Director- Pia Sukanya
Distributed by- Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, Netflix, Zee Studios
Cast- Radhika Apte ,Siddhanth Kapoor, Akshay Oberoi, Adil Hussain, Ravi Kishan
Set in Mumbai, Bombariya traces a crazy day in the life of Meghna (Radhika Apte), a Public Relations manager. An unlikely incident makes her run into two strangers (Akshay Oberoi and Siddhant Kapoor). Under mysterious circumstances, the three must stick around for each other. What makes them do this, forms the story.
Times Of India
A crime is waiting to happen and the three must race against time to avert it. Who are the bad guys and what is their nefarious motive? What seems like an interesting premise at the beginning loses steam in no time. Bombairiya, a comedy of errors, feels like a pointless exercise that desperately craves for your attention.
It deliberately withholds information, backstories and character introductions to infuse suspense in the story. However, the chaos and confusion gets way too loud, silly and futile over time for you to be engaged in it. The randomness in the execution leaves a lot unexplained and fails to evoke curiosity or a sense of urgency that the story ideally expects you to.
To sum it up, this one’s a confused, chaotic mess that lacks humour and a clear thought process of what it hoped to achieve. Complicated is not always clever. Bombairiya tries way too hard to lure you into solving the jigsaw puzzle that it hastily creates. After a point, the series of forced mishaps and coincidences drain your patience and ability to decode the reason behind the madness.
Like Meghna, we all have that one bad day that we deeply despise. You say shit happens and move on. The makers of the film should do the same.
A film star, his politician wife, publicist girlfriend, one crazy fan, a nice boy and his middle class family, cops and crooks, sharp-shooters and encounter specialists, some RDX let loose in Mumbai and a witness protection programme up for debate on TV. There are the Mumbai streets and slums, the Bandra Worli Sealink, a VVIP jail cell, a FM station, a Brahmakumari ashram. As to what all these people, settings and things add up to – it’s all utter confusion. To begin with you do some math and try to map stuff out in your head even though there is no evident system to the script. You also laugh along with some senior citizen characters–the publicist’s father and grandmother and the kooky parents of the boy she stumbles into in her so-called adventure. There is a good ensemble at the director’s disposal but how long can the actors keep things afloat with their presence and performance? After a while, when nothing seems to hold, you give up on the senseless drivel and just let the images roll on without attempting to engage with anything on screen.
After starting off by complicating things with the various strands, towards the end the filmmaker unties them all, giving a long explanation of what transpired and how over the one and a half hour of screen time. Then why couldn’t it have been told straight and simple? Also, by then its already too late, the strands having strangled the film.
Mumbai, or Bombay as we all know it, is a schizophrenic city. Inviting, welcoming, affectionate and warm one minute, hostile, intimidating and disorienting the next… Bombairiya captures the polarised propensities of the split city with vigour and humour.
Sure, towards the midpoint, the edifice of chaos built on the premise of ‘One Day in the Life Of Radhika Apte’ (she gets top solo billing), begins to fall apart. And you feel the film is trying to cram in too much physical activity at the cost of giving the plot and the characters space to breathe.
There is an unstoppable energy about the film, and that doesn’t always work in its favour. Often times, I felt the characters were running away from themselves and from us, the audience. The relentless bhaag-daud (helter skelter) eventually seeps into the character-driven narrative. But before it does, the people who populate the bustle over the hustle, are thrown so close to our affections that we want the progressively spiralling plot to somehow come together for their sake.
Here is a film that will make you smile to the end even when the going gets really tough for the proceedings.
The Indian Express
When a film opens with several disparate strands all going in different directions at the same time, we expect that it will join the dots at some stage. And if it is the zany caper it’s meant to be, the film will meet you halfway, never spoon-feeding you, but letting out dribs of smartly executed information till the jigsaw is all done.
Bombairiya has the strands, but is bereft of that one thing all movies need: a plot. Whatever passes for one is so hare-brained, so all-over-the-place that you wonder just how this thing was cobbled together.
Radhika Apte leads this ensemble. A female actor top-lining a film should be cause for celebration. Not here, no. An altercation on a busy street and a phone snatching leads to various characters showing up: a film star (Kishan) sulking on a boat, a harried fellow (Kapoor) tracking a mysterious plastic-wrapped parcel, a nice young man (Oberoi) trying to be helpful, a ‘neta’-type (Hussain) lounging in a cell, a police commissioner (Deo) cracking the whip, a bearded character (Sial) running around with a gun, among others.
Bombairiya is set during one day in Mumbai, which begins with a misfit in a religious group bolting from a gathering and arriving on a beach, where she is trying to burn a larger-than-life cut-out. Minutes later, the rickshaw Meghna (Radhika Apte) is riding in has an accident with a scooter. An innocent bystander intervenes and gets thwacked on the head with a pink helmet. The scooter driver bolts from the scene of the crime, grabbing Meghna’s mobile in order to obliterate the video evidence she filmed of his actions.
Apte, Oberoi, Kapoor and Kishan do their best within the confines of an amateur effort by writer Michael Ward, based on a story by Aarti S Bagdi and directed by Pia Sukanya.
A sharper edit at script and film level would have helped somewhat, but not enough to raise this comedy, with a hue of blackness, out of its own disorderly screenplay which leaves too many loose ends and unanswered questions.