A medley of vignettes by 11 top directors of the country dealing with the modern day life in the entertainment and financial capital as it alternates between the comical and the cynical provided a perfect ending to the 10th Osian's Cinefan festival here that showcased a motley of films from the Arab and Asian world.
This unique venture brings together Sudhir Mishra, Revathi, Jahnu Barua, Rituparno Ghosh, Anurag Kashyap, Shashank Ghosh, Rahul Dholakia, Ayush Raina, Ruchi Narain, Kundan Shah and Manish Jha to offer a tantalising glimpse at life in Mumbai through their short stories.
The film, produced by White Cloud and presented by Sahara One Motion Pictures, tries to find a reason why and how the city influences people who come there and survive adversities to continue being there.
"Mumbai Cutting" that had a world premier on April 27 in Hollywood's Arclights theatre has music by a vast array of composer-singers like Euphoria, Indian Ocean, Ali Azmat, Fuzon, Sanjeev Shrivastav, Jeet Ganguly, Amartya and Papon.
A film as emotionally complex as the city it portrays, "Mumbai Cutting" alternates between comical and cynical, while telling the story of a man and a woman who come together in grief after losing their loved ones, a writer who makes it his mission to connect with a troubled orphan, a Muslim woman attempting to procure a fake passport, and an aspiring actor who races through the streets in order to reach an important audition.
The film starts with Mishra's "The Ball". Starring Soha Ali Khan, it is about a sister's struggle to find justice for her brother's murder.
The story told in a single night illustrates how in spite of all the people that such an incident attracts, the lackadaisical attitudes and personal agendas result in her inability to find a single individual besides herself to stand up to the criminal element in the city.
The next story "Parcel" by Revathi has Sonali Kulkarni playing the deglamorised role of a Bangladeshi immigrant woman.
Human trafficking forms the backdrop of the film. It follows the life of Kulkarni who arrives in Mumbai on her way to Kuwait. And that she goes through to realise her end and whether she makes it or not, forms the crux of the film.
Ruchi Narain's "Jo Palti Nahi Woh Rickshaw Kya" is about a rickshaw-loving NRI's (Raima Sen) life in the city. She sees life in Mumbai through her interaction with the rickshaw drivers and experiences all that needs to be done to get a local feeling.
"Anjane Dost" by Jahnu Barua with Ranvir Shorey in the lead shows how the demeanour of a complete stranger can affect the bearings of another completely unconnected individual.
Kundan Shah's "Hero" is about an actor (Deepak Dobrieal) trying to board a local train when several thoughts like strategies, plans and schemes of how to do it creep into his mind.
"And It Rained" by Manish Jha is a story of two dejected, depressed, grieving individuals (Palash Sen and Samreen) in the city diametrically opposite from each other. The one thing they have in common is both have lost their loved ones and they have the same desire to go on ahead with life.
Shashank Ghosh's "10 Minutes" shows four slices of city life (Ranvir Shorey, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Shruti Seth and Ranvijay) running parallel in real time.
Rahul Dholakia's "Bombay Mumbai Same Shit" deals with Jimmy Sheirgill's cash rich, flamboyant journey of debauchery paralleled with the travails of the characters that surround him on a daily basis.
"Urge" by Rituparno Ghosh and starring Reema Lagoo, Sushant Singh and Tara Sharma deals with the power that Mumbai has on people outside the city, their perception of paradise that is Mumbai and their aspirations and dreams for better lives.
Anurag Kashyap's "Pramod Bhai 23" is the story of a juvenile delinquent (Sunny), who is obsessed with the underworld and Bollywood. The film shows how Pramod Bhai, an out of work actor who conducts drama workshops in the remand home, gets involved in the personal life of Sunny who portrays Mushtaq.
"Bombay High" by Ayush Raina is about those who are driving the hurtling trolley bus down over the edge of the bottomless pit and also of those who are queuing up by the numbers to somehow get themselves to board the bus and manage to wring for themselves a window seat.