(Last Updated on : 28-03-2014)
Mumbai Meri Jaan is a film directed by Nishikant Kamat. It has been produced by Ronnie Screwvala. Mumbai Meri Jaan was released in 2008. Mumbai Meri Jaan deals with the repercussions of the 11th July 2006 Mumbai train bomb blasts. Several people were either killed or severely injured. Nishikant Kamat spins his tale around this real incident and presents four individuals who are affected by the incident: Nikhil Agarwal (Madhavan), Suresh(Kay Kay Menon), Rupali Joshi(Soha Ali Khan), Thomas (Irrfan Khan) and Constable Tukaram Patil (Paresh Rawal).
These individuals belong to the different strata of society. While Nikhil Agarwal is a middle class man with a family, Thomas is a coffee seller who earns a meagre amount of Rs.1200. however the train blasts affects all the strata of society. Nikhil Agarwal is a responsible citizen who refuses to use plastic bags and travels by local trains instead of a car, which he could easily afford. At the day of the blast Nikhil fortunately boards the second class compartment at the persistence of an insurance agent. But his friend, Ashish, gets into the first class compartment and it is blown apart by the bomb blasts. This incident completely shakes up Nikhil. He abstains from sharing the horrible experience with either his aged parents or his pregnant wife. Ashish, his friend loses his hand and probably he will also lose his job. Nikhil is afraid of trains and travels by taxis.
Rupali Joshi is a successful news reporter. She is engaged to Ajay, a businessman. She strongly believes in her profession and treats situations objectively. The 7/11 Mumbai blasts kill Ajay and this incident shatters Rupali. It is then that her believe are also put to test. A person who used to cover news herself becomes news for her channel. The convictions with which she had lived her life are torn apart and she is forced to see the distorted face of truth which she herself has avoided for so long. Unless the self experiences tragedy it is impossible to understand the agony of another.
Suresh belongs to the lower middle class stratum. He is staunch Hindu and is always suspicious about the Muslims. He too is an eyewitness to the Mumbai train blasts and doubts a local Muslim boy. He follows him and tries to trace his whereabouts. One day, out of the blue, he is compelled to converse with the Muslim guy.
Constable Tukaram has an uneventful life. He is about to retire from the police force but his retirement is postponed because of the blasts. He has never achieved anything in his professional life. Contrary to his nature is constable Kadam, a young ma who is frustrated to se the prevalent corruption in the system where honest people are suspended and fired. The bomb blasts worsen the situation as Kadam's leave application is rejected. He had planned to go for his honeymoon. This adds to is annoyance and fury. Constable Tukaram takes his refugee in humour. His speech on the day of his retirement reveals his understanding of the deteriorated condition of Mumbai and the system as well.
Thomas is a coffee seller who earns a meagre amount of Rs1200 but has no complaints. He is happy wit his wife and daughter. He is insulted in a sprawling shopping mall when he visits there with his family. He takes his revenge by making hoax calls about bombs in various Mumbai shopping malls. He repents when an aged man falls sick as a mall is being vacated for the fear of bomb. Thomas keeps track of the old man's condition and in a last attempt he arranges for a taxi for the old man when he is discharged from the hospital. He also gifts him a flower.
As the film approaches its end all the individuals are seen to struggle to cope with their present chaotic lives. The film ends on a positive note. The last scenes show Mumbai maintaining a two minutes' silence for the blast victims. The entire city is at last united in grief and against a terror which they have all faced in one form or the other.
Mumbai Meri Jaan probably has two levels of ending. First, in which the city life bounces back to normalcy once again. Secondly, on a more personal level while Nikhil fights his fears and is shown to avail the local trains once more. Thomas' soul is purged and Suresh, at last, is able to overcome his bigotry. In the final moments when he watches the Muslim men as much concerned about the bomb blasts and probably as much affected as he is or any other Hindu is. It is Rupali who is yet to come to terms with her sufferings. Her last scene in Mumbai Meri Jaan shows her walking down the road and as she sees a camera she turns her head away.
The performances are without doubt outstanding. Madhavan's restrained performance once again establishes his forte as an actor. Needless to say Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan Khan are played the characters to their hilt, especially Irrfan Khan. Soha Ali Khan does justice to her character. The scene where she vehemently struggles to stifle her emotions and act out the part of a reporter in front the camera is fabulous.
Mumbai Meri Jaan is not the first Hindi film that is inspired from such terrible incidents but the way the film has been narrated is simply brilliant. The film does not delve into political issues. Nishikant Kamat's directorial venture simply brings out the poignant tale of torment that the commoners are forced to deal with. The tales of four individuals are spun with dexterity. In fact there are no loose threads in the film. Mumbai Meri Jaan is a must watch for all.