REVIEW- CITYLIGHTS!

Directed by: Hansal Mehta
Produced by: Mukesh Bhatt
Screenplay by: Ritesh Shah
Based on: Metro Manila by Sean Ellis
Starring: Rajkummar Rao as Deepak Singh, Patralekha as Raakhee and Manav Kaul as Vishnu Sir
Music by: Jeet Ganguly
Background Score: Raju Singh
Cinematography: Dev Agarwal
Editing by: Apurva Asrani

Hard-hitting, Brutal and Literal at the same time. Rajkummar Rao is the future of our cinema. 

Based on Metro Manila, a British-Filipino independently produced crime drama film directed by Sean Ellis, ‘Citylights’ marks the comeback of Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao after the impeccable ‘Shahid’ that made both of them win the National Award.

Metro Manila is perfectly adapted by Hansal Mehta and the writers, as not even once, it’ll make you feel as if it’s actually a foreign venture. The journey of a naive, poor and a helpless man who migrates to Mumbai along with his family in search of a better living, Hansal Mehta captures his journey beautifully along with Dev Agarwal, the cinematographer, who has done a mind-blowing job with the visuals.
It’s a real film! Numerous people go through almost the same thing, everyday. Specially in a city like Mumbai, life is as hard as it gets till the time you don’t have a proper job.
Citylights will really hit you hard, it’ll make you sob and uncomfortable at the same time, but that’s the reality.

I’ll fall short of words if I start talking about Rajkummar Rao, who plays Deepak Singh, the protagonist. He is THAT real and THAT believable that you actually start feeling every emotion.
His accent, his moustache, his walk, his body language, his expressions and what not? I saw his interview where he told the reporters that he doesn’t drink in real life, but to get the shot perfectly, he actually drank for the first time and woah-woah-woah, I can bet that you wouldn’t have seen anyone from the current lot perform like that. His drunken scene is one of the highlights of Citylights. He is the future of Indian cinema and he proved his worth, while many questioned the jury for handing him over the National Award, his performance in Citylights would silence each one of them and I won’t be surprised if he actually gets his second one for this.

Patralekha doesn’t look like a debutant, she’s a brilliant actress.
She knows her job, she knows her work and specially in this film, she knew her character, just too well. We have another true-dedicated actor. Perfect portrayal!

Manav Kaul is the surprise package. A huge applause for the casting director as every actor has been casted perfectly and Manav Kaul is superlative. His character’s cunningness-wittiness and the likeable quality, it stays with you even after the film is over.
Deserves all the acknowledgement.

The music is soothing and flows throughout the film , though the background score could’ve been a little better. Same goes for the editing, the editing could’ve been better as in-between the second half, it was slowing down a bit. But still, it’s a brilliant film and Hansal Mehta deserves most of the credit, along with Rajkummar.
Sean Ellis, hats off for such a hard-hitting script.
Next step: I’ll immediately watch Metro Manila but you guys, book your ticket, immediately!

RATING:
3.5 stars

 

CityLights

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