Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies are like epic poems. “Khamoshi” was a poem, “Hum dil de chuke sanam” was a masterpiece, “Devdas” was an epic and “Black” was all of them. Then, he got tired of presenting poems. Now he presents only drafts – unfinished ones. Guzarish is one among them; it seems that he dint put too many thoughts into it to make it perfect. Started well though!
Quick question, does “major milestone” translate to “bada meel ka paththar” in Hindi? I dint keep myself updated with Hindi, then! Anyways, back to review.
Guzarish falls short of telling a convincing story, tries to give a wrong message in between, then turns weird and finally ends like a Karan Johar movie – making everyone in the hall cry. Fortunately there are several clues in the movie shows it had a great idea behind it before while it was written and Bhansali lost it later point.
Plot is very simple. Flashback is picked from (Oh, sorry… inspired by) a Hollywood flick – “The Prestige”. A jealous illusionist (in Bollywood a magician) gets the apparatuses bugged and boom! Mr. Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) is crippled for rest of his life. Ethan takes this as a challenge and starts a radio show from his bedroom, and he becomes popular once again. After a decade of doing this, he decides give up his life and files a petition against Union of India for an approval on mercy killing, which gets rejected as it is unconstitutional.
This is how Goan maids look like., any questions ?
The movie ends with an indication that his maid (Aishwarya Rai) will assist him to do when court rejected. Now, this story went wrong for two major reasons
- Movie does not attend the reason why Ethan wants a mercy killing. Nowhere in three hours Bhansali shows Ethan is suffering or it is getting worse. Finally it looks like Ethan is asking for mercy killing Euthanasia (Referred as Ethanasia) because he got bored!!
- Court does not attend the argument “Why grant Euthanasia only to him?”. They start to discuss it, but later they forget! I really don’t think “Because he chooses for himself” is a justifiable reason. This shakes the foundation of the movie.
All other areas (direction, acting etc) were comparatively good; they are in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s standards. I acknowledge that he is one of very few directors who don’t believe in overacting to bring drama, nor Masala. While I am thankful for that, it is frustrating to see some of the details are missed out.
Hrithik was good; BTW, did I mention that I brought him out of my “No watch list” after Kites? This movie could look good in his resume. Sofia (Aishwarya Rai) simply exists in this movie which any actor could have filled in. If you read the plot again, you see Sofia the maid (Aishwarya) does not have anything significant to contribute to the story. In-fact, she is one of the week points of the movie. If I were Bhansali I would have filled someone not so famous, like he did for that doctor or lawyer.
Now, list of flaws:
- Why the movie gives old feeling? I initially thought the story itself is picturised in old age, at least 40 years. But no, they talk about SMS etc. Confusing! Is there a place in Goa where people live just like they did in colonial era?
- The maid seems to be a financially poor girl with drunken husband, but appearance makes her look like a princess – couple of centuries of old. She has an heir style of German village girl and wears veils like a secret cult. Total confusion.
- You can observe the difference between how Hollywood and Bollywood takes on exact same things differently. In Prestige he is an illusionist and here Ethan is Magician! In 90 minutes movie Hollywood does not forget to show a glimpse of magic apparatuses – they ensure whatever audience see is a result of smart equipment and quick movement. But Bollywood does not care – It just happens like any paranormal activity! They had 180 minute, just to remind you.
- Konkani was dubious. In Hum dil de chuke sanam, there was some Guajarati and in Devdas, Bengali. In Guzarish Bhansali forgot about Konkani. There were couple of words here and there; they sounded more like Marathi than Konkani.
- Songs weren’t great! There was one dance – A Goan would have been nice. Instead it was a Spanish..ish dance! Aishwarya treats it as metal rock! My point is Sofia does not look like a person who does mock rock in a pub, she is a serious character – If you observe she talks less than Man Mohan Singh.
- Ash wears longest skirts in the world (already in Guinness records!) and she rides bicycle back home! It’s long since I’ve been to Goa, but it is hard to believe skirts keep getting longer there as days go. Nothing wrong with the concept, just that it is funny to imagine a 15th century European skirt driving early 20th century Hero bicycle.
- What’s about Karan Johar ending please? For 15 minutes Ethan says thank you note. “Last but not least” and “Thank you one and all”.
Looks like Bollywood is rearranging its resources. Best chocolate hero Vivek Oberoy (remember Sathiya?) does action super hero roles (Remember Prince?), Martial art specialist Akshay Kumar does henpecked roles and now Best dancer in Bollywood plays handicapped! Salman and Shah Rukh..err what are they good at again ?