Bombay Velvet

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Bombay Velvet
Bombay Velvet poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnurag Kashyap
Produced byVikas Bahl
Vikramaditya Motwane
Written byVasan Bala
Gyan Prakash
Anurag Kashyap
Based onMumbai Fables
by Gyan Prakash
StarringRanbir Kapoor
Anushka Sharma
Karan Johar
Kay Kay Menon
Music byAmit Trivedi
CinematographyRajeev Ravi
Edited byPrerna Saigal
Thelma Schoonmaker
Distributed byFox Star Studios
Release date
  • 15 May 2015 (2015-05-15)
Running time
149 minutes[1]
Budget1.20 billion[2]
Box office431 million[3]

Bombay Velvet is a 2015 Indian crime thriller film directed and co-produced by Anurag Kashyap, based on historian Gyan Prakash's book Mumbai Fables. It stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar in lead roles with Kay Kay Menon, Manish Choudhary, Vivaan Shah and Siddhartha Basu appearing in supporting roles.[4] The film was released on 15 May 2015.

The film, made on a budget of 120 crore, grossed around 23 crore in the first week and is considered as an "epic disaster" at the box office.[5]


In 1960s Mumbai, Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) is a street fighter/boxer who is in love with the jazz singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma). Seeing Rosie with wealthy men further sparks his dream of becoming a "big-shot", believing that if he manages to become rich, he might win Rosie's heart. Balraj and his friend Chimman (Satyadeep Misra) then catch the eye of Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar), a wealthy businessman who is impressed by Balraj and offers him the chance to manage his club "Bombay Velvet", which Khambatta uses to further his illegal tasks and activities. He also nicknames Balraj "Johnny", which then becomes his identification. As well as this, Johnny and Chimman fulfill minor tasks for Khambatta, including capturing a dirty photograph of a minister who Khambatta wants to blackmail. This news reaches Jimmy Mistri, a media reporter, who also happens to be the same wealthy man Johnny had previously seen Rosie with.

Remembering that Johnny has a crush on Rosie, Mistri takes advantage of this and sends Rosie to Johnny's club to get her hands on the photograph of the minister. However, Rosie and Johnny eventually fall in love, and Mistri threatens to reveal Rosie's true identity to Johnny. Therefore, Rosie begins to supply information about Johnny & Khambatta's activities to Mistri. After a photograph of a secret meeting between Bombay's big-shots is leaked, Khambatta guesses that it was Rosie supplying the information and orders her to be killed. Johnny hears of this and forms an enmity with Khambatta, the man who brought him into the crime world.

Johnny fakes Rosie's death and makes her act as if she is her long dead twin sister Rita. But soon Khambatta realises the truth, kidnaps Rosie and tries to kill Johnny and they get into a standoff at Bombay Velvet. Khambatta shoots Rosie to provoke Johnny. Johnny angry at this stabs Khambatta and is himself shot dead while trying to carry Rosie to the hospital, outside the club. It is revealed before the end credits that Rosie survived her gunshot.




Kashyap was inspired to make such a film after reading L.A. Quartet, a sequence of four crime fiction novels by James Ellroy, set in the late 1940s through the late 1950s in Los Angeles.[6] The novels inspired him to "dig into the dark trenches of the history of Bombay",[6] where he "found a treasure trove that was never-ending".[6]

Bombay Velvet was initially to be produced by Viacom18 but Fox STAR Studios decided to co-produce it with Phantom Films. It is based on Gyan Prakash's book Mumbai Fables and set in early 1950's towards 1970's, before Mumbai became a metropolis. Prakash is also one of the scriptwriters for the film.[7]


Although Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Ranveer Singh and Saif Ali Khan were considered,[8] Ranbir Kapoor was cast as a street fighter, and Anushka Sharma was cast as a jazz singer.[9][10] Kapoor explained his casting, "The script of Bombay Velvet just fell into my lap. I read it and I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of Anurag's grand vision, his innovative storytelling, his movie-making process; everything that he does so perfectly."[11] This was director Karan Johar's second film after Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge; he was cast as the film's primary antagonist, Kaizad Khambata.[12] His role is said to have been inspired from Russi Karanjia.[13]


Principal photography began in mid-July 2013 and continued till early September 2013.[14] The first schedule was shot at Sri Lanka's Ranmihitenna Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele Cinema Park, Hambantota. Filming was also done in Colombo, Galle, and Pasikudah.[15][16] The second schedule was also in Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele Cinema Park, Sri Lanka, where Sharma and Kapoor rejoined the filming in February. The second schedule completed in March. Parts of the set was left at the National Tele Cinema Park, rather than being dismantled, as it will be used as a tourist attraction site. The third and final schedule was in Mumbai where shooting was held for a ten-day period.


