Venice Film Festival: Why animated film ‘Bombay Rose’ was just too busy and sentimental 

The color palette of the film is opulent and eye-catching. (Supplied)
Updated 03 September 2019

Venice Film Festival: Why animated film ‘Bombay Rose’ was just too busy and sentimental 

VENICE: Gitanjali Rao’s debut animated film “Bombay Rose” opened the Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival. Rao drew, wrote and edited the film. This is no easy task, but the pressure of having painted a 96-minute movie does take its toll. 

The color palette may be opulent and eye-catching, with hues of orange and red, but the storytelling is weak, probably a result of poor editing and wanting to pack in too much. There are multiple plots unfolding, and each one of them moves back and forth, creating confusion. 

The most significant story relates to Kamala, voiced by Cyli Khare, a young woman who has escaped to Bombay from her village after a painful child marriage. She sells flowers by day and dances in bars at night. Ready to marry a rogue and fly away to Dubai to give a better future to her student sister, she falls in love with a Muslim youth, Salim (Amit Deondi), whose parents were killed in the Kashmir militancy. The film also tells the tale of Shirley (Amardeep Jha), a retired schoolteacher who has not stopped yearning for her late husband. Finally, Rao profiles Kamala’s grandfather, a watch-repairer, who plays a moralist. If all this is not enough, Rao adds more frames to talk about child labor as well as the ban on dance bars in Bombay and tries to enrich the narrative with old, lilting Bollywood numbers.

Forays into Indian mythology and the 1960s Bollywood fantasy may find admirers, but the writing could have been crisper and more comprehensible. Rao also resorts to the archaic fade in and fade out technique between the scenes, which she chooses to term conventional. But surely cinema has progressed beyond all this?

Her tendency to obfuscate her characters by a moving vehicle is distracting, “but that is how Bombay is,” she quipped in an interview. Whatever the weaknesses of the movie, the regional flavor is interesting, and this leaves a thirst for greater detail. Few stories could have given Rao more freedom to explore some of her characters in depth. In the end, “Bombay Rose” seems overstuffed with too many musical interludes and crammed with archetypes and unnecessary sentiment. 

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra considers role in Arabic films

Updated 39 min 30 sec ago

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra considers role in Arabic films

DUBAI: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas revealed in an interview with Africa News this week that she would “love to” star in Arabic films.

“I just don’t speak the language,” said Chopra Jonas. “I think that I would love to be a part of the film industry anywhere. I love my job and I would learn a new language if I have to.”

The 38-year-old producer, who has a couple of Hollywood flicks under her belt, said she is working on an unscripted series with her husband, the American singer and songwriter Nick Jonas.

“I am developing a show with my husband which is for Amazon. It is based on the Indian tradition of sangeet (a music-filled pre-marriage ceremony),” she said.


Felt like wearing a saree. So I did...At home. Miss everyone. @nickjonas

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She is also working on a new series for Amazon, produced by the Russo brothers, and a “buddy comedy” with actress Mindy Kaling.

The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the former Miss World has been using her social media platforms over the past few months to raise awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.



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Chopra Jonas, who started her career 20 years ago, has hosted an Instagram session with doctors and experts from the World Health Organization who answered frequently asked questions about the virus.