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Salaam Bombay [VHS]

Shafiq Syed , Hansa Vithal , Mira Nair    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chanda Sharma, Raghuvir Yadav, Anita Kanwar
  • Directors: Mira Nair
  • Writers: Mira Nair, Hriday Lani, Sooni Taraporevala
  • Producers: Anil Tejani, Cherie Rodgers, Gabriel Auer, Jane Balfour
  • Language: English, Hindi
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Connoisseur
  • VHS Release Date: 16 Jun 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CLBD
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,143 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Meera Nair's Salaam Bombay was her first film, and one of only three Indian films nominated for an Oscar (the others being Mother India and Lagaan). The deceptively simple documentary style hides a meticulously planned feature in which nothing is left to chance. Real street kids play the leads alongside veteran actors, such as Nana Patekar and Shaukat Azmi, as we follow Chaipau, the urchin who wants to save his 500 rupees to "go home", and his encounters with prostitutes, thugs and drug addicts among whom he finds love and companionship. The story avoids sentimentality by endowing the characters with humanity while never romanticising their plight.

Nair eschews the obvious "city of contrasts" theme, presenting only the view from the street, shooting in real locations of Grant Road and its environs. This is one of the greatest presentations of Bombay to date, comparable across genres to Raghu Rai's photography or Vikram Chandra's fiction.

On the DVD: Salaam Bombay on DVD includes a compelling scene-by-scene commentary, in which Nair discusses the problems of location shooting, training the children and the impact of the film on the lives of so many of its characters. The film is in Hindi with English subtitles. --Rachel Dwyer

Product Description

An 11-year-old Indian boy is abandoned by his family and takes to the streets of Bombay, where he enjoys the company of a disparate group of pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts and other street children. Shafiq Syed, the movie's star, had himself slept rough on the streets of Bombay, as had many of the other children who appear in the film.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is an amazing film which highlights the desperation of many children living in poverty in India. Mixing themes of prostitution, crime and poverty, the film invokes deep sympathy and concern from even the most hard hearted of viewers. Seen from the eyes of a young boy, the infamous 'chiller room' scene will definitely make you cry. A must see - this film moves away from the glitz of bollywood and shows the daily struggle of so many caught in the poverty trap
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of Street Children in Bombay 13 Nov 2006
Mira Nair shows the realities of living on the streets in Bombay where children sleep under bridges and sell tea to the prostitutes in brothels as they try to earn money to live from day to day ... Primarily, the film revolves around Krishna, a young boy of 11 years, who left his village to work on the streets of Bombay to earn 500 rupees to pay back his brother, whose bicycle he destroyed. He becomes part of a group of kids who hang out together and look out for one another ... They associate with drug dealers and prostitutes. While the film does show how drugs can destroy lives and how young innocent girls are lured into prostitution there is also a truthfulness and innocence which is conveyed ... The film depicts how the kids survive amidst poverty and how they manage to create a sustainable lifestyle with some semblance of happiness and a wonder for life despite having next to nothing in a material sense.

