Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reviews of Saawariya and Om Shanti Om




A teenage girl beside me was shouting at the top of her voice for the first ten minutes of Saawariya. And then she went into an interminable lull. That pretty much sums up Saawariya. After the initial euphoria over the newcomers subsides and the movie unfolds at its own languorous pace you very well understand that this is Bhansali’s grand turkey. Dostoevsky is a difficult writer to interpret on screen and that is the reason why we don’t see many of his works.

Apart from Kurosawa’s Idiot and Visconti’s White Nights I don’t recall any other movie, which was entirely faithful to the writer’s imagination on paper. Even Columbia Pictures, the producers of Saawariya, made a poor adaptation of Dostoevsky’s monster hit “Crime and Punishment”. Saawariya is also that- a poor adaptation. The short story “White Nights” is a personal story but Bhansali being Bhansali bases the film amidst an idyllic city, which thanks to the opulent sets of Omung Kumar and eye-catching photography of Ravi.K.Chandran stands as the sole redeeming point of the movie.

The narrator of the film is Rani Mukherjee, who is very much visible unlike the story. Her campy nature lends the movie the much-wanted believability. Because the entire movie poses more questions than answering about the soppy wait of Sakeena (played by Sonam Kapoor, who will soon enter the thesaurus as synonym for cardboard). Ranbir Kapoor as Raj, insinuating towards his grandfather, is affable and his boyish charm was worth all the whistles in the theatre. He carries himself well and this must be the best debut on Indian screen after Vivek Oberoi. Music of Monty Sharma will be talked for long time.

How I wish Salman Khan had a more well etched role and pray why dint Rani act so effortlessly in Laaga Chunari Main Daag? There are some cutesy moments in the film when the Raj and Sakeena walk together with an umbrella holding them together. Or that scene where Raj equates problems with a boxing match. Alas! These scenes could not lift a movie, which is inherently hollow.

Do not get deluded expecting sparks to fly between the youngsters, it’s at most a fifth-grade chemistry. If you don’t want to spend 200 bucks on this film just take a DVD of Ahista Ahista. Both have striking resemblance story-wise. The denouement is very much sad as it happens in most of the Bhansali movies but still it does not make you empathise with Raj’s misfortune.

P.S: Why did Bhansali have to pay homage to Raj Kapoor with that huge RK symbol? Even though he did he could not pull off a Bobby.


There is a school of thought in Indian filmmaking, which says that leave your brains before entering the theatre and we will entertain you thoroughly. This school’s dean is Manmohan Desai and its star alumni includes names like David Dhawan and Priyadarshan, who with their slapstick humour created their own putative reputation. However, these gentlemen have to make way and allow Farah Khan to share the dais with them.

Her Main Hoon Na was a tribute to the era gone by and the first half of her latest offering Om Shanti Om (OSO) is a homage to those “golden” days of 70’s. This is a better movie than that now an almost cult hit of Shah Rukh, Chak De India. This movie is not pretentious like Chak De and it is very much proud to be so. The way Farah recreated the entire late 70’s era is worth applause. Those digs at Keshto Mukherjee, Manoj Kumar, filmi Maa, the entire Murugan episode, imaginative choreography in 70’s “ishtyle” are such a treat to watch.

The very fact that the photography in those days is called Manmohan Desai angle as said by Arjun Rampal is all in the right spirit. The first half reminded me of the effusive milieu in “Boogie Nights” where Mark Wahlberg calls his pecker as “bright, shining star” and here Shreyas Talpade calls Shah Rukh as “superstar”. The second half falters at many levels and a sloppy adaptation of Subhash Ghai’s Karz did leave me a bit disappointed. However, Dard-e-Disco and Deewangi are sheer crowd pullers and maintain the tempo of the film.

The piece de resistance is the one-minute appearance of Akshay Kumar. Vijaykanth, Rajnikanth and Sharat Kumar should promptly make a bow. In a nutshell, the hubris of Bhansali has to bow before the sensibilities of Farah Khan.

Recommendations:

Bin-Jip: Kim Ki Duk is one of those rare “new wave” directors who always experiments and never disappoints. Minimal dialogues in this particular movie only elevated the mood of the film.

That obscure object of desire: Luis Bunuel always befuddles the viewer but his loyal fans will always understand the underlying emotions. Discrete charm of bourgeoisie is another such Bunuel film.

18 Comments:

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Shravya said...

hey dear..
I've jst seen d reviews of these two films in d newspaper.The gist is more or less similar to wht u've picturized ..but kudos to u, u've maintained a completely different angle of presenting ur reviews..!!
all d best to ur movie-critic career..i'm sure u'll blossom!
tho i havent seen d movies,hopin my take is same as urs(atleast this time)...:p

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger sowmitra said...

don know abt saawariya...but om shanti om rocks...really jhatpata:P...yeah the 1st half was reminscent of the good old 70's and really though the second half almost entirely looked like a retake of karz I still loved it...shahrukh back to his stuff was brilliant, but I guess deepika in her maiden appearance is surely a revelation...gues u din even mention abt her histrionics...but really she's damn gud...

