Saawariya—the Review

119 Comments

“Good Lord, only a moment of bliss? Isn’t such a moment sufficient for the whole of a man’s life?”

–White Nights

The biggest problem with “Saawariya”, based on Dostoevsky’s famous short story about loneliness and longing, is that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali (henceforth called SLB) does not given us even one moment of bliss.

Sure he gives us plenty of shots of gondolas awash in blue-green light, sequences of gentle cotton brushing against tender male bottom as moonlight streams in from behind highlighting Ranbir Kapoor’s “kacha kacha nimbooda”s, hushed whispers that are supposed to be very profound by virtue of their softness, and histrionic performances that would be considered juvenile even in a pre-kindergarten after-school play.

Yes he gives us that and much more. What he does not give us is one moment of respite, one flash of redemption, one thunderclap of even mediocrity.

Not one cotton-pickin one.

In a fantasy world that looks like a cross between the sets of Moulin Rogue and the Bates motel with dashes of a pimped-up Sonagachi, Venice and St.Petersberg thrown in for good measure, live a bunch of morose looking ladies of ill repute, headed by the redoubtable Gulab [Rani Mukherjee], waiting for a fairy to alight in their sad lives. And on cue, with dainty pitter-patter arrives a “fairy”, a little tinker-bell of a man [Ranbir Kapoor], desperately trying to ape Raj Kapoor (he is called Raj in case you don’t get the connection) who is so “ichak dana bichak dana” innocent that he goes to a bar and asks for milk, so poor that he has a football for a pillow and so poetic that he tells Rani Mukherjee in a Dada Kondkian passage:

Yeh mera ball hain. Kya hain na, mere paas takiya naheen hain. Is liye main mera ball takiya banake so jata hoon. Is liye mera ball girta raheta hain.

Soon his ball sorry heart is captured by a glorious vision on a bridge, a fair maiden Sakeena [played by Sonam Kapoor] who flutters her eyelids, glides ephemerally, runs madly like all heroines in SLB movies and giggles in a musical cadence that can only be described as “telephone dhun”. However there is a problem—Sakeena’s heart beats for someone else, a kohl-eyed Salman Khan who has gone to far-away lands hunting deer and running over pavement dwellers and does not look to be returning to his love any time soon.

Undaunted by this, Sakeena, the conservative Muslim girl with a blind mother (who insists on tethering Sakeena to her with a safety-pin which she then detaches herself of every night leaving someone else tied to her mother) waits on that bridge, covered in scarves that slip away ever so often revealing the skimpy dress below (good thing her mother is blind) , a dress that does nothing to hide her soft femininity.

Not that her femininity stands a chance against that of Raj’s who in dulcet tones that even a heroine of a Mills and Boon’s novel would call more than a bit effeminate, starts wooing her, knowing her heart belongs to someone else.

What ensues is what is known in desi circles as the “curse of the rakhi brother” where Ranbir becomes a de-sexualized “friend” who dictates letters to Sakeena, advises her, breaks into song every two minutes, drives her to the grocery store twice a week and drops her off at JFK Airport lugging her suitcases. Okay maybe not the last two—but you do get the picture. As time goes on the audience gets sucked in by the genius of the director’s craft only to the extent that they become even more desperate than Raj, waiting for Sakeena to make up her mind (embrace Raj or keep waiting for the long-gone muscle-man)—if only so that the movie would finish and the end credits roll.

Acting-wise, Rani Mukherjee’s golden-hearted “lady of commerce” performance completes a hat-trick of prostitute acts (which film historians refer to as her “blue period“), a niche market which she has made her own. With her rolling eyes, over-made-up visage, husky masculine voice and overt aggression, even the mega-pimp Lucky Chikna of “Gunda”‘s latakta-circus fame would not want to do the “dan-dana-dan” with this marvelous specimen of humanity.

Ranbir Kapoor (who looks a lot like a male version of Neetu Singh, minus of course the famous “Ek yeh aur ek yeh” that had curious effects on “tan man ” of an entire generation) over-emotes, over-expresses, over-shadow-boxes and over-reveals.

