Mira Nair's ode to the city's underbelly turns 25 this year with a re-release. So where is the motley crew today?
Salaam Bombay, Mira Nair's debut film that won many international accolades including the Camera d'Or and the Prix Publique at the Cannes Festival, is turning 25 this year and to commemorate this, PVR is re-releasing the landmark film on March 22.
Shot in real locations and featuring non-actors, the international project chronicled the life of street children, drug-pushers, pimps and prostitutes of a red light area of Mumbai. The narrative weaved in the murk and grime of the Mumbai underbelly while following the life of a Krishna aka Chaipau—a young boy who runs away to Bombay to earn money. In the film, Nair deploys a Kubrickesque colour scheme, and a Hitchcockian mise-en-scene but the end product is a style that is unmistakably her own.
The film that went on to win the National Award and an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category, starred Shafiq Syed as young Krishna, and launched the career of Irrfan Khan. It also had Raghuvir Yadav and Nana Patekar in key roles.
"It's absolutely thrilling to bring 'Salaam Bombay!' to a new generation of young people. The story is as alive today!" Nair said. An elated Irrfan said: "It will be as fresh as it was back then... I am sure people will enjoy watching the movie."
While many from the cast have made it big either in Bollywood or television, the child actor who won a National Award for his role as Krishna / Chaipau in Salaam Bombay now drives an auto on the streets of Bangalore. When Mirror caught up with him, he retorted that the film is now a closed chapter: "I have forgotten everything. I don't understand what this brouhaha about the film turning 25 is all about. I didn't get any good acting offers after the film. I was unemployed for a long time and even now as an auto driver I find it difficult to make ends meet. I have four kids and now all I want is to give them proper education. I had penned a script on my life and struggle post-Salaam Bombay, but no producer is interested. Maybe some day I'll b able to tell my story to the world. "
Originally chosen to play one of the main kids in the film, 18-year-old Irrfan debuted with a one-scene role as a scribe as he was too tall to 'fit into the group'. Today he has quite a few international projects in his filmography: ...Namesake, ...Spiderman, Slumdog... , Life of Pi.
The role of Chillum remains the most acclaimed role of this Silver Peacock Best Actor Award winner. Apart from this, two of his other films, Lagaan and Water also got Oscar nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category for Yadav, who now leads a relatively quiet life.
The film saw one of the rare big screen appearances of Sanjana Kapoor in a role of a Western journalist. The theatre person has been the driving force behind Prithvi Theatre, until she launched Junoon recently.
The actor who played the role of Baba, the pimp, was one of the few known actors who worked in the film. Since then, his powerful performances in Parinda, Prahaar, Ankush, Khamoshi: The Musical won much critical acclaim while his role in Krantiveer won him the National Award.
Source - timesofindia.