Sadiyaan is a painful watch
Sadiyaan is a painful watch
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Tuesday 6 April 2010
Luv Sinha, Rishi Kapoor, Rekha, Hema Malini
Your curiosity seems directed towards the makers for mounting the period film on such a scale - glittery clothes, mansions, A-list supporting cast and so on - while getting the fundamental casting wrong.
The story, set in the ?60s, is one we can repeat in our sleep. We?re shown a bit of our history - the partition to be precise. A couple (Rishi Kapoor, Rekha) adopts a baby boy they believe to be orphaned. They pamper the boy silly, especially the over-protective, shrieking mother.
All grown-up now, when he says he wants to go to Kashmir, the mother refuses, in case he slips there or something. ?This is the age to slip,? laughs the gregarious father. Groan. This is hinting, of course, to what will take place on the boy?s trip.
He falls in love with a girl at first sight, and pursues her right down to the girl?s hostel. Since then, almost every sentence has him sing about how ?khoobsoorat? the girl is and describing his state as ?mohabbat?.
The girl, reasonably attractive and talented, looks mismatched with our stone-faced hero. They dance, frolic, make silly jokes, do a risqu? ?inter-collegiate? dance, and decide to get married. The conflict arises when they realise they belong to different religions. She throws herself on the bed to sob. The intermission super appears against their hands separating.
The girl?s parents are adamantly against the relationship. Meanwhile the boy realises a secret about his past. Turns out he?s got a new set of parents in Lahore who now compete with the old for his affections. The two warring couples want him for themselves. This adult is never consulted.
When they wonder where he?ll live post-marriage, he?s not even asked. The film is technically archaic. Dialogue has a girl?s lips likened to pomegranates, while the lovesick boy tells his friend, ?Jyada gaur se mat dekh, maili ho jayegi? (don?t look at her so intently; she?ll get dirty).
The saga is painful; reminiscent of films of long ago that we had to bear. The supporting cast is powerful, of course, but in their career-worst performances. Rishi Kapoor, so delightful in his recent films, is over-the-top. Rekha?s act is decidedly unnatural in the first half; a fault of the characterisation rather than the actor.
Hema Malini offers no nuances to her role, again a blandly written sketch anyway. Sadiyaan is directed by Raj Kanwar who made films like Laadla and Judai in the ?90s. His last two films were Andaaz in 2003 and Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye in 2006, which seem far more contemporary than this time-warped stuck tale.
There is melodrama at every step - from the romance, to the separation, to the mother-son emotions. The kind that could make an evolved audience, used to subtler sentiments, feel claustrophobic.
Rating: 1 star