Caught ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ on the weekend, was propelled to the theatre by the cast – Kay Kay, Irrfan, Paresh Rawal, Vijay Maurya. I’m not going to attempt a review, and will limit the post to a few nuggets and a strong recommendation to go watch the movie. I think the movie worked for me because almost all the lead characters were ones I could identify or empathise with.

Vijay Maurya (Dawood in Black Friday, Jam K in the horrible ‘Bombay to Bangkok.. hmm, thats a coincidence, all the 3 movies have a Mumbai link) for his rage and helplessness against the system he is part of.

Irrfan, for the agony that he feels, on the way he, as a citizen from the lower strata of the economy, is treated by those more fortunate than him, but for still retaining the innate goodness of his character.

Kay Kay, for the indignation and the impulsive mistrust of Muslims.

Paresh Rawal (bless the director and scriptwriter for reminding me of the original Paresh Rawal, the one before the morass of his recent movies and Priyadarshan happened to his career) for the cynicism and acceptance of the system he is part of, but still retaining a part of himself that can be stung by someone pointing this out to him. His cynicism is just amazing. Check out this nugget, “Arre, blast ke baad agar bar khule nahi rahenge, to Mumbai ka spirit kahan se aayega” and the part where he says (to paraphrase) ” a long time ago, we joined seven islands to make Mumbai. After the 7 blasts on 7/11, I felt we were being split into 7 again”

But most importantly, Madhavan, the 30+ corporate executive, who refuses to buy a car because he does not want to contribute to the city’s pollution, who refuses to take up opportunities abroad because of a sense of patriotism, who advises a roadside vendor to stop using plastic….

I could identify a lot with the last character, especially when he is shown doubting the choices he has made as well as his sticking with them, as people close to him berate him, doubting whether an individual can make a difference. A doubt that forces him to ask his NRI friend, on his India visit, whether he’s really happy there…the conversation that follows, that highlights how human beings are in the same situation across the globe. And one that reinforced a personal belief for me, happiness is within me, and the most important battles I have to win, are those against myself.

until next time, exorcise demons daily