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Bombay Rose Film Review

★★★ Stars

Directed by: #GitanjaliRao

Written by: #GitanjaliRao

The main character of Bombay Rose stands in the centre of the imagine, raising a basket over her head and wearing all red and golden trimmed clothing. She is the most vibrant part of the image as she stands in front of beige buildings with intricate carvings in the stones - small bursts of colour such as blue and green can be seen in the carvings too.

“Bombay Rose is a beautifully hand-painted animation created by award-winning animator, Gitanjali Rao. Amidst the bustle of a magnetic and multifaceted city, the budding love between two dreamers is tested by duty and religious divides.”

Bombay Rose is simply a spectacular feast for the eyes, carrying a heavy story underneath its glamorous colour. Salim (Amit Deondi) and Kamala’s (Cyli Khare) love finds its place within the minds of the two caught in its grasp, as they face many obstacles in their daily lives that stop them from embracing each other as they please. They both dream of a world that can carry their romance and enhance it; making every colour that can be found in Mumbai shine with a newfound sense of purpose.

Alongside this story of Salim and Kamala, side characters are given spotlight as well; they intertwine with that of the pair’s twisting paths, holding elements that connect full circle to the rest of the characters, but still take their own lead when they are seen front and centre on screen. Many have criticised this aspect of the film as it can, at times, feel quite overwhelming due to the focal point of the film, as it is promoted, not always being the actual true focus.

I did feel the same way, however I quickly began to realise how much this overwhelming feeling should be appreciated instead — taking away the connections of the side characters to the lovers for a moment, the addition of their stories, creating an immerse impact on viewers, is perfect for establishing the yearning of Salim and Kamala. They live in a place that is always so fast paced, a place where they cannot swim to each other without quickly disappearing underwater against their will once again. The ‘side stories’ act as the current here, amplifying the struggle of hearts and also carrying them through the film’s duration as a whole.

The entire animation department of Bombay Rose should receive praise in the highest of volumes. It seems that a handful of different art styles are used throughout; just from my own eye there is some beautiful variance in the features of characters and backdrops in regards to how they are painted and produced.

There is also an abundance of different techniques used that can be interpreted by audiences across the global in a universal language, such as playing with the idea of visual focus. Main characters appear on screen with their details shown in full light and lines, whereas other individuals in the background of the shot are blurred along with any objects surrounding them. I like to think of this as a subtle representation of how love and deepest expression alike can blind someone, as if the rest of the world melts into simple shapes and moves only like a gust of wind past them. Colour is of great significance in this film as it is the centre of all brightness in a story that pulls at the heartstrings, as well as giving a capturing hue to the people and objects who ever so slightly fade into the background of the lives of lovers, daydreamers and ones stuck in a state of reminiscence.

I happily recommend Bombay Rose — there’s a lot I had to hold myself back from talking about in this review as I didn’t want to flood my writing with spoilers, so there is even more stunning aspects of the film to be discovered outside of these words. If you’re looking for a new release on Netflix to watch this weekend that can contrast with the gloomy weather currently rustling outside, this film might be the vibrancy that is needed to complete your search.



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