126 Min | Drama – Thriller | May 2014
IMDB Rating: 7.4
Director: Hansal Mehta
Starring: Rajkummar Rao
City Lights Review: Citylights re-unites the director actor duo Hansal Mehta and Rajkumar Rao after a superb “Shahid” which won each of them the National Award this year. CityLights is an adaptation of 2013 Award winning movie “METRO MANILA” directed by Sean Elllis and Hansal Mehta does complete justice to the original. The story is credited to Sean Ellis the original writer of METRO MANILA, the adapted screenplay is by Ritesh Shah. Ritesh stays true to the original but adapts it to the Indian context of people from smaller towns who migrate to the city of dreams Mumbai expecting to make a better living. Just a piece of advice if you are looking at an entertaining movie then this is definitely not the right choice.
Citylights is the story of Deepak (Rajkumar Rao) and Rakhee (Patralekha) who come to Mumbai from Rajasthan to make a better living but become victim of the shrewd reality of city life. The story by Sean Ellis captures the pathos of a small town guy well in his story and Ritesh’s screenplay captures the nuances well. At times the movie’s pace becomes sluggish especially during song sequences which was unnecessary. Some of the sequences are very well written albeit I felt the climax was a bit hurried and could have been presented well.
Production Design by Rajat Poddar is realistic. Editing by Apoorva Asrani could have been sharp. Jeet Ganguli’s music is good but does not gel with the narration rather it hampers the pace. Hansal Mehta’s forte is to get the human emotions bang on and he succeeds in City Lights as well but fails a bit in giving it a thriller edge and finesse in the narration which was the highlight in the original METRO MANILA.