In the last few years, India has been churning thoughtful content that goes beyond run-of-the-mill themes, and brings forth the realities of life on celluloid. High-quality production, stellar performances, and relatable stories, make for great content, and lately, Indian filmmakers have been winning global attention.
We are speaking about Bombay Rose, an Indian animation film directed by Gitanjali Rao that has been shortlisted for the 2021 Oscars in the Animated Films Category.
Netflix has acquired the film’s streaming rights, making it the first-ever animated film from the country to be streaming on the OTT platform.
As the name suggests, Bombay Rose has an original story set against the backdrop of ‘the city of dreams’ - Mumbai. The film captures the relationship between Kamala, a woman who makes garlands of flowers, and Salim, a flower seller. These characters were part of Gitanjali’s short film TrueLoveStory (2014). The film - written, edited, directed, and designed by Gitanjali - sheds light on the various aspects that come with living in a big city, and finding love when you least expect to.
Gitanjali has also directed the 2006 animated film, Printed Rainbow, as well as short films Chai and Shorts that released in 2013. She also made her acting debut with the much-acclaimed Bollywood film October in 2018.
Bombay Rose has also won the National Laadli Media and Advertising Award 2020 for ‘exploring the themes of patriarchy and masculinity.’
We’ve already put out there, but we think there are some more reasons why you must watch this film:
● The film speaks of the struggles of women
The film follows the journey of Kamala, the protagonist, who finds herself trapped amid the perils of patriarchy and societal conditioning. The film is no different from reality, because several women deal with these struggles, fighting battles every day to live life on their own terms.
● Each frame is like a painting
We aren’t stating this metaphorically, because it’s absolutely true! The design is hand-painted by Gitanjali Rao, along with her team of 60 artists. The film took 18 months to make, and we think it’s worth all the effort; each frame looks like a dream.
● It captures Bombay in the most real way
We’ve often seen Bombay being projected as the ‘city of dreams,’ but the focus often remains on its skyline and glamour. Although the city’s residents know the daily struggles of living in the bustling city, hardly anyone has captured its essence on celluloid. Bombay Rose does just that - it shows the audience a Bombay sans any filter.
● It fills you with the hope to achieve your dreams
There are some films that tug at your heartstrings, and make you believe that you’re a part of the film. That’s what happens with Bombay Rose. The film shows that everyone, whatever their background may be, has personal goals and dreams. It also goes on to show how everyone wants to just put an end to their struggles, because we are all humans!
● It strikes a perfect balance between reality and the dream world
Most films either have an overdose of fantasy, while others push in stark reality, making us feel unsettled. However, Bombay Rose attempts to capture the journey from the real world to the dream world where everything is perfect. But also takes us back to reality in time! Now, that’s what we call striking the right balance.
(Edited by Athira Nair)