Saawariya – a review

I watched this movie with my family, the day after it released – read as: we hadn’t even had a chance to read the reviews. It was a toss-up between this and OSO. Having watched SLB’s earlier movies and being an ardent admirer mainly of his amazing aesthetic sense of scene-conceptualisation; also with all the added publicity about the launch of the two new star kids, I was keen on watching this first. We booked the tickets at the Fun Cinemas in Sigma mall and went to watch it the Diwali weekend.

Initial half an hour, I was nervous, what kind of a movie would this turn out to be? Would my family like it? I somehow felt responsible for getting them all there and was keen that they don’t dislike it. The way the initial few scenes proceeded with Ranbir and Rani Mukherji, my heart sank thinking that it might be another movie about the beautiful heroine caught up in the travails of living with her prostitute friends/ family. Thankfully it wasn’t so and I relaxed. There were numerous songs as in other SLB movies; having heard the mp3 versions, I’d loved them all and thoroughly enjoyed watching them on screen.

The entire movie is shot in a single enormous set, which is both mesmerising and enchanting; inspite of being all in shades of blue, gray and black, unlike the vibrant colourful hues of Bhansali’s earlier movies. Unmistakable tributes are paid to Raj Kapoor and the RK banner in various scenes of the movie, I don’t know if Bhansali was playing it up to the Kapoor khandan, but it is a nice touch.

Speaking of the star cast, Salman Khan and Rani Mukherji have put in some good supporting acting, while Zohra Sehgal as the the lovable Lillipop is crackling and brilliant. Among the new finds, Sonam Kapoor looks beautiful, no doubt, but she doesn’t impress too much in the acting department, she mostly, alternatively sobs and giggles through the movie. The find, without doubt, is Ranbir Kapoor; let it be said – a star is born. Be it the naïve charm of a carefree dreamer or the mixed-up emotions of joy and melancholy of a mesmerized, love-struck boy; he carries it off with aplomb. While his acting is natural enough, his dancing skills are not too bad either, as proven by his now famous “towel” dance. I think that one can safely say, after Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor is the next big find as a Bollywood hero.

All in all, as must be evident, I liked the movie. No matter that my family thought it was slow, boring, art movie-ish etc. I thought it was something refreshingly different. And the ending I thought was perfectly right and couldn’t/ shouldn’t have been otherwise. In any case, if all you want is three hours of fun, mind-numbing brainless comedy and entertainment, then please do not watch Sawariya. It is a sombre, unconventional love story – more poetic than prosaic and accentuated with some melodious music. Go watch it, if you’re a fan of this genre of cinema.

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