TL;DR – This is an incredible, violent, and emotionally visceral film that will grab you in the first frame and not let go
Score – I honestly don’t know how to score this.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
In a now previous life, I taught
international relations to university students. This is a large discipline and
one of the areas we looked at was terrorism, which happens to be one of the
most pressing security issues in the modern world, or not, it’s complicated.
All of this meant that when I walked into the theatre to review this film I
thought I had a pretty good handle on what I was about to see, as I was quite familiar
with the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, and well I could not have been more wrong.
So to set the scene, we open with a boat slowly making its way into one of the
many harbours on the Mumbai shoreline. On the boat are eight well-dressed young
men who could be there for work in the financial capital of India, but immediately
you know that is not the case. Each of them carries a large duffel bag and they
are listing to someone give them instructions, directing them to different
landmarks across the city. Meanwhile, across the city everyone else is just going
through their day as normal, Arjun (Dev Patel) is trying to get his dastaar perfect as he gets ready for work at
the Taj Hotel, Zahara (Nazanin Boniadi), her husband David (Armie Hammer), and
their nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) are arriving at the hotel after a long
flight and everyone is racing to get the room ready for her as her mother is a
VIP, and the hotel head chef Hemant (Anupam Kher) is just trying to work out
how to get everything done in such a short time. None of them knows the hell that is heading for them.
TL;DR – A story about finding your voice through rap in the slums of Mumbai hits just about every beat perfectly.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a scene over the first part of the credits
It has been a while since I have watched a movie about becoming a music
superstar that had any kind of weight and substance behind it. Usually, they are content just to ride on the
fact that people know the music very well, and as long as you drop those
classic songs every now and again people will lap it up. Today we get to look
at a film that doesn’t just rest on its laurels and call it a day, it instead
focuses deeply on what it is to come from nothing and try to make it in a very
So to set the scene, we open in Mumbai, India, specifically the Dharavi slums
on the outskirts of the city, and we start immediately in a moment of tension
when Aftab (Vijay Raaz) brings home a second younger wife, much to the annoyance of both Murad (Ranveer Singh) and his
mother Razia (Amruta Subhash). Murad is working hard at school, working hard on
keeping his relationship with Safeena (Alia Bhatt) on the quiet, but he has a
real passion for rap. In his quiet time, he
watches videos on YouTube and works on his own lyrics. However, he doesn’t have
the confidence to take it to the next level, which is when MC Sher (Siddhant
Chaturvedi) gives him the push he needs.