The ApunKaChoice movie review of Guzaarish. Savagely aesthetic, at times magical, at times pretentiously arty, and generously littered with melodrama that tugs at your heart one moment and cloys your senses the next, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest creation Guzaarish is a movie not to be missed for its visual splendour and a jaw dropping performance by Hrithik Roshan.
The aesthete and auteur in Bhansali levitates to a new high in this genre-defying piece of cinema that is clearly inspired by more than one foreign film, not excluding the Oscar-winning Spanish film The Sea Inside and Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. But credit to Bhansali, who, for all the inspiration, still makes Guzaarish his own with his peculiar brand of theatricality (for which he’s often bum-rapped), uncompromising approach and a lot of heart and soul, not to forget the poignant tunes which he himself has composed.
The film tells the story of Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik), a bed-ridden, wheelchair-bound quadriplegic who used to be a magician once but has spent the last 14 years of his life as a breathing vegetable confined within the musty walls of a run-down villa somewhere in the rain-soaked Goa. Sophia, (Aishwarya Rai) his nurse for 12 years, bathes him, feeds him, brushes his teeth, scratches his nose when he’s itchy, and also bears his tantrums. Ethan’s only connect with the outside world is his radio show ‘Hello Zindagi’ which he jockeys.
Ironically, the man who tells others to embrace life seeks to end his own. He fights a legal case to be allowed euthanasia, or mercy killing, to end his long suffering. Ironically again, the people who stand beside him willy-nilly in this struggle are the ones who love him the most - his lawyer friend Devyani (Shernaz Patel), his doctor (Suhel Seth), his apprentice (Aditya Roy Kapoor), his mother (Nafisa Ali), his former lover and assistant (Monikangana Dutta) and, last but not the least, Sophia, whom Ethan regards as “more than a friend, lover and even wife”.
But the question is - will the court go against the constitution and grant Ethan his wish, his guzaarish?