The film was released in only one version and was edited in collaboration by Prerna Saigal (The Lunchbox) and Academy Award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker.[17]


Bombay Velvet is influenced by Classic Hollywood cinema including Film Noir with its stereotypical caricatures like gangsters, gun molls and femme fatales. The movie draws inspiration from gangster films of the '30s and the '40s like The Roaring Twenties and White Heat and neo-noir films like Chinatown and L.A. Confidential.[18][19]


A teaser of the film's first-look was released on 28 January 2015, it featured Ranbir Kapoor's avatar in the film "Johnny Balraj", the "big shot". On 29 January 2015, the official first poster was revealed, featuring Johnny Balraj wearing a pinstriped suit and wielding a Thompson submachine gun in each arm.[20] An official trailer was released during the India vs Bangladesh 2015 Cricket World Cup quarter final match, with Kapoor present at the Star Sports 3 studio with the commentators.[21] The film also attracted brand associations worth Rs.20 Crore with brands like Reliance Jio Chat, Saavn, Gillete, GoDaddy among others. To build hype and buzz around the film, Fox Star India and Phantom Films crowdsourced the official fan art for the movie by running a poster design contest on Cupick.[22]


Bombay Velvet
Soundtrack album by
Released24 April 2015 (2015-04-24)
RecordedYRF Studios, Mumbai
A T Studios, Mumbai
Nysa Studio, Mumbai
Raj Jhon Studio, Chennai
Smecky Music Studios, Prague
GenreFeature Film Soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company
Sony Music
ProducerAmit Trivedi
Amit Trivedi chronology
Bombay Velvet

Music director Amit Trivedi began working on the soundtrack after the release of Dev D[23] and has said that the music of Bombay Velvet will reflect the age of 1960s Jazz era of Bollywood.

The lyrics are written by Trivedi's frequent collaborator Amitabh Bhattacharya. The album received rave reviews, including a 300 word review from Milliblog,[24] and was named Best Album of April 2015 by Deccan Music[25]

The song "Fifi" is a remake of the Hindi song "Jaata Kahaan Hai Deewane" from the 1956 film C.I.D. which was originally composed by O. P. Nayyar and written by Majrooh Sultanpuri. It was re-created by Mickey McCleary.

1."Fifi"Majrooh SultanpuriO. P. Nayyar, Re-created by: Mikey McClearySuman Sridhar3:16
2."Aam Hindustani"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediShefali Alvares8:52
3."Mohabbat Buri Bimari (Version 2)"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediNeeti Mohan4:18
4."Mohobbat Buri Bimari (Version 3)"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediShefali Alvares4:19
5."Kha Kha Ga"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediNeeti Mohan4:15
6."Dhadaam Dhadaam"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediNeeti Mohan5:18
7."Naak Pe Gussa"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediNeeti Mohan, Backing Vocals: Amit Trivedi5:09
8."Sylvia"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediNeeti Mohan4:22
9."Darbaan"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediPapon3:59
10."Shut Up"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediShefali Alvares4:56
11."Behroopia"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediMohit Chauhan & Neeti Mohan4:51
12."The Bombay Velvet Theme" Amit TrivediInstrumental4:49
13."Conspiracy" Amit TrivediInstrumental3:30
14."Tommy Gun"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediInstrumental2:43
15."Mohobbat Buri Bimari (Version 1)"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediShalmali Kholgade3:15
Total length:1:07:52


The film released on 15 May 2015 in 2600 screens worldwide.[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Performances of Kapoor, Sharma and Johar received positive reviews but the incoherent script was criticised. Arunava Chatterjee of Indiatoday rated it 3.5 stars and said, "While vintage seems to be the new fad in Bollywood, Bombay Velvet deserves a standing ovation in this age of run-of-the-mill Friday releases."[27] Bollywood Hungama also gave it 3.5 stars and said, "On the whole, Bombay Velvet is a visual masterpiece that is rich in form. If you want to be wowed by the detailing of the 1960s, superb performances of Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar and Anushka Sharma, then go ahead and watch this film."[28] Shubha Saha of Mid Day gave Bombay Velvet 3.5 stars and said, "Bombay Velvet is more like a roller coaster ride, as it takes you on a dizzy high with its charming ambience and music that is bound to stay with you for long, but later you are brought down not so gently with the underwhelming plot and lack of punches. Watch it for the experience."[29] However, in its screening in Locarno, the film was met with critical acclaim.[30]

