Salaam Bombay! - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Salaam Bombay! Reviews

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Kathleen Shea
Philadelphia Daily News
September 29, 2015
Just as the visuals are unexpectedly delightful, so is the three- dimensional carving of the characters in what could be a cliche Third World hell.
Top Critic
Ted Shen
Chicago Reader
September 29, 2015
Like Hector Babenco's Pixote the film is unsparingly gritty, but with a woman's tenderness it also grants the characters an occasional moment of grace.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
September 29, 2015
Watching this picture feels more like a solemn duty than a form of entertainment or enrichment. And whether it is fantasy or reality, a movie should never be something you see as a duty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
September 29, 2015
Salaam Bombay! deserves a broad audience, not just to open American eyes to plights of hunger and homelessness abroad, but to open American minds to the vitality of a cinema without rim shots and happy endings.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
September 29, 2015
Much to Nair`s credit, she exploits neither the exoticism of her locale (there are no tour-guide, look-at-this flourishes) nor the misery of her subjects (suffer they may, but they do not demand pity).
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
September 29, 2015
The movie is terrifically well acted and beautifully filmed, however, marking an auspicious feature-film debut for Indian-American director Mira Nair.
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
September 29, 2015
Dispossession and despair are seldom portrayed with such force on-screen. Director Mira Nair has done a masterful job of underscoring a social problem that has repercussions far beyond the Third World.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Travers
People Magazine
September 29, 2015
Poetic, powerful and disturbing, Salaam Bombay transcends language and cultural barriers.
Dennis King
Tulsa World
September 29, 2015
Very sad, but powerfully moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
David Parkinson
Radio Times
September 29, 2015
Dickensian in its empathy with the poor, uncompromising in its realism and ambitious in both scope and technique, this debut feature from Mira Nair is one of the most arresting studies of street life ever made.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
Director Mira Nair, trained in America, is very much in control of her material, tells her story efficiently and has most of the cast, none of them real professionals, under total control.
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
May 28, 2008
honest and haunting portrait
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Emanuel Levy
October 4, 2006
Nair's debut, winner of Cannes Festival Camera d'Or, tells the harrowing story of one boy's life among thieves, prostitutes and drug dealers. Though inspired by De Sica, Babenco, and Ray, it acheves distinctive intensity and color from its unique locale
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rupert Smith
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Shot entirely on location with its child actors recruited from the streets, Salaam Bombay! enters into its subjects' lives with rare authority and absolute compassion.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
August 28, 2004
Will take your breathe away with its harrowing portrait of the deprivations endured by a hungry and homeless boy.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

TV Guide
July 30, 2003
Nair leavens her story of a desperately impoverished 11-year-old (Shafiq Syed) with enough sentimentality to insure broad audience appeal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dan Lybarger
Nitrate Online
July 2, 2003
Mira Nair's feature debut is a moving and powerful look at people for whom survival itself is a major achievement.
| Original Score: 5/5

May 24, 2003
Despite the grim setting, the colours are disarmingly sumptuous, the Bollywood lushness conflicting with the downbeat subject matter but ultimately ideal for the film's melodramatic tone.
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
For a film about such hopelessness, Salaam Bombay! is surprisingly cheering.
Christopher Null
February 23, 2003
With Salaam, Nair proves an early ability with a camera and at getting performances out of obviously inexperienced actors, but her writing talents are much sketchier.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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