Citylights - External Reviews

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

A seemingly sad and touching story that doesn't stir you from within.



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32 reviewers have given Citylights an average rating of 3.1/5.0 (?)

15 yays
7 nays
10 so-so

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up by Anna MM Vetticad , annavetticadgoes2themovies ...That being said, long after the music has faded and the credits have rolled past, it’s hard to shake off the wretched despondency that Citylights leaves in its wake.... full review

Thumbs up by Subhash K. Jha, Apun Ka Choice ..."Citylights" would remain with me for a long time. Gripping, glorious and unforgettable, it is a shattering, life-changing experience.... full review

Thumbs down by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express ...This isn’t to say CityLights is a bad movie. It’s one of those new-generation Hindi films that’s so well staged and performed that there is, every now and then, a bit that sticks to your mind – like the way Rao squats, hunching his shoulders and drawing his body in, like a person in a cold country huddled in front of a campfire, or the way Patralekha, who looks like Divya Dutta’s younger sister, performs in that dance bar.... full review

Thumbs down by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks ...So in case you like its basic theme then essentially watch the original at the earliest and do yourself a favour.... full review

Thumbs up by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama ...On the whole, CITYLIGHTS is one of the most captivating movie experiences of late. An expertly-crafted heartbreaker, this tragic tale has a riveting plot, power-packed narrative, soulful music and arresting performances to haunt you much after the screening has concluded. A must watch! ... full review

Thumbs up by Tushar Joshi, Bollywood Life ...CityLights is deep, dark and extremely depressing. But Mehta deserve full marks for going all the way and giving us a glimpse of the city’s dark underbelly where dreams are often shattered and broken... full review

So-So by Saumya Sharma, BookmyShow ...An honest attempt at showing the search of a better life in the city of dreams. ... full review

Thumbs down by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah ...What Mumbai really needs is a film that celebrates its spirit—the entrepreneurship of the immigrants that transforms lives and spaces. Moaning and griping about city life won’t change reality.... full review

Thumbs up Daily Bhaskar ...CityLights is not a commercial film at all. It’s not a film which you would like to watch with your family to lighten up your mood. CityLights will make you think, cry and will stay with you even after the climax. Indian audience has so far maintained a distance from this genre of cinema. CityLights might change the trend.... full review

Thumbs up by Kusumita Das, Deccan Chronicle ...Raju Singh’s haunting background score and Jeet Ganguli’s music are almost like characters in the story. Citylights follows the graph of impoverishment, exploitation and the eventual rebellion. The film is as breathless as its protagonists, but there is a certain poetry in its treatment that leaves a mark. Given its premise, some might say it’s old wine in a new bottle. But this bottle’s certainly a keeper.... full review

Thumbs up by Nikhil Arora, Desi Martini ...Rajkummar Rao and Hansal Mehta deliver another knockout with CityLights... full review

Thumbs up by Mmmarwah, Desi Martini ...A serious film to be appreciated for it's realism. Not the normal entertainment. ... full review

So-So by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare ...The film though has no such promise. It’s a barren canvas of Mumbai’s underbelly and poverty and corruption. Things we’ve seen a thousand times before. Only this time they’re show in softer focus, more artful lighting. That’s the thing about lights. They can create a wonderful optical illusion. But it only lasts till you get up close and realise there’s nothing there.... full review

Thumbs down by Mihir Fadnavis, FirstPost ...When there are so many factors going against a movie, you expect the story to compensate things. Sadly it’s paper thin, and crumbles under the weight of the film’s mediocrity. You might argue that it’s unfair to compare CityLights to Metro Manila, and that this film was made only for those who aren’t familiar with the original film, but those people do deserve better, more polished material.... full review

So-So by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal ...Performances are all first rate. Rajkumar Rao, fresh from his National Award winning turn in ‘Shahid’ plays true even if the character he assays is poorly constructed. Patralekha looks pretty and shows off her mettle to good effect. But it’s Manav Kaul who actually steals the show. Unaffected and confident, he makes full use of his unusual looks to give the character he assays a striking intonation.... full review

Thumbs up by Neha Mathur, ...CityLights will pull at your heartstrings, guaranteed. But if you are in the mood for a happy film, then this one is best avoided. ... full review

So-So by Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times ...The lovemaking scenes are equally gratuitous. Also, the city of Mumbai remains generic and never becomes a character in itself. Still, Citylights is persuasive. And it will hit you harder if you haven’t seen the original. ... full review

