A gallery of superficially interesting personalities navigating daily life in the walkways of the megalopolis in Mumbaikar includes three dissimilar guys who have recently moved to Mumbai with unique aspirations and another who is about to leave the city for good for reasons he cannot control.
However, the antics of these feckless men don’t amount to much since director-cinematographer Santosh Sivan’s whimsical as well as well-intentioned tribute to Mumbai is far too erratic to consistently hit the high notes. They are all either running away from someone or running towards something.
Sanjay Mishra, a middle-aged man, arrives in Mumbai to begin a new life being a taxi driver. In search of employment at an information technology company where Ishita (Tanya Maniktala) is the HR director, a young man in love (Hridhu Haroon) leaves his birthplace and travels to the City of Dreams. Vijay Sethupathi, a reserved traveller from Tirunelveli, is in Mumbai to realise a dream. He wants to become a successful gangster.
The job seeker is employed by Ishita’s business, but when he is mugged in a situation of mistaken identification, he loses all of his credentials. Speaking of mistaken identities, Mumbaikar uses this as a story device throughout its two-hour running length as character after character finds himself.
Slapstick capers, gangster films, criminal dramas as well as screwball actioners are just a few of the genres whose elements are combined in this haphazard mix that doesn’t produce the kind of percentage its creators evidently expect. The editing makes issues worse as the movie jumps around from one subject to another and frequently gets lost in an ocean of incoherence.
The debut Hindi film of Chennai-born actor Vijay Sethupathi, Mumbaikar, fails to compare to the success of the Farzi web series on Amazon Prime. In one scene, he can be seen behind a poster for the Rajinikanth film Kaala, which highlights the character’s fundamental mental characteristics.