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Times of India
Himachal girl Gauri (Rajshri Deshpande) falls in love with Rohit (Brajesh Tiwari), a tourist, who lures her with job offer to Mumbai. Given her financial condition, Rohit's tall promises convince her to leave her parents and scenic hometown. However, as expected, he deceives her. Gauri endures physical and mental abuse in the city and regrets her poor life decision. Can she escape her nightmarish present and go back to her secure past?
Mumbai Central is like a stretched version of a crime patrol episode. You can predict the crime and the climax but watch it anyway. The story is excessively cliched but sincere performances and storytelling makes it watchable. Despite having elements like prostitution and crime, much to our relief the execution is earnest and makes you care for the protagonist. Rajshri Deshpande's understated portrayal of Gauri is probably the strongest point of this film. On the contrary Brajesh Tiwari is annoyingly over-the-top.
What also doesn't work for the film is its lack of continuity. Few scenes are cut abruptly and there is a lack of consistency as far as the intent goes. The social drama turns into a social awareness campaign about HIV towards the end, which seems out of context. The story too suffers as after the initial build-up, the film wanders aimlessly instead of unfolding in the manner you expect it to.
Mumbai Central raises warning signals for people, who get carried away easily and get conned in the process. The subject addressed is crucial, only if the story was not as erratic and done to death. What also bothers is the generalisation. One would rather lead a peaceful and unambitious life in village than make money in the big bad city of Mumbai. You are bound to meet good and bad guys everywhere!
As a journey of a woman's endurance and fighting spirit, Mumbai Central works. As the film, which makes Mumbai look like a monster, it doesn't. Too many inconsequential plot developments dilute the message somewhere.