Bombay Talkie is Merchant Ivory's affectionate, bemused view of Bollywood-India's huge dream factory. The film is like a brightly colored sumptuous Indian sweet covered in gold foil, and cameraman Subrata Mitra's ravishing photography has never been surpassed in any other of James Ivory's films. The story, set off by elaborate studio numbers, is a melodrama echoing those of Bombay's mass audience movies and the sexy best sellers of the film's heroine, American authoress Lucia Lane (Jennifer Kendal). Visiting India in search of "new material", she becomes romantically involved with a handsome movie star (Shashi Kapoor, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid). When that doesn't work, she flees to an ashram to take up the spiritual life. That also-hilariously-doesn't work out, and the ill-fated couple get together again with explosive results.
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