Bombay gets a classy presentation

Minute detailing, good acting, dialogues and a theme well set take the storyline forward but too many actors to directional flaws, including a hurried approach to finish it, somehow leave you dissatisfied

Everyone in their childhood read about the hare and the tortoise, and the story was taught with a lesson that slow and steady wins the race. But did Usain Bolt believe in it? Class of ’83 movie is more on the same track where our Indian Mr Fury (Bobby Deol) does everything in the “Nick” of time — from selecting some avengers to training to strategising the endgame and executing it.

Well, Deol plays the role of dean Vijay Singh and in case you don’t know, Nick Fury is a character from the Marvel movies.

Based loosely on The Class of ’83: The Punishers of Mumbai Police, a book by former journalist S Hussain Zaidi, the movie is about an officer who — on a punishment posting to Nashik Police Training Centre — trains five laggards from the first batch for a war against the Mumbai underworld.

I should first talk about each point behind my rating:

  1. Cinematography and editing: Mario Poljac does a brilliant job with the camera and editors Manas Mittal and Nitin Baid do the rest with a beautiful presentation,

2.  Acting: While Deol as Singh is impressive, focused and his effortless delivery of dialogues builds up the mood of the first half, Joy Sengupta as DGP Raghav Desai, Anup Soni as CM Manohar Patkar and Vishwajeet Pradhan as PT and weapon training instructor Mangesh Doiphode support the lead in each and every possible way,

3.  Mention of sub-plots in dialogues: The Naik and the Kalsekar gangs, rising Punjab terrorism and the AK47s and AK56s which were finding their way to Mumbai, mention of Marathi union leader Datta Samant and the struggle of the cotton millworkers and the unions, jokes on Dirty Harry and Dubai emerging as a favourite hotspot of the underworld are commendable. Also dialogues, mentioning the ‘the ₹50-crore, ₹100-crore’ club, refer to Mumbai policemen’s alleged payments from the underworld. Appreciable minute details. Atul Sabharwal, the name behind it.

But there are always two sides of a coin and the other side here is the director Sabharwal who has under his belt crime thriller web series Powder and Arjun Kapoor-Rishi Kapoor starrer Aurangzeb.

Well, he isn’t bad in his way of putting things together but somewhere couldn’t match the screenplay by Abhijeet Deshpande. Also, lack of details in the storyline was not compelling in terms of establishing characters and there was a hurried approach in finishing it.

However, there is so much to appreciate if you watch it with an eye to find details. The establishment of the 80s — with film posters of Nastik, Hero and Justice Chaudhury at a bus stand, the double-decker buses, ambassadors, Contessas, and the sepia theme to establish the then Mumbai, its dockyards and its lifestyle — is to the point. Excellent work.

Apart from Deol, his pandavs — played by newbies Bhupendra Jadawat, Hitesh Bhojraj, Sameer Paranjape, Ninad Mahajani and Prithvik Pratap — do deliver well but their portrayal to screen space and dialogues eventually get messed up. While Jadawat and Bhojraj get the lion’s share, Paranjape, who was also the narrator, is given a fair share but with a major directorial flaw almost at the end. I won’t use a spoiler here.

Overall, it’s a good movie in terms of acting, cinematography, editing, background score by one of the 90s’ top music directors Viju Shah and above all the details with which Sabharwal brings everything to the table as a dialogue writer but lags as a director.

P.S: I bet you won’t notice two fabulous actors — Geetika Tyagi and Monika Panwar (Gudiya of Jamtara fame) — deliver when you are mainly focused on the leads. Do notice them, they are good.

Rating: 3/5

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