Sonam Kapoor does not have much to do except look demure and virginal which she does competently while giving us more than a few glimpses of her back—-which I am glad to say does not resemble her dad Anil Kapoor’s in any way. [For those who do not know, Anil Kapoor has been designated an “endangered species” by the World Wild Life Fund because of the universal demand for Anil Kapoor’s abundant and luxuriant “fur” which grows on his chest and back among other places].

Salman Khan looks confused —-as the guy who first brought male exposure to the mainstream by taking off his top, he seems obsolete in an age when Ranbir Kapoor has gone a step further and taken off his bottom: an act Salman cannot replicate simply because then he would be called “Salman Butt“.

But what am I doing even talking about acting? Because you see a SLB movie is not about performances—it’s all about the direction. If you believe what SLB tells you, he is the greatest director alive. And so by definition, whatever he does is great. If you, as the audience, cannot see that you are either a philistine or jealous of his supreme God-like abilities.

Giving the devil his due, his first effort Khamoshi was a decent movie. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam a little less so. Devdas an assault on the senses. Black, an overwrought hyper-dramatic mis-fire masquerading as supreme art.

Saawariya however is the worst of the lot— a big plastic bag of hot air where dreamy sets, hued lighting and forgettable music (which SLB would like you to believe is a mark of his genius, what he calls his “merger of raga-based melodies with a Brodway style play) is used to divert attention from the fact that there is absolutely nothing in this venture.

And just when you think things cannot get worse, you read a SLB interview where he compares Saawariya with Paather Panchali (In Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali”, according to the man with the beard, “realism is finally only an illusion”—go figure) and claims to have created a superstar out of Ranbir Kapoor.

The only word that somehow comes to mind then is the title of yet another work of Dostoevsky: “The Idiot“.

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119 thoughts on “Saawariya—the Review

  1. This is absolutely brilliant; the Bates Motel reference is excellent. Now I don’t feel bad that SLB is such a character, if he wasn’t you would never be inspired to create a piece like this. SLB had also claimed that he wanted to capture dreamscapes through Saawariya, at least we know how SLB dreams.
    Now is there any prize for making the first comment?

  2. Something off topic:
    Eloquent silence – Way of explaining why there is nothing said from the Great Bong about Nandigram.

  3. I really dont have the stomach to go through this. Can you just do a spoiler and let us know, who does she go with in the end? 🙂

  4. @Aditi: Nothing except my gratitude.

    @Anonymous: If I told you that right now I do not have the time to both construct a lengthy post that the topic deserves (you must remember I am not a full-time blogger with a family whose parents visit etc) and then defend my position, would you believe me? Writing a post on Saawariya and replying to its comments, believe it or not, is quite a low-intensity experience that takes minimal time. Writing a post on Nandigram and sustaining a discussion on it is not.

    @Anonymouse: Hint–> read the original short story.

  5. Excellent review !!! No references to Taran Adarsh this time??? 😉
    ROTFLMAO @ “kacha kacha nimbooda’s” & Salman Butt 😀

  6. @Sh: 🙂

    @Anonymouse: Wont take you much time —honest.

    @Anonymous: No not for your sake. I sat through it because I like watching Hindi movies of all kinds. And because there is no way I can know, before I start watching a movie, whether I will like it or not.

  7. Great piece of review, enjoyed and got enlightened thoroughly. I think somewhere down the crooked line SLB thought in order to make crafty or arty cinema one has to become an ‘art director’ and has been designing his landscapes, huge buildings and color co-ordinated sets (I remember Devdas where the ice queen Asswarya had all the screen filled with blue). SLB killed Devdas to its core by his megalomaniac ideas.