So-So by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live ...Where 'Citylights' succeeds is in telling the story of ordinary people living below the poverty line people we seldom cast a second glance at people who sometimes have to resort to desperate measures just so they can keep their children alive. It's a good film, but not without its flaws. I'm going with two-and-a-half out of five. ... full review

Thumbs down by Rohit Khilnani, india today ...It's a good one but from the team of Shahid and with Mahesh Bhatt backing the project, we expected more. ... full review

So-So by Shubhra Gupta, indian express ...Mehta does well with generating dread and creating a couple of surprising curves, which almost overcomes some of the plot’s uneven arcs. The songs nearly ruined the film for me, but ‘Citylights’ gives us pause. And an actor who makes us believe, all the way.... full review

Thumbs up by Mohar Basu, koimoi ...Citylights might have its flaws but is overall a film that must be watched. A befitting commentary on social exploitation, the film’s humane touch and the expressive treatment catapults it to a different league. But mostly I find it hard to not sing praises of Raj Kumar Rao whose superlative work gives the film it’s mettle. I ordinarily was going to go with a 3 but for Raj Kumar’s brilliance I am giving this one a 3.5/5. Industry has found an heir to Irrfan Khan and when it comes from a fan, understand that he is a keeper.... full review

Thumbs down by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies ...As for the film, it may have just worked better had it maintained a thrilling pace right through and stuck to that genre. Instead it gets into a dramatic space and also turns depressing at many junctions. So much so that at the end of the film one wonders if anyone gained anything afterall... full review

Thumbs up by Aakash Barvalia, MoviezADDA ...Dum? Well, there is a massive dum for all those who love realistic heart touching films. Right from its direction, performances, dialogues, music and production level, 'CityLights' scores high in every field. The movie might not appeal to the masala film loving audience as this one is dark, gritty and disturbing. In short, 'CityLights' is a human tale set in inhumane times... full review

Thumbs up by Rahul Desai, Mumbai Mirror ...Rightly so, the primary screenplay credit is attributed to Sean Ellis. He would agree that Mehta's unyielding portrait is an impassioned recreation of his vision. Moreover, Citylights' frighteningly carnivorous undertow singularly restores Mumbai's reputation as India's most absolute cinematic city. ... full review

Thumbs down by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV ...CityLights isn’t a feel-good entertainer. It is a film that shocks, provokes and seeks to prick our collective complacency and apathy. That obviously adds up to infinitely more value than the price of a multiplex ticke... full review

Thumbs up by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, Now ...his film soaks you in, and refuses to leave you much after you have left the theater. Recommended must watch! ... full review

So-So by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India ...The climax involving a key left me with some niggling questions. The songs in the background detract from the narrative too. Given the pace and mood of the film, the use of Raju Singh’s background score alone would have been far more effective. But these minor issues are settled by strong performances, even in the minor roles. Rajkumar proves that when it comes to acting, less could well be more. He communicates as much with his subdued, diffident body language—the way he sits on his haunches—as he does with his face. You can’t help not feel for him. Manav, as his senior, has a more flamboyant, show-stealing character, the kind who makes evil look incredibly attractive. The two are in stark contrast—innocent and gullible as against street-smart and manipulative—yet in perfect sync with each other. It’s interesting to see that instead of any visible upmanship, the two actors complement each other and help bring out the other’s traits. So far, they make the best couple in Bollywood this year.... full review

Thumbs up by Suparn Verma, Rediff ...A hard, unrelenting film that doesn’t give in to over sentimentality, Citylights is just like the city of Mumbai. It beats you down and when you are broken, takes you in its arms and loves you. ... full review

So-So by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies ...The film doesn’t quite work to its full potential. You might want to sample it for the story, formidable performances and few arresting moments. ... full review

So-So by Moumita Bhattacharjee, Star Blockbuster ... A film like Citylights gets made rarely. Watch it for Rajkummar and Hansal Mehta if not for anyone or anything else.... full review

So-So by SUDHISH KAMATH, The Hindu ...A decent, harmless but toothless remake of the brilliant Filipino film Metro Manila... full review

Thumbs up by Srijana Mitra Das, Times of India ...The second half thus gently meanders, shots becoming slightly repetitive and slow, making you agree when Vishnu tells Deepak in exasperated humour, "Aap itni dheemi gati ke film hain!" But the end gathers itself, providing a twist that both dazzles and covers darkness.... full review