Celebrating 100 Years Of Indian Cinema: A Look At Movies Inspired By Mumbai

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Saathiya

Mumbai is a city that is always bursting with action. It’s citizens are a mix of people from diverse backgrounds, and each of them has their own unique story to share. Many movies in Bollywood have tried to mirror specific aspects of the multi-faceted life in Mumbai and here is a post on some realities of Mumbai as highlighted in various films.

Wake Up Sid
Wake Up Sid

The City of Dreams: Mumbai is a city of aspirations. People from all over the country come here with the hope of turning their dreams into reality. Several movies have been made around this theme. In Wake Up Sid, Ayesha Banerjee (Konkana Sen Sharma) moves from Kolkata to Mumbai in order to accomplish her dream of becoming a writer.  Movies like Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, which tells the story of Chutki, a village-girl who arrives in Mumbai with the hopes of becoming an actress; and Guru, continue to narrate the stories of people who migrate to Mumbai from small towns with the hope that the relocation to this big city will lead them to a better standard of living.

Life in a… Metro
Life in a… Metro

Exploration of relationships: There have been movies that have explored the depths (and some the shallow levels!) of relationships in an urban setting like Mumbai. While Jogger’s Park was about a bond between an elderly man and a young girl; Life in a… Metro saw a confluence of nine individual lives in Mumbai and deals with the urban realities of marriage, its sanctity, love, and extramarital affairs. Then, there is Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na which not only realistically portrays sibling relationships (through the characters of Aditi and Amit), but also shows various close-to-life scenarios playing out in the lives of the protagonists and their friends while focusing on the different aspects of interpersonal relationships in their closely-knit friend-circle.

Tum Mile
Tum Mile

The “horrors” that struck Mumbai: Mumbai has been struck by several adversities – torrential rains, train blasts and terrorist activities and these form a plot for many a filmmakers. While Tum Mile used the backdrop of the torrential rains of 2006 to narrate a love-story, Mumbai Meri Jaan excellently portrayed the chaos that resulted from the 2007 serial train blasts. A Wednesday is a touching rendition of a common man’s frustration at the inefficacy of the system to keep terrorism at bay.

A Wednesday
A Wednesday

The grim underbelly of Mumbai: Every city has a dark side. For Mumbai, it is the underworld which strikes terror in the minds of the people. Movies like Vaastav,Company, Shooutout At Lokhandwala, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and Kaminey have narrated different tales of the gangsters and operating members of the Mafia in the city, making us question our nonchalant attitude towards this problem that exists. Then, there are tales of inequality and violence that emerge from the poverty-stricken sections of Mumbai as seen in movies like Salaam Bombay, Traffic Signal, and the Oscar-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire.

Saathiya
Saathiya

Mumbai as the backdrop: In some movies, the city just remains a backdrop and allows the unfolding of some unforgettable tales. No one can forget Raj Kapoor and Nargis romancing under the umbrella, singing, “Pyar hua, Ikraar hua hai…” in Shree 420, or the courtship happening between Rani Mukherjee and Vivek Oberoi, in Saathiya, in local trains and platforms. Bluffmaster has also exquisitely captured some amazing locales of Mumbai. Kiran Rao’s movie, Dhobi Ghat, uses Mumbai as an apt metaphor and backdrop to shed light on the lives, learnings and adventures of the four protagonists in the story.

Mumbai always was, still is, and will continue to be a powerful inspiration for every film-maker. A number of popular and critically-acclaimed movies have been churned out of the realities of Mumbai. Which film based on Mumbai or a certain aspect of it is your favourite?

Post By Divya Srivastava (4 Posts)

Loves exploring her surroundings, enjoys food and is always on the look-out for trying a new restaurant in the city. When not penning down her thoughts, she is engrossed in unraveling the obscure mysteries of life.

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Divya Srivastava

Divya Srivastava
Loves exploring her surroundings, enjoys food and is always on the look-out for trying a new restaurant in the city. When not penning down her thoughts, she is engrossed in unraveling the obscure mysteries of life.