    Problem with heart wrenching movies like Black is that if you don’t like it then there is a fair chance you can be castigated as a demon (How can you not like Black!, You are an insensitive monster)

    I faced an embarrassing situation in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (read Kabhi Balgam Kabhi Babalgam). We, a bunch of brats could not help laughing at many of the so called intense scenes and a pack of gurls sitting not very far away were crying to their hearts. Almost all of them! It is this movie that prompted me to rechristen Kareen Kapoor as Kare ja Kapoor

  8. “….moonlight streams in from behind highlighting Ranbir Kapoor’s “kacha kacha nimbooda”s, hushed whispers that are supposed to be very profound by virtue of their softness…” Priceless!!

    Amazing review, GB.

  9. Pingback: Greatbong reviews Saawariya

  10. Congratulations for probably the best review I’ve read so far about this movie. Like I said in earlier post, our filmmaking skills are pathetic. Films are being made as an ego and money boosting exercises.

    I was watching “The lives of others” the other day and was wondering when our filmmakers would be sensible enough to understand that money is only secondary in terms or providing good classic entertainment. Substance being primary…..

  11. Pingback: Review - Saawariya » without giving the movie away…

  12. which I am glad to say does not resemble her dad Anil Kapoor’s in any way. [For those who do not know, Anil Kapoor has been designated an “endangered species” by the World Wild Life Federation because of the universal demand for Anil Kapoor’s abundant and luxuriant “fur” which grows on his chest and back among other places].

    of hairy backs and everything else…hilarious!!!
    great review…still i think i wanna take my chances and go watch the movie. 🙂

  13. Hey GB,
    Just curious..When you say that there is noway to know how a movie wd be till u see it..
    Have you felt that the trailers of hindi movies are fairly indicative of how they are gonna be? And overall the predictable manner in which most of our filmmakers dole out trash make it even more easier.. Personally, I have felt that the trailers of hindi movies are most of the time as indicative of their quality as are the ads of K-serials and all hindi TV serials in general..we really dont need to sit through 30-min soap opera episodes or hindi sitcoms to know if they are good, the ads suffice.
    Comment.

  14. “For those who do not know, Anil Kapoor has been designated an “endangered species” by the World Wild Life Fund because of the universal demand for Anil Kapoor’s abundant and luxuriant “fur” which grows on his chest and back among other place”…. simply hilarious to the core… btw, I quote a few lines from your blogs (with a reference to the hyperlink) in my blogs… hope you don’t mind? 🙂

  15. I think this is one of your best posts.

    PS: Should we do a Top 10 RTDM Posts, sometime in the future…complete with SMS/email based voting with timebound phonelines and all…??

  16. In a fantasy world that looks like a cross between the sets of Moulin Rogue and the Bates motel with dashes of a pimped-up Sonagachi, Venice ..

    ..kohl-eyed Salman Khan who has gone to far-away lands hunting deer and running over pavement dwellers and does not look to be returning to his love any time soon.

    ..that slip away ever so often revealing the skimpy dress below (good thing her mother is blind) ET AL..

    BRILLIANT as always! Almost fell off my chair laughing!

  17. i really thought that the Om Shanti Om review sucked ass (it was more a tirade against SrK’s acting and bereft of any critical appreciation [maybe because there was nothing to critically appreciate but that was the point of the movie] but you have more than redeemed yourself with this review. great stuff.

  18. Brilliant review, Arnab!

    I don’t know about you, but these ‘I am a director in the class of Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy’ pretenders get my goat every time. At least somebody like Karan Johar/Farah Khan tell you upfront what you’re going to get- a masala movie or an NRI movie. But deluded idiots like SLB make ‘gaudy crap’ and act snobbish as though it’s the audience/critics who need to upgrade their tastes.

    With all this debate about serious & commercial cinema, productization of cinema, good cinema versus good product, I’d decided to simplify my life with two rules.

    1. There are only two kinds of cinema, good and bad
    2. Both the good and bad cinema may work in the short term, but only good cinema endures.

    Period.

  19. I clicked the SLB interview link. Poor guy. He must have not read the book or unfamiliar with the socio economic context of the time and place.

  20. khee khee! blue period, endangered species, saman butt, every time i thot the laughing spell was over, there popped another of ur priceless gems. what the hell r u doing in a research lab? no one’s posted this coherent a review of saawariya so far. cheers.

