Citylights, Movie Review: Will Rajkumar’s Magic Work Again?

Reviewing the movie, Citylights which brings back the successful combination of ace director, Hansal Mehta and brilliant performer, Rajkumar Rao after their last outing, Shahid.

Here is a cinematic canvas that makes meaning!

Well, there are some movies which require a lot of glamour quotient, lot of supporting factors like dazzling star-cast, exotic locales, outstanding-music etc… to pull the audiences into a theatre, for the lack of a decent storyline.

Then, there are some movies, which require nothing of that sort, except for a heart-wrenching story and a performance that makes one feel for the actors and relate to them.  Citylights, clearly falls in the latter category.

After giving us one of the best movies of 2013, Shahid, director Hansal Mehta brings us this gem of a movie with his favorite actor, the brilliant Rajkumar Rao! Based on an English movie, Metro Manila, Citylights has the right ingredients to take us all on an emotional journey. The story is about a migrant, Deepak Singh who comes to the city of dreams, Mumbai to escape from poverty and help his wife Rakhi (debutante Patralekha, Rajkumar’s real life girlfriend) and daughter lead a happy life. But the city doesn’t offer him the riches and throws the husband-wife duo in one set of problems after another. With Rakhi working in a dance-bar for survival, Rajkumar happens to get help from his supervisor, Vishnu (Manav Kaul) at a security agency. But their twisted plan for a better future leads to more complications and a surprise ending for a movie.

The story isn’t new and the pace is somewhat slow as well with music sometimes becoming a hindrance. Despite these flaws, what hold us through are the honest and sincere performances of all three principal characters. Patralekha shows her mettle in her first movie and Manav Kaul balances the mood of the movie, providing the lightness that is required in the otherwise sad and somber turn of events. The best of all though is Rajkumar. Getting into the skin of the character, in fact becoming the character comes so easy to him that we overlook all the flaws of the movie.

The issue of migrants coming to the most difficult to survive city in the country and ordeals that they have to face, has been dealt in many movies. But the way this issue is handled in Citylights, full marks to the director. We can not complete the review without talking about the producers, Vishesh Films. Of late, they have been associated with masala flicks but so happy to see Mahesh Bhatt backing the kind of project, which at one point of time was his forte! We really wish they produce more of such cinema so that audiences can get to see consequential stories more often.

Don’t expect this movie to be a song-dance entertainment! This is more of a realistic movie dealing with the real life actualities that many of us live on day-to-day basis, and within different brackets of the prevailing society. This is surely is a must watch for the performances of Rajkumar, Patrlekha and Manav Kaul!

Kudos to the team for bringing such brilliant cinema to all of us!

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