November 18, 2007


Title: Saawariya
Year: 2007
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Salman Khan, Rani Mukherji, Zohra Sehgal.

How is it, that I watch a entire movie, and still prefer Salman's 10 minutes to Ranbir's 2 hours??? How is it that I prefer Rani's 1/2 hour to Sonam's 2 hours?

Lets try to analyze why, beginning with the story. We find Raj (Ranbir), a singer, comes to town, and meets Gulab (Rani) a prostitute- and they become friends. Keep in mind, the town, and for that matter the entire movie is a fairy-land-type set of peacock blues and greens- looks like Mr. Bhansali has been to the Venetian (a casino in Las Vegas, for those who have kept away from the western United States) too many times and under the influence, has coughed up its replica in his movie. That would have been fine, but it is BORING to see the same backdrops for 2 hours! If I wanted to do that, I'd go see a play! Whatever.

Raj meets Sakina (Ms Kapoor, who btw is NOT his sister- different Kapoors, for those of you (again), who are far removed from Bollywood movie family histories). He is in love- she is too: but with someone else. Sakina is waiting for Iman (Salman) to come back to her- he is out of town for a year, on some business we are told nothing about. Raj tries every trick in the book to attract Sakina (even kick-boxing exercises- weird) and she begins to give in- a little- when Iman comes back. he leaves with Sakina, Raj acts loopier than ever, end of story.

Dear Mr. Bhansali:
The casting for the movie was excellent, including (but not limited to):
1- You did well in getting Salman as Iman- his act of the ardent older lover is almost absurd in its ease- his gentle flirting with Sakina's grandmother is a splash of adorableness and humor- his romansing of Sakina is completely ethereal- he justifies himself as romance personified in the limited time provided to him ably and well.
2- Ms Mukherji is beautiful- the most elegant prostitute on the planet, I am certain. She is looking prettier than ever here, and you are to be congratulated for it. Her wit sparkles- mmm but hang on a minute- she, for at least me, manages to overshadow the heroine completely.
3- Zohra is a grandmother I would have liked to have- we need more Zohra in Bollywood! Thank you for recognizing this need.

But also, dear Mr. Bhansali:
1- Vegas casino replicas should not serve as movie sets for the entire duration of a film.
2- Kickboxing isn't a dance form. Ranbir just appears idiotic when he does that- makes me fear he wants to bop Sakina on the nose.
3- Please make sure you have a story before you make a movie. Filling a film with songs makes it a musical, but even musicals must have a more than a wafer-thin storyline to give them substance.

We thank you for your patience,

Apni East Indian Company

Aside: Ranbir's voice reminded me of Sanjay Dutt's. He also bears a slight facial likeness to Mr. Dutt from the late 70s-early 80s- did anyone else note that?


babaganoush said...

Ranbir like Sanjoo baba!!!

yes i noticed the similar dopey look on their faces... guess a pampered childhood in Bandra does that to star kids...

Good, me not going to watch this one..

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Exactly! There IS a dopey look! And the same lazy-ish voice! Now maybe if we could stop him doing fake-pretend kickboxing, dirtied him up and put him in a action flick? Sanju II??

Anonymous said...

this was the WORST torture ever. I did like Rani's role though.

Your blog is awesome...I am going to come and check our your hindi reviews before watching them.

cheers, trupti

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

thanks so much trupti! visit often and more :D i love seeing and talking bollywood, so i love your visits and discussion.

rani was adorable- so tru :)

Anonymous said...

Shweta, very enjoyable post! I agree that Rani is one of the brightest sides to the movie, although I didn't really enjoy Salman too much (but I'm new to Hindi films, so I don't have the same affection for him that many of his fans do).

You are so right about the "wafer-thin storyline" ... I really enjoyed the music, and was one of the few people who enjoyed the blue backdrop (I just thought the whole movie was visually exquisite, in a dark fairy tale kind of way), but I was expecting wayyy more from the story. In fact, I wrote in my blog that I actually was anticipating some big revelation or surprise or something to knock our socks off, because I had so much faith in SLB that I didn't think he would go out like that, with such a dull plot and all. But he did.

On a side note, I actually liked Ranbir...! He was kind of clownish, but I was totally into him. Maybe I'm just weird. Sonam, on the other hand, just blended into the mediocre story. So much beauty but no spark.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Thanks for your good words Nida!

I must be the only one on the planet then who doesnt appreciate the imagery in the movie :( I liked it fine initially, but then it got old real quick...

And yep- totally agree w/ you on the SLB, Rani, Ranbir and Sonam fronts- if I could meet SLB, I swear I'd like to shake the man :D