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Guzaarish review: Unique, but not special

Guzaarish review: Unique, but not special

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Thursday 18 November 2010

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Movie Title

Guzaarish

Director

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Star Cast

Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Monikangana Dutta

Sanjay Leela Bhansali likes to create his own world within worlds. That we know and are prepared for.

Therefore comments like ?how can a nurse dress up like this? (a comment on Aishwarya?s character) don?t count for much. We are aware of Bhansali?s fascination for creating an alternate universe.

Special: All about Guzaarish | Images: I am my director's student - Aishwarya

Here, we see a crumbling mansion in Goa, and a crumbling human-being inside - Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan), a one-time revered magician, now a quadriplegic due to an act gone wrong.

It?s been 14 years since the accident. His daily nurse Sofia (Aishwarya Rai) takes care of him with love and devotion; they share a complicated relationship, perhaps even a cautious friendship and a simmering love.

Ethan runs a radio show ironically called Radio Zindagi. Ironic, because he has just requested his advocate friend (Shernaz Patel) to file a petition in court requesting he be allowed euthanasia.

The film then follows this struggle even as Sofia grapples between supporting his decision and trying her best to dissuade him.

It?s a dry subject anyway, but co-producer-writer-director Bhansali makes sure it gets super-gloomy. The indoors are monochrome, a sudden death of a loved one is announced, and Ethan is perpetually dressed in either white or black; this is also true of the film?s portrayal of other quadriplegics?they?re all in white as if it were a uniform for those handicapped.

On the other extreme end is the resplendent wardrobe of Sofia dressed in Sabyasachi finery. But even her wardrobe?s tone is never cheerful. Bhansali has kept it wilfully macabre; he intends the tone to be gloomy.

His music, though, is one of the film?s stronger points.

There are several unanswered questions: why is he holed up inside his mansion for 14 years since his handicap? Ethan is shown to be surrounded by a caring bunch. There?s no explanation why no one thought a trip to the beach or a drive would be a swell idea.

All we see of Ethan then is him on the bed complaining of his bed sores, or being fed soup, or being strapped to a contraption that allows him to be upright. Other downers include the introduction of a prot?g? character (Aditya Roy Kapur) who has a link to Ethan?s past, and a caricature of a villain in the form of the opposing advocate (Rajat Kapoor), and another evil-smile baddie.

The best part about the film: Bhansali doesn?t shy away from taking a stand. He also doesn?t mind his characters speaking in English pretty often. You hear English songs as the background score consistently.

Bhansali seems to be veering towards making films after his own heart, unmindful of the commercial element. This is a trend that has shown progression is his films beginning with Black and Saawariya to Guzaarish.

Images: Monikangana Dutta - Guzaarish girl & Victoria's Secret model | Special: All about Guzaarish

His propensity to make the film visually arresting is at fore. A couple of scenes, notably the one where Hrithik dances to fluid choreography as a part of his magic act, are especially arresting.

And it is to Hrithik Roshan?s credit for bringing even his lifeless character alive. Roshan is every inch the enigmatic magician who also dances like a dream. And in the portions where he is a quadriplegic, he is truly impressive in bringing out the character?s angst.

Note especially a scene where a rainy night brings out his humiliating helplessness.

Aishwarya Rai is electric as the dedicated caretaker, who?s also a bag of surprises. Rai knocks you off your feet in the scene where she dances spontaneously during an evening out, and in the courtroom portions.

Bhansali?s love story doesn?t move you the way it is intended to. It?s unique, but not necessarily special. That pretty much sums up the film as well.

Rating: 2.5 stars