Metro-centric films are being made with amazing regularity these days. Therefore, it doesn't come as a surprise that the writer of PAGE 3, Manoj Tyagi, has chosen to narrate the dysfunctional lives of the youth in his directorial debut MUMBAI SALSA.
Frankly, a film like MUMBAI SALSA isn't everyone's idea of entertainment. It attempts to portray the lives of eight friends in a metropolis [Mumbai] in the most realistic manner. At places, it works. At times, it doesn't.
Also, the subject material restricts its appeal to select metros of India since the subject as also the lingo are targeted at the yuppie crowd mainly.
MUMBAI SALSA takes a look at the varied relationships that exists within the young corporate India. Not too long back, an average Indian was laidback, content and had ample time for love, life and relationships. But times have changed!
Mumbai Salsa is a pub in Mumbai where the principal characters meet and their lives change forever.
Come to think of it, it requires courage to choose an offbeat theme and cast newcomers in your very first film. Frankly, one doesn't take to MUMBAI SALSA instantly. For two reasons. One, the theme is highly unconventional. Two, there's not much meat in its story in the first hour.
Manoj Tyagi sets the story in the second hour actually. A few emotional moments in this hour are worth jotting, but how one wishes Tyagi would've come to the point right away, instead of stretching a couple of incidents for no rhyme or reason. That dilutes the impact largely!
Directorially, Manoj Tyagi has handled the emotional moments well, but the director in him seems to be swayed by the writer in him. He should know where to draw the line. Adnan Sami's music is fair. 'Chhoti Si Ilteja', seeped in melancholy, is the best track. Its rendition [Adnan Sami] is magnificent as well. The title track is interesting, while the Salsa piece is superb, mainly its choreography. Cinematography [Kalpesh Bhandarkar] is adequate.
The film introduces a number of new talents, but the ones who register an impact are Vir Das [a fine actor], Manjari Phadnis [first-rate] and Amruta [excellent]. Ray Irani has screen presence. The balance cast needs to polish their acting skills.
On the whole, MUMBAI SALSA is targeted at the youth living in Mumbai mainly. Despite a decent second hour, the film will face trying times at the ticket window in view of the fact that it has been pitted against two star-studded films and has a title that doesn't really give an impression of a feature film.