Many people judge a movie by its cast, and if it has A-listers then you may think that this one will be a box office hit. Some of us fall for the fiction that the movie portrays which is far from reality. For others, IMDB ratings do the job.
Yet another Mira Nair directorial, Salaam Bombay! is one of those films that does not need an Oscar Nomination to prove it's prowess. It is a movie that can move anyone with its absolute realism, especially for someone who is from Mumbai. Salaam Bombay! released in the year 1988 and showed what life of the children on the streets of Mumbai is really like. The story, the cast, the characters, the truth the movie speaks sums it all. And honestly, Slumdog Millionaire does not even come close.
The story is of a boy, Krishna, who has landed himself in trouble and has to earn 500 rupees to give to his mother as a consequence of setting his elder brother's bike on fire. He agrees to work in the circus but his life changes completely when the circus is gone and he comes to Bombay to earn money. This is when the movie actually begins. Krishna is then called Chaipau and he takes us along with him on his journey.
Right from struggle to his liberation, Chaipau will show you what it truly is to be on the streets, having to earn your own bread and butter, befriending people who can't be easily trusted. Also, the characters are played by actual street children! Other characters, be it Nana Patekar as baba or even Irrfan Pathan playing the letter writer, every character is set to make you fall in love with this movie.
What Salaam Bombay! does best is that it does not present the truth wrapped in a silk cloth. It's raw, there are emotions and there's an unsettling reality that is bound to move you and change your perceptions. You will easily empathize with every character and pray you're never in a situation like that, these characters have a story of their own to tell. To sum it up, if you want to see what Mumbai is beyond its hustle and what it does to its people, do give this one a watch.