  21. Your best piece ever,GB. Do you think a part of the root cause is that none of our film makers have any life outside of hindi movies? All our movies is about hindi movies and popular characters. Its like an etire generation of directors and actors have decided to do nothing but shoot and reshoot slightly different versions of Spiderman and Superman. IMHO any art form is a stylized take on life, and the tools could be borrowed from the existing cinematic repetoire, but here its always a take on existing cinema!

    Why dont you script a movie, GB? I dont think anybody has yet captured India 2.0, where every khana item is bar coded, identity is language and geography agnostic and based on universities and virtual watering holes (all htis for a small group obviously). I hy[othesize your agenda (and certainly talent) is slighly bigger than consistently entertaining us for free 🙂

  22. GB wrote:
    the “curse of the rakhi brother” where Ranbir becomes a de-sexualized “friend” who dictates letters to Sakeena, advises her, breaks into song every two minutes, drives her to the grocery store twice a week and drops her off at JFK Airport lugging her suitcases.

    Rishi’s resp:

    brought back old memories…yep..yep…been there done that…add BWI, Newark and Dulles to the list.

    And Salman Khan’s Butt = Salman Butt…hehehehe

  23. The review is funny enough as usual but i was looking for your view on Nandigram.You have a wide readership and can help in mobilising opinion from the expats..you could be ..the bong connection..

  24. ha ha.. priceless ones GB.. how did you allocate time to watch both movies, and how much patience you have?? Man, you rock.

    I liked Black a little, since Big B had acceptable acting compared to Rani..

  25. “Giving the devil his due, his first effort Khamoshi was a decent movie. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam a little less so. Devdas an assault on the senses. Black, an overwrought hyper-dramatic mis-fire masquerading as supreme art.”
    Totally, totally agree with you. When the guy started out, the evil elements(overt melodrama, really bawdy sets etc. were at check) before they took over.

    Now the worst nightmare is that I heard or read somewhere that he is contemplating making his version of ‘Charulata’. Man, even the idea sounds blasphemous!

  26. Pingback: Saawaria (Movie Review) « Guldasta

  27. Great, briliant post GB…easily one of the top 5 posts on RTDM. Thre are too many hillarious analogy you made to even mention here..seriously how come you could find time to write such awesome long review with being a family man(running around doing chores!!)
    simply excellent…keep us entertaining

    A small glitch : why do i feel i read the comparison to “mouling rogue, venice and st. petersburg” reference sans sonagachi somewhere else as well

  28. man, that was so funny… the “FUR” and “Salman Butt”.. too gud..

    But i didn’t get the “Ek yeh aur ek yeh” connection:( hmm, i haven’t seen many old hindi movies!!

    Though everybody penned it down, i thought of watching it just because it was a SLB movie.. hmm, now decided that I am going to watch in only on ‘PIRATED DVD’:)!!!

  29. Man! Were you back in form or what (not that you were ever out of it)! Just like Ganguly Dada…These are reasons I keep my faith in you.

    curse of the rakhi brother, Salman Butt, nimbooda, “ek yeh aur…”, Anil Kapoor’s back (or the rumors of it, nobody has actually seen it ever!)…tooooo much!!

    Glad to hear that I am not the only one who thinks that SLB has deteriorated with each of his movies. SLB is not exactly the boon to bollywood that he thinks he is. To all those who think that Devdas was a piece of cinematic brilliance, I say it was nothing but a director’s self-indulgence. Perhaps in the same vein as Peter Jackson’s King Kong. He made it because he could. Simple.

    Keep it coming, GreatBong. I think this movie is so bad that I might have to just see it (perhaps in half an hour doses).

  30. That looks funny as usual. I will read rest of the review as soon as I clean up the mess on my keyboard as I threw up after reading “Ranbir Kapoor’s “kacha kacha nimbooda”s”.

