Bombay is a popular Bollywood musical from India. It was released in 1995 under the direction of Mani Ratman. The film follows the lives of a couple in India as their existence is rocked by religious riots. Shekhar, a Hindu man, falls in love with Shaila, a Muslim woman. Shaila originally dismisses his love, but eventually she too falls in love and they get married. Their marriage is not taken very well by both their families, as it is seen as dating out of your religion. At this time, there are daily riots going on in parts of India, which is actually based off of true events. These riots cost many people their lives, destroys cities, and divides the country. These riots are also particularly difficult for Shekhar and Shaila, as well as their children who are raised with a mix of both religions. It all culminates in a heart wrenching and heartwarming final chapter that will keep the viewer watching.
Religion is probably the biggest theme in this movie because it serves as the real conflict. Any antagonism or antagonist that appears in the film is because of their religious views and what they feel they must do with them. Acceptance of religion, another theme, directly ties into this. The entire world is very diverse and everyone should be accepting of each other. We are all human and we all share planet Earth. Another theme in the film is love. The film demonstrates many forms of love – love for yourself, love for your family, love for strangers, and love for ones country. The characters in the film obviously care very much for their own safety and the lives of the family members that they love. There is a scene towards the end that demonstrates the other two forms of love. Towards the end of the riots, citizens in India stand together and save each other. They say that they are all Indians and that should come first. This instance shows the love for each other as humans, or more particularly Indians, and the love for their country.
I was very skeptical going in to watch this movie. I am not a big fan of musicals, mostly because I think they’re kind of weird because singing and dancing just happens out of nowhere. I do respect other people’s opinions that differ from mine. It’s just not my genre of movie. I was pleasantly surprised with this film because it wasn’t over the top with the musical aspect. I think it had only maybe two or three numbers. That was bearable. The plot was really good because it gave a real sense of danger, especially when the kids were involved. I felt so bad for the kids! Although I did think it got a little monotonous when they would get lost again every ten minutes. I definitely enjoyed this film more than some of the other films we’ve watched in class. Just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.