City Of Gold is supposed to be about the sufferings and maladies of the Mumbai textile mill workers post 1982 strike which, till to date, continues on record. The premise of the film is that, the land in the mill area now touches Rs 70,000/per sq ft and goes on to tell the plight of those mill workers whose jobs were lost through one symbolic mill owner, the Khetaan family.
The woman of the house says ‘ghar mein ek daana nahi khane ko’ but sure enough everybody looks well fed and living a normal life with no pain or penury showing on their faces. It needs to be shown in action to make a point. The troubles the protagonist family faces are of the family members’ own doing and not an outcome of strike, like girl cavorting with a shop-keeper or the boy squandering bank money on a cricket bet or another boy getting into crime which has been his want even before the strike, albeit with paper thin justifications.
While in the first half, the mill strike has little footage, the second half becomes more of an underworld story with mill workers’ youngsters taking to crime. The highlight of the film is its depiction of a chawl family, the petty quarrels among kids; the spirit to stand by neighbours; the language typical to these areas which all are true to life. The performances by all artistes add to authenticate the atmosphere in City Of Gold.
However, if one were to single out some, Siddharth Jadhav and Karan Patel would lead the list closely followed by Veena Jamkar and Kashmera Shah. Sachin Khedekar, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Seema Biswas, Shashank Shende, Satish Kaushik and Ankush Chaudhary support well.
Direction is good. However, one scene which stands out like a sore thumb is the blowing up of mill miniature dummies. Dialogue is hard hitting yet true to life. Cinematography is praiseworthy.
City Of Gold, though a well crafted drama, has purely sectional content and hence has good appeal.