When simpleton Deepak (Rajkummar Rao), along with his family, is forced to abandon his village in search of a living in a city, little is he aware of what life has in store. Circumstances notwithstanding, there's hope. Hope of a better life. Of better days ahead. His guilelessness robs him off whatever little savings he comes with to the city, rendering him helpless, with three mouths to feed and no roof above their head.
The plot isn't fresh and hardly compelling but the beauty of Citylights is in the treatment to its narrative. Director Hansal Mehta lends it a realistic, earthy charm to bring alive a film that primarily holds sway because of its staunch performances and beautiful music. But I wish the performers had better material to work on. After all the expectations I had from the film, it turned out a regular, humdrum affair, essentially for lack of a meaty script.
The immensely talented Rajkummar Rao lives up to all the accolades he received for Shahid. He makes any role so much his own you forget Rajkummar, the actor. It's only the character you take home from every film of his. Debutante Patralekha, playing Rajkummar's wife, impresses in her subtle, restrained role. Manav Kaul turns out the star of the show, outdoing even Rajkummar Rao with his brilliant timings in a few scenes. One good thing to have come out of Citylights.
Overall, Citylights makes for a one-time DVD watch.