Citylights Review: The Hope To Conquer City Dreams

Citylights blind the poor and dazzle only for the rich.

Director: Hansal MehtaCitylights
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Manav Kaul, Patraleka
Music: Jeet Ganguly
Background score: Raju Singh
Rating: 3/5

Citylights takes an indepth look into the lives of the 80% struggling population of Mumbai for the razzle dazzle which blinds the underlying insensitivity.

The movie gets Hansal Mehta to pair up (again) with Rajkummar Rao and lay a platter for the stupendous actor to bag the best actor national award, for the second time. Much as Rajkummar leads the show, the bigger bet could be Manav Kaul winning the best supporting award. The latter (Bittu Mama of Kai Po Che) is so good that throughout the movie you keep guessing if he is a good samaritan or a shrewd fraudster. The movie is sure watch for the duo.

It also sends a strong message to commoners who abandon village struggle in the hope to conquer city dreams. They walk miles over terrains in scorching sun, to hit bad roads and then proper roads, to catch a bus to the nearest station, to board a general class train compartment only to lose their life’s earnings in a few minutes to a property fraudster.

Often we meet them in big cities – a couple with a hanging bag and starving child – begging for money to eat. We shoo them away. The entire city shoos them away. The much hyped ‘Mumbai spirit’ is a big farce. Commoners need to report to work everyday, live by the day, protect their house and family earnings every minute; lest the next guy snatches it all away. Citylights blind the poor and dazzle only for the rich. Google has enough links about the struggling state of labour class be in Delhi, Dubai or Durban.


Citylights blind the poor and dazzle only for the rich.

There are many outstanding scenes – when the strong accented village lady gives ‘interview’ for the bar dancer’s job and every scene featuring the male lead duo and the unpredictable climax. Rajkummar and Manav’s expressions are top draw and you feel for them through the entire movie. Credit to the makers for not overdoing the tragic part (for example the child’s trauma isn’t shown much) or trying to milk tears.

While the songs and certain love scenes stretch the movie by 20 mins… the intention of putting them may not fulfill the objective as it won’t attract commoners or elite. Either ways a tragic movie has to be slower than a whodunnit thriller. When we have a bad day, time moves very slowly.

Rating: 3/5 (averaged with friends). Do watch, we can demand producers to give us good Hindi movies, only if we go see them. For a change the Bhatt camp gave credits to the makers of the original.

Box Office Prediction: Flop. Saturday peak evening show in Singapore had barely 40% occupancy and half of that crowd were giggling, joking and laughing at the most traumatic scenes.

Indians are insensitive, selfish and only bothered about instant gratification. To them a crap masala movie is better viewing. Understanding a less privileged man’s life is beyond their intellect. Heropanti has clocked 34 crores, Citylights will struggle to get 2 crores.