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Review by : Harish
Starring: Vineet Kumar, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Kashmira Shah, Satish Kaushik.
Direction: Mahesh Manjrekar
Music: Ajit Parab
Production: Dar Motion Pictures
Mahesh Manjrekar started off as a director but is still well known only because of his acting skills and the promising start he made with Vaastav is still part of history. But whatever it is, you can never hate a Mahesh Manjrekar movie (excluding 'Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav', of course) and City of Gold is not an exception. 'City of Gold' does have a feather touch of 'City of God' and a little bit of Vaastav in it. In the continuing confusion of making an art or commercial movie, the director has ended up mixing both, but unfortunately the latter getting a major share of the movie's content.

City of Gold is about the plight of the mill workers in Mumbai in the 80s and the chain reaction that drives their family. People committing suicide is still part of it but what makes this movie special is about the good-hearted people who have a heart of gold and help one another in times of need by
  City of Gold
making huge sacrifices, some ready to indulge in body trade and some even sell his kidney. The plot is multidimensional and thankfully it stays that way throughout. Instead of delving more on the mill worker's plight they have chosen to show the aftermath of it. There are several deft touches which many might end up missing, but expecting to make the audience feel sorry for the workers, they use cliché scenes and over melodramatise it. The climax is idiotic, yet we do get a cheap thrill of happiness as justice finally prevails, but art fans would have wanted it to end at least 15 minutes prior. The movie has too much of blood usage and I presume almost half the budget for this low budget film would have gone for only buying red blood-like liquid. This movie is especially not for the faint hearted. Seema Biswas and Karan Patel's death was taken poetically except for the 'Kaa Kaa' act.

The realistic acting prowess of all the actors, including the spectacular performance by voluptuous Kashmira Shah, is only deterred by the over-acting and constant camera gazing by Karan Patel's sidekick kids. Karan Patel himself has given a spectacular performance and it will come second only to an out of the world performance by Veena Jamkar as Manju, a dreamy lower middle class girl. Anousha Dandekar and Ankush Choudhary act artificially for most parts.

Technically, the movie does stand strong with a brilliant camera work by Ajit Reddy, which eases through the small gullies of Mumbai to capture life as it was back in the 80s. Editing was patchy but not a bad attempt. Art by Prashant Rane was good. Music direction by Ajit was ok but not great but the background score was well below expectations.

Overall, a movie which had in it to make an impact but the over inclusion of commercial elements not only made a negative impact but was a catalyst in missing the heart.

Verdict: Art(ificial)istic fare all set to confuse you

Tags : City of Gold, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vineet Kumar, Dar Motion Pictures, Ajit Parab
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