REVIEW: ‘Bombay Rose’ is Unique, if a Little Forgettable

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Bombay rose

Bombay Rose is a romance film from Netflix. Meet Kamala. She is a young woman who sells flowers on the hot streets of Bombay to support her kid sister and her ailing grandfather. Times are tough, but they get by. Then one day she attracts the eye of a young man named Salim. The two are soon drawn to each other. But they come from different worlds. Can they find a way to be together when it feels like the whole world lies between them?

The first thing that has to be talked about when discussing Bombay Rose is its unique animation style. The visuals are akin to a painting come to life. This visual style gives the images a feeling of weight. The art also has a smoother look to it than most animated features because of this approach.

Things get even more interesting in the visual department during several dream sequences throughout the film. While the art retains its hand-painted look, the style shifts to a more medieval feel. Taking on a style that harkens to a flat pre-perspective art, these moments have a classical feel that vibes beautifully with the romantic nature of these dream sequences. While all this makes for striking visuals, there is a cost.

Bombay Rose‘s look suffers when the subjects are actually moving. The smoothness of the animation throughout is inconsistent at best. You can easily spot which moments the animation staff felt were key by how smoothly the characters flow through them. And while there are a number of moments that justifiably deserve complaint, when the animation hits, particularly in a couple of dance moments, you see the true potential that lies with the visual work. And it is impressive.

While Bombay Rose‘s visuals deliver something unique and striking, the story leaves much to be desired. Kamala and Salim’s love story feels bare bones at best. So little happens between the two, that when the story gets rocky one cannot help but wonder why the two care so much.

Part of the story’s struggle lies in how its one-and-a-half-hour run time is split up. Along with the main love story, there are two subplots that revolve around Kamala’s sister Tara and people she knows in the city. While both of these plots do end up feeding back into the main narrative by the end, they are given too much time to allow the main story to get its principal couple to where it feels like the story wants them to be.

The last big element of Bombay Rose is its soundtrack. Several moments throughout the story step away from character dialogue and allow the music to express a scene’s emotions. This gorgeous music, all Indian in origin if I’m not mistaken, delivers a lot of soul and heart into these moments. These sequences are as close as I’m ever able to get to believing the romantic tale the movie tries to spin.

When all is said and done Bombay Rose delivers some unique visuals, emotional music, and a mostly forgettable plot. If you are looking for something different visually to watch that delivers some emotion, Bombay Rose may deliver enough to make it worth catching.

Bombay Rose is streaming now on Netflix.

 

Bombay Rose
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done Bombay Rose delivers some unique visuals, emotional music, and a mostly forgettable plot. If you are looking for something different visually to watch that delivers some emotion, Bombay Rose may deliver enough to make it worth catching.