There are certain films that turn out to be benchmarks even when it comes to the classification of being unarguable disasters. Released in 2015, it was Bombay Velvet. Anurag Kashyap carried the dream of this period drama for many years and then the film too was a couple of years in the making. On its announcement, there was a good curiosity to check out what did Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma have to offer in this action musical drama. However, as months progressed and there was no sign of the film eventually reaching the finishing line, one wondered where was it headed for eventually.
15th May 2015 – This was the day when everyone’s worst fears came true.
Budgeted at around 100 crores, Bombay Velvet – which was supposed to be an epic affair – took a disastrous opening of mere 5.20 crores. Even with all the negativity surrounding it, the film should have seen at least a double-digit start but that was not the case to be. Rest was taken care of by out and out negative reviews and audience word of mouth, which meant the complete downfall of the film. There was no growth over the weekend (16.10 crores) and weekdays took the film further down. While the first week was just 22.27 crores, the lifetime stood at 23.67 crores. Ideally a film with this kind of budget should have had this as opening day number but in case of Bombay Velvet, this turned out to be the lifetime number, which was indeed a sad state of affairs.
Personally though, I believe that the film was panned far more severely than it actually deserved. Yes, it had its own set of issues but inherently there was a germ of an idea which actually could have lent itself to a classic in the making. The film had its own narrative style which was akin to that of Hollywood vintage affairs and Anurag Kashyap had indeed tried to make something different with Ranbir and Anushka. He also brought in Karan Johar for good measure to step in as an antagonist. Moreover, the action sequences were treated quite differently as well as stylishly.
Nonetheless, the film came and disappeared in quick time, and today it is largely forgotten. Leave aside been hailed as a classic, it couldn’t even find much of an acknowledgement from trade as well as the industry which a big shock.