One of the best extra features on this DVD is the commentary by the director. Mira Nair provides insights into how many of the unique scenes were shot. She discusses particular angles and views used by the camera to capture the pure honesty of this lifestyle. She also describes difficulties encountered and how they were resolved, the major one was meeting the budget, the other was was getting big name actors and actresses for the key roles. Fortunately the subject matter was of such importance, a large British studio Filfour agreed to help fund the project if Ms Nair could raise 51% of the budget herself. Another plus was, the subject of the film was deemed a "governement film" and therefore she received funds as well as access to areas which otherwise would be denied, such as the children's home where street kids were taken after arrested.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Composed by renowned South Indian recording artist L. Subramaniam, the "Salaam Bombay!" soundtrack features an invigorating blend of jazz and traditional Indian styles that serves to emotively embellish the movie's heart-wrenching tale. In fusing east with west in the plaintive and the frenetic, the work also manages to gloriously capture the spirit that defines the remarkable city that is Bombay. The album is not just distinguished though by its innovativeness or even its evocativeness, but also by the sheer brilliance of the musicianship on display. Track number 6 ["Chillum's Theme" - this song does not appear in its entirety in the motion picture], for instance, remains what is, in my opinion, one of the most incredible pieces of music to have graced my ears.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
When I first saw this film it had a profound affect on me and the rest of the cinemagoers who saw it. It is such a sad and moving portrayal of a streetkids life in bombay, and after having lived there i found it so true to life. So much so that it has haunted me ever since. I can never forget that movie.
I was so sad when I discovered that the little boy who played the lead was actually a street kid and he died after the film was made making it even more poignant to watch. It is a wonderful piece of filmmaking by ms nair and rightfully won her critical acclaim. I recommend anyone to se it and am sure u will be recommending it yourself after!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and depressing 30 Jun 2005
This is very far from a feel good film- in fact it's downright depressing. But then not everything in life is rosy. The film presents a struggle through poverty. The 10 year old hero discovers that sometimes when you're down on your luck everything seems to conspire against you. It's not a particularly uplifting message but it comes across as realistic. The acting is excellent. The story doesn't always seem to be leading anywhere but then I guess that in itself is a statement on life in the ghetto. Certainly worth watching.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"Salaam Bombay!" represents a quality and integrity in film-making that is all too hard to find elsewhere. It is vigorously authentic; most of the characters play themselves. It is shatteringly believable, but yet by engrossing the viewer in rich dialogue and a spell-binding plot, "Salaam Bombay!" delivers a dramatic effect that no documentary could hope to reach.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FILM NOT SOON FORGOTTEN... 24 Nov 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is a superb film that gives the viewer a bird's eye view into the plight of India's urban street children. It is done through the experience of young Krishna, an illiterate, country bumpkin of a boy, who is abandoned by his mother at a circus and told not to come home until he has five hundred rupees for having broken something that belonged to his brother. While Krishna is on an errand, the circus packs up and leaves town, and he is left alone to fend for himself.
Krishna uses his last few rupees to travel to a city, which by luck of the draw turns out to be Bombay. Thrust into the life of the street children of Bombay, living among the pimps, hustlers, drug addicts, prostitutes, and throw away children that proliferate in India's urban settlements, a modern day jungle, Krishna struggles to survive. His resourcefulness holds him in good stead. He quickly develops some street smarts and forms attachments. He struggles to earn and save money, so that he can return home to his mother and the family whom he misses, only to be duped in the end by one whom he had trusted. His story breaks one's heart, as he learns some hard lessons in life.
This is a gritty look into the underbelly and plight of Bombay's poor street children, who call the gutters of its filthy urban streets home. It is filled with the sights and sounds of this urban nightmare. An Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this highly acclaimed film allows the viewer a peek at another culture, only to find that basic human needs and desires are universal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars BE AWARE THIS FILM IS IN HINDI
Main problem is that there doesn't seem to be any indication on the website that this film is in HINDI

Yes there are subtitles but it is apparent they are giving only... Read more
Published 2 months ago by A E DEARDEN
4.0 out of 5 stars movie
Was recommended by a friend and i enjoyed this. It is a very heart warming story, enjoyed by all the family
Published 3 months ago by Lainey2305
3.0 out of 5 stars average
Thank you very much me and my partner watched this film
But we didn't understand it it came quite quick so it was quite and
Average product thanks.
Published 10 months ago by gary whitear
5.0 out of 5 stars Salaam Bombay
Excellent film concerning the street children of India, enjoyed every moment of it, not so sure about the abrupt ending though, would have liked to know what happened to our main... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and sad, and compulsive viewing
This film broke my heart. If I was a rich man I would give so much to the children of this world who are suffering.
Published 14 months ago by Mahadeo Bisnath
5.0 out of 5 stars Original Slumdog
I liked watching the additional material on this special edition showing how the film was made. It is Slumdog Millionaire without the glamour. Read more
Published 16 months ago by oldgrayfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Circle of misery
I cannot claim that you will feel quite content after watching this movie. Or beam with feelings of happiness or joy. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2010 by Andries J. Hough
5.0 out of 5 stars Slumdog without Millionaire
Get a rather truer but no less engaging film on life in the Mumbai slums.
Published on 30 April 2009 by AD Matheson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Others have written excellent in depth reviews so ill keep mine short.

Firstly, watch it. Read more
Published on 27 April 2007 by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, real, touching, mind-provoking, artistic, documentary,...
In 1988 Mira Nair directed "Salaam Bombay" is a film about street children of Bombay. It's a story about a 10 year old boy Krishna (Shafiq Syed) who comes to Bombay from a small... Read more
Published on 17 Jun 2006 by A Passer By
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