  31. greatbong, you rock!!! bang on target yet again… I am yet to catch gaaywaria, but this one looks like that it might squeeze into your year-ending so-bad-its-good list, so I’ll give it a shot on my lappie…

  32. bonglord,
    You are a rascal and an absolute b@$tard. A very lovable and admirable one.
    I had never seen an SLB film before, and LOVED this one. At the same time, all that you say is so right.
    Will you marry me?

  33. Arnab da,

    Its a pity that we guys couldn’t get to see Sonam Kapoor’s butt-cheeks too.

    What does SLB expect me, a simple straight guy, to do? Relish Ranbir’s hairy batootie?

    I demand that, in his next movie, SLB bring back some feminine curves that Ranbir’s grandpa (Raj Kapoor) portrayed with such artistic oomph..

    Boy, do I get the thrills (and a lot else) just visualizing Zeenat Aman (of Satyam Shivan Sundaram) and Mandakini (of Ram Teri Ganga Maili).

    OK OK just kidding… In case, Mrs. Hujur is also reading this post.

    – Hujur

  34. Its such a relief to see the “right” perspective on SLB specially after reading things like this -> http://cinechamber.blogspot.com/2007/11/saawariya-review.html

    Just check it out for the sheer contrast which makes this review even funnier (if thats possible!)

    SLB should have been shot and buried after Khamoshi and Hum dil de chuke sanam…might have been remembered as one of the better directors of Bollywood then. But Pather Pachali? EKTU beshi daabi hoye gelo!!

  35. Ohh i forgot…@ GB: “ichak dana bichak dana innocence” – TOO GOOD! [:D]
    Just captures the whole hypocrisy of “We-will-use-reuse-and re-reuse-Raj Kapoor-threadbare-to-cover-our-total-lack-of-talent” which the total ‘Kapoor Clan’ swear by!

  36. I sincerely hope Kanti Shah, SLB, Himesh and others keep making same set of movies. Hope they dont get discouraged any means.
    If they want shot of encouragement and persistence just think of Shri Sri Sir Lord HE Mithunda.
    Naam hi kafi hai !

  37. “an act Salman cannot replicate simply because then he would be called Salman Butt”
    Brilliant!! – did you wait for the opportunity to say this or it came to you on the fly?

  38. SLB is not the only Indian director to murder a Dostoevsky story. That doyen of Indian “art cinema” Mani Kaul took one of my favourite Dostoevsky stories and made it into the most boring film I’ve ever seen – Nazar (Shekhar Kapur in the lead role, giving proof of why he should stick to direction for the rest of his life).

    The very same year he swaha-ed another Dostoevsky story to make “The Idiot” – which marked the first leading role in a film for King Khan (his actual cinematic debut was the Arundhati Roy scripted “In Which Annie Gives it to Those Ones” – it really is all six degrees of separation).

    And if you go back to the time of Ranbir’s dadaji – he was not be left out of this Dostoevsky dhulai. He took Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” to make “Phir Subah Hogi” – lovely songs, terrible film.

  39. Giving the devil his due, his first effort Khamoshi was a decent movie. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam a little less so. Devdas an assault on the senses. Black, an overwrought hyper-dramatic mis-fire masquerading as supreme art.

    Perfectly said, exactly what I had in mind so long but could not find the words. ThankYou for saying this, I was waiting so long for someone to say this!!!

  40. @ Thalassa I may be wrong here but wasn’t SRK’s Bollywood debut film Deewana? Deewana was not really based on the Idiot.
    Or are you talking of ‘In which Annie gives it to those ones?’it revoleves round few architecture students and SRK had lost the lead role to Rituraj. Which film of SRK are you talking about?

  41. Aditi: I find it hard to believe that I know more SRK film trivia than you, but here goes –

    Serial debut: Fauji

    Film debut (NOT leading role, just blink-and-you’ll-miss part): In which Annie Gives it Those Ones (yes, the one with Rituraj, another Delhi theatre circuit guy)

    Film debut (leading role): The Idiot (or Ahmaq), directed by Mani Kaul, mistakenly listed as a TV series on IMDB

    Film debut (Bollywood): I think it’s a toss between Deewana and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, but I think Deewana was released before RBGG.

