Shot entirely on location in and around the city of its title, Bombay Talkie is one of Merchant Ivory’s most distinctive films, at once a psychological drama and a parodic hommage to the Indian film scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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Something of a dried pea rattling around in a can: noisy, shrill and ultimately aimless. The occasional sequence - notably the early-Western insights into 'Bollywood' - engages but as happens with Merchant Ivory it's often lifeless and unengaging with unappealing characters and situations.
I really did not know what to make of the ending. The plot was predictable, yet the story is very simple, but given too much information when the Jenifer Kendal gave away too much of her story. Seems like the subject of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and James Ivory's exploration of complicated relationships was a bit "desparate and self-deprived".
Hollow acting from lead lady Jennifer kendal, aimless direction from Sir James Ivory, and an empty storyline from Ms. Jhabvala are only partially redeemed by inspired cinematography from Mr. Mitra and a great soundtrack scored by Mr. Jalkishan. Bombay Talkie seems to be a very underdeveloped film and the quality pales in comparison to Ivory's previous Indian offering "Shakespeare Wallah".