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IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 from votes
Release: 30 May 2014 (India) /


Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Sean Ellis,
Stars: , , , , ,
Synopsis: Deepak Sing is a farmer in Rajasthan. After a tragedy, he migrates to Mumbai with his wife and child to lead a better life. However, upon arriving, he soon discovers the challenges of life in a big city.

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Critic Reviews

Citylights marks the collaboration of Vishesh Films and the award- winning duo of Shahid fame, director Hansal Mehta and actor Rajkummar Rao. The camp which has an enviable legacy of films portraying realistic issues and the harsh veracities of life adapts the subject from Sean Ellis's much celebrated flick 'Metro Manila'. With an unflinching inside-look at the harrowing experiences of a poor family which migrates to the maximum city for a better life, Mehta jolts the comforted.

Deepak Singh, played by Rajkummar Rao, is a poverty-stricken farmer who moves to Mumbai along with his wife,Raakhi(débutante Patralekha) and daughter Mahi with a hope for better survival. Little does he know that life is not a bed of roses, he gets duped by tricksters upon his arrival and even spends nights on the pavements. Penury forces Raakhi to take up the job of a bar girl while Deepak, trying his hands at daily wage work, eventually lands a job in an armored truck company. He befriends his seemingly compassionate superior Vishnu Sir(Manav Kaul)whose arrival signals a downward spiral for him. Mehta constructs this socially poignant drama with vivid moments only to culminate the story with a devastating end, while surreptitiously carving its way to become a thriller.

Maintaining dim-light atmospherics(Shahid Deja-vu) which gels with the mood of the plot, his treatment has a docu-drama feel. Yet the director is never impassioned. The selection processes of the protagonists for their respective jobs provides space for humor and giggle amidst the raw cruelty that they face in their daily fight for existence. Jeet Ganguly's music(a little overdone with those background scores) augments the proceedings to permeate the emotionally walled-up zones of our minds.

Lending emotional heft to the plot, Rajkummar Rao approaches his character with so much of realism that's bound to leave your feet numb. The phenomenally talented actor overcomes the lacunae evident in the form of no pressure-cooker urgency or repetitive maneuvers to project grimace.Patralekha pitches in with a sterling performance and makes her suffering palpable.Manav Kaul, who was last seen in Kai Po Che, is the real surprise package( Rajkummar and Manav teamed in Kai Po Che as well !)- quite unassuming yet ballistic.

There were days when parallel cinema reckoned with names like Bimal Roy, Satyajit Ray and Guru Dutt. Citylights discreetly takes us back to those good old times where filmmakers put the truths on the table with unapologetic ferocity. Quite heavy and gut-wrenching, yet it has a soul.

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