  42. Brilliant Great Bong! Bhansali not only thinks he is a great director, he also has the temerity to say that classical literature is all about sad endings. (refer to his interview on NDTV)

    The idiot is the apt description of this man , who is making some grossly idiotic movies and also promoting the ‘Moonh me Rajnigandha’ theme.

  43. I think that safety tied up lady was her grand mom … she talks about her mom passing away eyes wide open waiting for her father or something similar :-S
    Pardon me, I saw the movie yesterday and am yet to recover…*sigh*

    But of course this doesn’t change the pathetically hopeless movie content one bit (i hope such a phrase exists!)

  44. Great review from beginning to the end. You Rock!! You deserve a the highest civilian honour/s for letting your senses getting assaulted for our sake. I heard and read so many bad reviews of this film but nothing beats this one. A comedy skit on TV showed a Dad helping his Mall rat-multyiplex visiting-over spending son get over his ‘addiction’ by buying him RGV’s Aag tickets. Sure this film will also become the medicine for insomniacs (instead of going the Fight Club way) and the bring to life the comatoes.

    Incidently, Bhansali was very vocal against all the reviewers and told them not to underestmate the artistic senstivities of the Indian audience. Yes, the same audience who made hits out of Partner and Hey Baby. Bhansali, who is up for the title of ‘showman’ after Raj Kapoor and Subhash Ghai canot believe that mere mortal like Farah Khan fared better when he did show the (boy)man (in a towel).

    I dont mind that SLB sowed what he has been reaping all throughout with his films, sad part is that Universal and SONY which was connected with their first hindi venture suffered a loss. Or we could have had our first foreign film Oscar, thanks to the sheer money and propaganda they would have put behind this one.

  45. Pingback: Great Bong’s SAAWARIYA review

  46. well..great review wid ur characteristic humour…gb there comes an intellectual challenge for u in form of
    “NO SMOKING”..a hindi movie which i perceive has earned the unique privilege of being most discussed hindi movie on internet…most critics have trashed it as an excercise in pretence…while most bloggers(particularly on passion for cnema.com..a single post generated 1000 detailed long comments) have lapped it up as a unique excercise in creativity…but the point is that reactions border on either lynching the director or worshipping him..would love to see ur take on the movie..

  47. gb, do you ever swing by new york? if yes, i and other nyc area great-ful bong-ers [why do i suddenly yearn for mary jane ]would love to arrange a meet up.

  48. I was naive enough to think films were supposed to entertain the audience. How silly, of course they are all about patting one’s back, hinting about the actor’s lineage, sly in-film adverts for other films by the same director and all sorts of other stuff that have nothing to do with entertainment.

    But you see, this ploy did not work on me. I have not seen Black and did not get most of the other references (until every review pointed them out to me, but I had seen the movie by then). Maybe that’s also because I spent the movie busy looking at my watch and nudging my hubby awake.

    So did I win, because I never really got the part about SLB’s greatness, or did I lose, because I spent $10 and 2 hours for this?

  49. Arnabda,
    This one is too good. The “curse of the rakhi brother” ….oh my God …I have seen so many of those ….in fact one such classmate of mine used to have his forehead look like a sandalwood paste factory on “Bhai Phonta” !!!

    “universal demand for Anil Kapoor’s abundant and luxuriant “fur”” …too good ….thank god Sonam Kapoor does not read reviews : http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1133385

    I was watching this movie with a friend …after it got over we both ran out ….straight into the nearest bar to drown our dizziness in bourbon …..

  50. How odd, I posted a reply to Aditi’s question and it completely disapppeared! So Aditi to answer, here’s the chronology of Shahrukh’s celluloid career –

    First TV show – Fauji

    First film appearance (NOT leading role) – In Which Annie Gives it to Those Ones (the one where Rituraj, another Delhi theatre circuit guy, beat him out for the lead role)

    First film appearance (leading role) – Mani Kaul’s “The Idiot” (or Ahmaq), mistakenly listed as a TV series on IMDB

    First Bollywood appearance – Deewana or Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman. He signed Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman first, but Deewana released earlier.