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger shanti said...

Terrific reviews....!!

 
At 3:13 AM, Blogger Sahil said...

fucking useless reviews!oso is a crap...shahrukh is looking awful...the secondhalf is such a crap..i felt like banging the cinema screen...
saawariya is a classic..slb shows his magic again..an its a movie fro classes not the masses...only intellectual persons can understand the movie.
how can u compare a rubbish fucking crap with classic like saawariya?

 
At 3:41 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@shravya, sowmitra and shanti: Am really glad that you liked my reviews. And sowmi, deepika's histrionics were not ground shattering to rave about them

 
At 3:53 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@ sahil: Thanks for your comment and i disagree with your view that saawariya is a classic..Till date bhansali has had only one classic to his name, hum dil de chuke sanam.. intellectual cinema is what bergman and almodovar make not a self-indugent person like bhansali.. OSO might be kitschy but it's totally innocuous unlike saawariya which does not even pretend to be entertaining..

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I entered the movie theatr after reading ur blog n all the bad reviews bout the film...I already believd the movie was bad evn b4 watchin it..n believ me evrybody arnd me also had alread decided in their minds tht they've come 2 watch a borin n badly made film..but as time went by the entire audience(though not more than 30-40)went mum...no more silly jokes n no more catcalls bout how bad the movie was..thr was a look of satisfaction on evry1's faces...!!!a satisfaction u get aftr watching a good hollywood classic!!
Re-read ur blog after cin the movie n ..Disheartened to c ur review!!!with all the ultra hamming the v scenes u mentioned as cutesy were the worst moments of the film!!!dont even try takin up movie criticism pls!!!Its quite evident tht Indian media dint like the movie cos SRK has bought them off...if 'Sawariya'had been really so bad the international critics wouldnt b ravin bout the movie at all..
I'm surprised the movie is a flop...or may b i shouldnt b...when did the Indian audiences hav a taste at all...huh!!!
Watch the movie again before goin on the defensive again...if u still dont like it pls dont try anythin remotely like takin up a stinct as a movie-critic...critics like u will ruin Indian Cinema...'Sawariya' is a classic n will b adord in the years to come if not now...It is by far Bhansali's best!!Bhansali has finally arrived!!!

 
At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched a lot of movies jus bcos they were recommended on ur blog...decided against watchin Sawariya as u said the movie is bad...wont take ur blog too seriously now on...Sawariya ,as sahil said ,is truly a Classic..."intellectual cinema is what bergman and almodovar make not a self-indugent person like bhansali.."wat a big joke!!!!!dont try 2 sound so intellectual my boy...Troubles me when young blood like you doesnt understand good cinema..All the best!

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Sahil said...

@anonymous...

thanks for the comment atleast some respect well made movies...i was shattered to read th rerviews by india fm,rediff...as slb said..these reviewers will never understand my movie..like to add they had given 2 stars fro black....and it turned just the opposite...so dont ever depend on reviews..ranbir has acted so brilliantly in his first movie itself..truly ...a new born star...srk was looking nothing before him..in acting... dancing srk is not even comparable...


guys plz watch saawariya..watch it keenly ..and u willl love it..believe me...claasic like saawariya comes once in worthwhile in bollywood...

 
At 2:31 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@anonymous: It hurts me a bit that a loyal reader of this blog will not take it seriously anymore.. Anyway, if you think that talking about bergman and almodovar portrays me as a pseudo-intellectual then it hurts me even more that you have not understood the sheer magic created by these auteurs without any ostentatious sets..And i believe that bhansali has arrived with his first movie itself but from then on he is on a gradual decline and saawariya is his nadir..

 
At 2:35 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@sahil: No one questioned the dancing abilities of ranbir and i had no problem with the languorous pace of the film.. My all-time favourite is Before sunrise and before sunset.. But unlike those movies this movie lacked the soul to keep me hooked to the screen..

 
At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u probably dint watch the movie in the rite spirit!ad let me make it clear that i did not like 'sawariya' just because of its sets!!evry scene was well etched...n i believ this is Bhansali's best work yet...this is the first time that ihave liked his movie!!!

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@anonymous: I do agree with the fact that the scenes were well-etched but clearly the movie lacked an adrenaline rush..we always know that a bhansali movie takes aeons to unfold but still it's usually watchable.. but saawariya was too indulgent..

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sawariya is not an action flick to pump up ur adrenaline!

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Sahil said...

see this guys...an honest review..

http://www.naachgaana.com/2007/11/16/kaveetaa-kaul-reviews-saawariya/

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Sahil said...

http://www.naachgaana.com/2007/11/16/
kaveetaa-kaul-reviews-saawariya/

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@anonymous: A movie need not be ana ction flick to pump up adrenaline.. It has to have compelling storyline which will evoke emotions

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Marina said...

Duskadum

This Show rocks we love Salman

do check out his blog on the show and read more about his personal life
duskadum.blogspot.com

 

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