversity and rejection,” says Anurag Kashyap on the Bombay Velvet debacle.

Layered sound design, lush and malodorous visual texture, and intricate period detailing are probably the only saving graces for Bombay Velvet. The 80 crore movie has had a rather staggering opening at the box office last Friday. With its collection of a meager 16 crore in its opening weekend, Anurag Kashyap’s experiment with mainstream cinema may not even cover the costs incurred during the production of the movie. Receiving brick bats both from the critics and the audience at large, Kashyap’s big bang entry into mainstream Bollywood has definitely been snubbed.

The Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma (and her pout), and Karan Johar starrer crime drama is a tale of too much love, greed and vaulting ambition, beleaguered with street fights and murders along with jazzy tabloid wars that transformed the urban sprawl, Bombay, into the city of dreams. While Ranbir’s career is not going all guns blazing at present, with this movie, it has dipped into an all-time low with the release of Bombay Velvet. Coming to the femme fatale, Anushka Sharma’s role in the movie, the twinkle in her eye and bright smile, too, seem labored. The only velvet in the movie, however, is Karan Johar.

Accordingly, the critics left no stone unturned in bashing the loose and puerile plot that the movie revolves around. Anurag Kashyap, however, decided to break his silence on Facebook, where he wrote, “It’s time to close the book and move on. It’s been a journey, as if one life is over with Bombay Velvet. A lot of people do not connect with it and a small number of people did.” Admitting that the movie might not reach or connect with every viewer, he expressed his hope saying, “Maybe when the shock of the narrative wears down, you will revisit it in the calm of your homes and will get into it. Maybe our experimenting with the narrative didn’t work for most but I firmly believe in the film. This is the film I wanted to make and I am glad I got to make it. I am very happy that all those who have been part of this journey firmly stand with it.” 

Even after receiving tremendous criticism, Anurag Kashyap stands by his film just as the captain of a sinking ship would, without the fear of drowning in the uncanny waters, and how!

However, considering the flop that Bombay Velvet has come to be, I wonder if Anushka Sharma’s fans have started to blame Virat Kohli for the debacle her movie has faced. Last I checked, she had been at the receiving end of much flak for Virat Kohli’s poor performance in the World Cup during the Semi Final match against Australia. Of course, the gender bias inherent in our mindset will not allow us to hold Kohli responsible for her facing failure at the box office. This is not to say that two wrongs make a right but the one thing I’d like to reiterate here, is that blaming a second person for one’s (be it Virat or Anushka) poor performance is neither right nor is it desired.

Sangeeta Purkayastha

Image Source: The Viewspaper