  51. You know, I have a dilemma. Do I hope for such bad films to be stop being made, or should they be continued just so that you can write such hilarious reviews? That part about Anil Kapoor bring endangered is probably the funniest thing I have ever read.

  52. I’ve been reading your blog for quite sometime. I felt I just had to say this has been the most hilarious review I’ve ever read.

  53. Thalassa, I had always thought Ahmaq was a T.V film. I never had the chance to see any of those films, unfortunately. But I have made up for it by seeing almost all his post Deewana films like Guddu, Chahat, Yeh lamhe judaai ke….

  54. Aditi:
    After seeing your devotion, I was rhuminating all these days to come up with something good that I could say about SRK…Raju ban gaya Genteelman…I liked him in that…

    and there is this movie called ‘Chalte Chalte’ (Shahrukh, I think did Ok in that)…which happens to be my wife’s favourite movie. (and hence my favouite too)

  55. @Rishi Thanks. My parents had given me a set of Shah Rukh’s movies as my graduation gift, I know I have never changed that one love. Last year for my birthday my friends gave the SRK perfume, see true devotion yields results.

  56. @ Aditi
    aah…
    sacchaa pyaar aur tasty khana kahi vyarth nahi jata
    -Rishi Khujur

    Actually, I am just jelous of SRK. Tried serenading girls the kkkkkk-kiran way…but always ended up with angry parents/brothers and a high chocolate bill.

    Then, believe it or not…my real life/wife became a re-enactment of ‘Chalte Chalte’….

    My diatribe is just must complex of SRK, showing through. 🙂

  57. Aditi, I don’t think Ahmaq was a TV film – at least it wasn’t intended to be. It is entirely possible that Mani Kaul didn’t find a distributor for it, which is what happened to his earlier film Nazar as well.

  58. @ Thaiassa: Long back I remember watching Uski Roti in FTII, I haven’t seen any other Mani Kaul movie apart from that one. Has any of his movies been brought by distributor’s. Nazar I know made it to Doordarshan.

    @ Rishi, dear it seems you have an interesting life.

  59. “For those who do not know, Anil Kapoor has been designated an “endangered species” by the World Wild Life Fund because of the universal demand for Anil Kapoor’s abundant and luxuriant “fur” which grows on his chest and back among other places].”

    GB this is the LIMIT……….

    LOL……..i have not been able to stop laughing yet……

  60. I think the ending is quite poor. Salman, Ranbir, and Sonam having threesome on a huge set with Broadway style music playing in the background with Rani Mukherjee and other prostitutes dancing around them would be the ideal intellectual and (b)all-satisfying ending.

  61. Nice review – however the undercurrents of tension with male sexuality in GB spills too much into the article. Such a Buttcracker of an “abstract world”-ly musical was supposed to induce schisms in the viewer’s psychology but in this case the wedge in the reviewer’s conscious idea of self made him inconsistent – is it “what is the problem with 2 packs at the back” or is it “Kapoor…over-reveals”? Is Anil’s “luxuriant fur” keenly observed and fondly reminded of even by its absence on his pedigree? Is the denial of “SRK’s peekaboo low riders” bordering on homophobia or is it merely the subconscious self reflected upon a sleek metrosexual ape (hardly a cartoon!) with highligted nipple and devilish canine smirk? Psycho-analysis makes me hungry – let me sign off to have lunch now. So long…

  62. >>>>>>>>>drives her to the grocery store twice a week and drops her off at JFK Airport lugging her suitcases.

    Like Bill Clinton once said, I feel your pain…

  63. i almost died laughing… i wish the movie had a bit of what ur blog had… too good… i saw the film and wanted to throw one bucket of cold water on SLB…

  64. Actually, I think the best movie to have been released recently is Jab We Met. Old story, but great treatment. And best of all, cracking writing. Seriously, Arnab. Watch it for the first half. Worth more than either of the other two films.

