'Bollywood Diaries' review: A moving account!

'Bollywood Diaries' review: A moving account!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Saturday 27 February 2016

Movie Title

'Bollywood Diaries' review: A moving account!


K.D. Satyam

Star Cast

Raima Sen, Salim Diwan, Ashish Vidyarthi

These three characters from completely different society strata have one thing in common - an inexplicable and insatiable passion for cinema.

Vishnu (Ashish Vidyarthi) has lived a life of sacrifice. Once a theatre actor, he gave it all up to run his family, like most people end up doing. He always silently dreamt of becoming an actor in Bollywood. Now with his only daughter married, Vishnu contemplates giving his lifelong dream a go. He quotes a poem and quits his job, confessing that most people would think he's mad, but all he is wondering is why it took him so long to indulge in this madness. However, an unexpected turn forces him to take a different, bizarre step.

Imli (Raima Sen), a prostitute in Kolkata also dreams of becoming an actress. In the hopes of meeting someone from Bollywood, she offers discounts to any client from Mumbai, often getting fooled in the process.

But one day, in walks the real deal. An assistant director Daman (Vineet Kumar Singh) from Mumbai who visits the brothel to research a new film. He and Imli get close and talk about their lives. In doing so, the director gets his story and Imli gets an assurance that when the film gets a go-ahead, she would star in it.

The third story is that of a call-centre employee (Salim Diwan) who also nurses the dream of becoming a Bollywood actor. He is tired of his boss and his job and finds himself at a talent hunt show. When it is his turn to showcase his talent, he puts his life at risk to impress the judges. A ploy that works, and gets him through the first few rounds.

All through the film, we are completely involved in the stories of these three protagonists. Raima Sen is achingly earnest as Imli, who is determined to become a Hindi film actress. She dreams of the day her new friend Daman will make the film based on her life, and launch her as heroine. But she is taken aback by what transpires (a fairly predictable happening).

Vishnu's story remains the most interesting, for the very unique, even bizarre solution that he thinks up to solve his problem. Ashish Vidyarthi is brilliant in the role of Vishnu who is so passionate about becoming a Bollywood actor, he cannot help but sob when his wife doesn't support him. Karuna Pandey is impressive as his wife, who is faced with a rather unfortunate dilemma.

Salim Diwan is remarkable as the jaded call-centre employee who considers himself a talented artist, and goes to the extent of hurting himself to win a talent hunt competition. His journey is also as arduous as the other two, and you cannot help but feel for this character. Diwan is particularly impressive in the scene where he loses himself at the talent hunt competition, and towards the end where his final act becomes his undoing.

One has seen several films about the struggles to become actors in Bollywood, so the topic does seem a bit too familiar. But one thing common among the three protagonists is the intensity of their journey.

Director K.D.Satyam (writer of Gattu) expertly weaves together three extraordinary stories of ordinary hopefuls. The storytelling is sure-footed, even if rough around the edges. The feel and look of the film is decidedly old-school. But the performances, styling, production design and songs elevate the film considerably.

Watch this film without too many expectations, and you might find yourself moved the by the characters and their Bollywood diaries.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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