Box office[edit]

The film opened to dull occupancy ranging 10%–20% on first day and on the second day half of the theatres removed it. On the third day it disappeared from all cinemas as the halls were empty. [31] The film collected 52 million (US$720,000) on first day [32]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Nominees Result, Ref.
Mirchi Music Awards Best Song Producer (Programming & Arranging) Sovon Mukherjee & Amit Trivedi - "Dhadaam Dhadaam" Nominated[33]
Asian Film Awards Best Composer Amit Trivedi Nominated
Ghanta Awards Worst Film Bombay Velvet Nominated[34]
Ghanta Awards Worst Actress Anushka Sharma Nominated[34]


  1. ^ "BOMBAY VELVET (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  2. ^ Rough start to Bombay Velvet at box office | Business Standard News. Retrieved on 19 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Bombay Velvet - Box Office India". Box Office India. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Bombay Velvet Cast & Crew". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Bombay Velvet' an 'epic disaster'; Anurag Kashyap, Ranbir Kapoor bear the brunt". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Anurag Kashyap IAmA". Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Fox studios to co-produce Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet". Hindustan times. Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Not Ranbir Kapoor, but Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan were initially approached for 'Bombay Velvet'". dna. 25 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Ranbir Kapoor plays a street fighter in Bombay Velvet". India Express. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  10. ^ Rastogi, Tavishi (1 February 2013). "Anushka Sharma: bold, brash, bindaas". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Ranbir's next tells the story of Bombay". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Ranbir and Karan burst out laughing during KJo's first scene as an actor". The Times of India. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  13. ^ Rahul, Iyer. "BOMBAY VELVET: Karan Johar's Parsi Connection". Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  14. ^ Sinha, Sayoni (21 August 2013). "Anurag's nine-year dream fulfilled". Yahoo. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Indian film begins shooting in Sri Lanka's Tele Cinema Park". Colombo Page. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Anurag Kashyap to recreate Mumbai in Sri Lanka for Bombay Velvet". Indian Express. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Ranbir Kapoor talks about Bombay Velvet!". YouTube. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Bombay Velvet review by Anupama Chopra: It's a glorious mess". Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Bombay Velvet (2015): Anurag Kashyap's sprawling period piece with an excess of style over substance". Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  20. ^ "First Look: Johnny Balraj, The Street-Fighter Ranbir Kapoor In Bombay Velvet". Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  21. ^ "Bombay velvet Trailer Launch". International Business Times. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Bombay Velvet attracts Rs 20 cr worth brand associations". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Anurag Kashyap here. Ask me anything. (Begins 3 pm)". reddit. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  24. ^ Bombay Velvet (Music review), Hindi – Amit Trivedi & Mikey McCleary Milliblog – 24 April 2015
  25. ^ Best Bollywood Hindi Songs and Albums April 2015 Deccan Music – 3 May 2015
  26. ^ Bombay Velvet Screen Count, Runtime, Budget. Retrieved on 19 May 2015.
  27. ^ Chatterjee, Arunava. "Review: Bombay Velvet". Indiatoday. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  28. ^ Hungama, Bollywood. "Bombay Velvet Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  29. ^ Saha, Shubha. "Bombay Velvet – Movie Review". Mid Day. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  30. ^ Roy, Gitanjali. "Bombay Velvet Loved by 8600 People in Locarno, Says Anurag Kashyap". NDTV. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  31. ^ Bombay Velvet Opens To A Dull Occupancy At The Box Office. (15 May 2015). Retrieved on 19 May 2015.
  32. ^ Bombay Velvet Disaster: Dear Box Office, Why You So Cruel? – NDTV Movies. (15 May 2015). Retrieved on 19 May 2015.
  33. ^ "MMA Mirchi Music Awards". MMAMirchiMusicAwards. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  34. ^ a b Mehta, Ankita (21 April 2016). "Ghanta Awards 2016: Sonam, Shah Rukh and Aishwarya nominated for worst performances; complete list of nominations". International Business Times, India Edition.

External links[edit]