  65. The other day my friend suggested a good punishment for SLB, she recommended that the BCCI announce a D/N Ind – Pak Twenty20 game at the Eden and 15 minutes after scheduled start of play ask SLB to walk into the crowd and announce that the match has been cancelled and Saanwariya would be shown on the giant screen instead …..

  66. Great post GB.

    I forced my parents to go and watch at least one of the movies OSO / Saawariya. Unfortunately they went for Saawariya.

    My mom is not talking to me since then !!!

    Dibyo:
    LOL @ punishment for SLB.

  67. Well, let me stick my neck out and say, “I loved Saawaria”. It is an abstract piece of art and I liked the way SLB has used colours and sounds to denote the emotions in the movie. It is unreal but that was what it was supposed to be, an timeless and spaceless tale.

    I don’t understand why all the critics have slammed the movie. I mean you may not like director’s vision but you have to agree that the director is honest to himself and did just what he wanted to do, without worrying a wee bit anout BO prospects. Most reviews shows that the movie is worse than “Zindagi rockks” or “No Smoking”, which it definitely isn’t.
    @Ganga Devi
    Dont worry Sony won’t suffer a loss(http://www.rediff.com/movies/2007/nov/16flop.htm)

  68. @Vaibhav: On behalf of all the farmers killed in the indigo revolution, I take offence at your comment that you liked SLB’s use of colour/s ….which in this case is blue 🙂

    Yes, now I am a true Indian …taking offence to anything !!!

  69. GB Really I also feeel you should swing by NYC the Bongers here can arrange a great meet up.

    By he way Shrikant: you should start watching more desi movies to appreciate that our bollywood have some sensible film makers. I can suggest two movies at least right now to make you believe that there is some artistic calibre in our Bollywood:
    DOR & MANORMA 6 Feet Under

  70. 1.”However there is a problem—Sakeena’s heart beats for someone else, a kohl-eyed Salman Khan who has gone to far-away lands hunting deer and running over pavement dwellers and does not look to be returning to his love any time soon.” …….Everybody should read this. Superb!!!!

    2.”a hat-trick of prostitute acts (which film historians refer to as her “blue period“), a niche market which she has made her own”…Two crackers on a row!!!! 🙂

    3.”And just when you think things cannot get worse, you read a SLB interview where he compares Saawariya with Paather Panchali (In Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali”, according to the man with the beard, “realism is finally only an illusion”—”. It seems such a relief that Ray is not here to succumb to such comparisons. You were mild in saying, “The Idiot”. I would have settled for a mouthful lot more.

    4. Lucky me!!! Instead chose OSO..which I think was not much of a torture for the already -‘screw-less/loose’ gentry. That will be me. 🙂

  71. Nice review! I liked you lucid language too much.

    I just disagree on one point– Black. That movie still remains one of my favourites (and you can’t call it an ‘overwrought hyperdramatic mis-fire’!). SLB deserves praise for that. I don’t care about the rest of his films.

  72. With due respect to some commentators, can’t for the life of me imagine this being your ‘best post’ ! Funny, scathing ..typical your style, but people should read a bit more before such gross statements.

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  74. The promos gave me a sense of what to expect with towel slipping off ranbir’s bare torso; i asked a lady friend if she found it hot; she thinks ranbir looks totally gay! bhansali’s female soft-porn hasnt worked!

  75. I was warned by an elderly gentleman who’d seen the movie. I was taken up the garden path by Nikhat Kazmi’s review in the TOI which had the gall to comment “a movie for the classes…. silent poetry”. And I went to see the film. So many damming thoughts rushed through the available senses. Glad to see you’ve composed all of that in a wonderful piece of writing. I liked the last line the most. Great stuff!

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  78. Great GB,
    Your candid opinion about SLB greats like Black, Devdas & Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam really speaks the truth.
    Having a different opinion about Black is considered blasphemous in many circles.

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