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One of the best parts of attending a film festival is getting to see emerging filmmakers showcasing their talent and proclaiming that they’re ready to be future power players. While the focus is usually on the big titles with known names, there are some feature debuts that, while not worthy of every single award, are more of a calling card for an exciting new voice in the industry. Following is considered one of the lesser films by Christopher Nolan, but it heralded the arrival of an emerging talent. The same can be applied to Gitanjali Rao’s animated directorial debut, Bombay Rose, which is narratively unfocused, but beautifully told and directed.
Opening with a visually stunning scene that literally builds India’s biggest metropolis of Mumbai (Bombay) from rough sketch into fully realized and breathing city, Bombay Rose is a showcase of raw talent and the wonders of animation. The film reportedly took six years to make, during which self-taught animator Gitanjali Rao worked as writer, director, editor and art designer for the vibrant look of the painstakingly hand-painted movie, and it shows. Few cities have looked as dazzling and full of life as Bombay Rose’s Mumbai, which is full of bright colors, exquisite attention to the smallest details in the city, and a large and diverse cast that makes the city feel lived-in.
Flaw - Bombay - Rose - Overstuffed - Script
If there’s a big flaw in Bombay Rose, it’s the overstuffed and unfocused script. Even after so many years of work, the story feels like it never advanced past the first draft. The film follows a series of characters and their lives in the city, with the only thing connecting them being a single rose that changes hands. The central characters are Hindu working-class girl Kamala (Cycil Khare) who is escaping an arranged marriage and spends her days selling flower...
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