Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Bollywood Diaries – A requiem for dreams unfulfilled


Cast: Raima Sen, Salim Diwan, Ashish Vidhyarthi, Karuna Pandey and Vineet Kumar Singh 

Director: K D Satyam

Rating: * * *

Runtime: 110 mins

A bittersweet story about three principals obsessed with the Bollywood dream, this film, written and directed by K D Satyam( of Award winning ‘Gattu’ fame) has passion and substance and is smartly devoid of formulaic expressionism.

Bollywood Diaries is about three unrelated individuals – a guy (Salim Diwan) working at a call-center in Delhi who can’t give up on his obsessive Bollywood dream, a middle-aged government servant (Ashish Vidyarthi) from Bhilai  who has just completed his fartherly responsibility of getting his daughter married and settled and a prostitute , Imli (Raima Sen) from Sonagachi, Kolkata. All three  are bitten by the Bollywood bug and are prepared to risk everything to achieve it. The movie basically attempts to capture their journey and struggles.

 We’ve seen many forms of ‘wannabe’s but none as passionate and determined as the three that forms the films centerpiece. Imli, supported by a compassionate and benevolent Madam, caters to customers who have links with Mumbai- the film capital of India. But she hasn’t struck it yet with a Bollywood producer. Then comes this Bollywood writer who wants to experience first hand the real life in Sonagachi and Imli sets out to ensnare him in order to achieve his dream debut. he promises much but once he returns to Mumbai and finance matter demand practicality and salability he decides to go for a more established name for his heroine. Imli is shattered and moves to Dubai but its not a huge setback for her. there are other fish in the pond afterall. The government servant on the other hand has just managed to convince his wife and daughter when he is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. So the only way to achieve his dream is to ensure his rebirth in a major film family. The call centre employee goes to extreme lengths to showcase his acting talent. But even the talent show hosts think he doesn’t have what it takes.  His undying spirit eggs him on and he courts success in the show with some bizarre stunts. The judges , though alarmed, find it difficult to ignore the rising TRP’s. And they wait till the finale to pronounce their ‘real’ judgement. By then, the young man is so obsessed that his dream turns into a nightmare.

Well defined and cleverly positioned, this film aims to tell it succinctly. The background score is haunting, the performances are very good and the treatment is smartly affective. The melodrama is minimal. The Bollywood dream may be alive and thriving for a few but there are so many more who fail to strike it anywhere close. The poignancy of the heartburn experienced by the three lead characters emblematizes that. This one sure has what it takes to make good. The rest is up to you.

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