Review: Citylights

Rating:

After the winning chemistry of director Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao in ‘Shahid’ last year, the duo are back again with ‘Citylights’, also starring debutante Patralekha and Manav Kaul. The movie is an adaptation of a British-Filipino indie crime drama.

CityLights is based on the life of a farmer in Rajasthan who comes to the metro city of Mumbai along with his wife and daughter, hoping a better life. The story revolves around the challenges they face. They encounter with the harsh realities of a demanding city like Mumbai. How they fight the odds with the power of their love is the story all about. Producer Mukesh Bhatt claims that it is the most emotional Hindi film that Bollywood has seen in recent years.

Rajkumar Rao is once again superb as he portrays the anguish, disappointment and struggle of a poor farmer with distinction. He masters the Rajasthani dialect and seamlessly slips into the character. With every movie, Rao is establishing him as one of the brightest actors.

Patralekha also deserves a special mention for a splendid debut. Her body language and expressions are far superior than some of the actresses who have been around for some years. She perfectly compliments and supports Rao in the movie.

Hansal Mehta’s signature directorial style is evident in this movie – a dark, brooding storyline undercut by frequent traces of irony. Mehta has done a fantastic job in taking the struggler theme, so popular in Bollywood, and not drowning it in pathos. He is a director who believes to do something different and he deserves an applause for that.

Story, direction, screenplay and acting are A-grade, while the music is soulful. A tale of protagonist’s fight against the darkness and search for that elusive light, Citylights is a must watch.