Monday, November 12, 2007

Saawariya: A musical trip

-By Swetha Amit
Love tends to either bring out the best or the worst in an individual. The latter emotion tends to explore the dark and mystical side to this intense feeling.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘beloved’ debut launch ‘Saawariya’ depicts the two sides of the same coin with poised freshness spinning through a mixed web of reality and fantasy.

The film starts by showcasing the spectacular set of a city which portrays a remarkable resemblance to that shown in a fairy tale. Amidst all this is located a bar infested by over decked women waiting to entertain customers. One of them is Gulabji (Rani Mukerjee) who loses her heart to an aspiring singer Ranbir Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) and engages in a narrative about the latter.

Ranbir brings a ray of light into everyone’s murky lives by entertaining them with his boyish charm and going on a musical trip at every pretext. His warm eyes manage to melt even the heart of the grouchy Lily pop (Zohra Sehgal) who eventually accepts him as a substitute for her lost son.

A chance encounter with a beautiful yet mysterious lady one night on a bridge changes the life of Ranbir who falls head over heels in love. Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) initially mystifies him with her mixed flurry of tears and smiles; gradually leading to a series of innocent and gentle gestures, exchange of words and strengthening of this friendship. However Sakina’s shocking confessions of her endless wait for the ambiguous return of her beloved Iman (Salman Khan) and her flashback nevertheless baffles Ranbir who is naturally dismayed. Trying to woo her constantly, by striking chord almost results in success only to see his soulful singing go in vain.

Saawariya tends to remind one of Moulin Rouge with its musical trip and the splendors of its sets. This magical setting ironically vanishes into thin air like a puff of the magic wand with its realistic ending.

Ranbir Kapoor makes his mark as a promising new comer with his unique style. Some of his mannerisms and antics tend to make one reminisce about Raj Kapoor’s Awara. Sonam Kapoor looks refreshing with her pretty looks and smile yet is provided with a limited scope for acting due to the weak script. Rani Mukerjee is decent in her guest appearance proving to be much better than her similar role in her last release-Laaga Chunari mein Daag. Salman Khan is wasted in his cameo role. Music by Monty is melodious and soft. It certainly does not fail to strike the chord with its listeners who are transported into a different world altogether.

Some of the scenes display the dark side of love such as the one where Ranbir burns the letter given to him by Sakina on the bind of trust to be delivered to Iman. However the former in his streaks of burning jealously shatters the written communication to go up in flames only to be pricked by his conscience later. Also the scene where Ranbir goes up to Gulabji offering to be her customer to someone whom he acclaims as a friend much to the latter’s indignation and enragement bring out the grey shades of the passionate feeling.

The film’s arty stance tends to draw spells of boredom at times. It’s hyped up publicity lets down the expectations of the audience proving to be quite a disappointment for many. While Saawariya suffers from the lack of a powerful back up story, its enchanting surroundings at times makes up for it taking the viewers on an enigmatic journey and ensuring its ending, on a musical note.
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