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Mausam - Movie Review

'Mausam' is a tiresome watch
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Sep 23, 2011 11:27:24 GMT
 

The ApunKaChoice movie review of Mausam
Some love stories may be timeless, but that doesn’t mean that the teller of such tales should have scant regard for the time of the audience. Pankaj Kapur, who, as an actor, has all my respect, spins a never-ending, forever meandering yarn called Mausam that unspools over a period of 10 years, through many seasons, half a dozen cities and gaons, and four historical events before mercifully culminating after three good hours of our patience test. One could be forgiven for thinking that a whole darned mausam passed by outside as one sat cooped up in the theatre through this bum-achingly long saga where ages pass before the muted lovers utter their first expression of affection.

Clearly, Mausam is a film belonging to the old world romance, where the lovers spend a good part of their dalliance watching each other from a distance, and when they do meet they communicate through sweet musings doodled on chits of paper. One can’t say how much this film will appeal to the Facebook generation where relationship statuses change overnight and those ‘three special words’ and much more is said and shared without even being fully sure that the person on the other end is indeed the one in the profile pic.

So you see a young Punjabi munda Harrinder aka Harry (Shahid Kapoor) cycling through the puddles of his village Mallukot and chewing on sugarcane with his buddies in sarson ke khet before he is hit by the thunderbolt called love when he sees a preternaturally tall but decidedly cute Aayat (Sonam Kapoor), a Muslim girl from Kashmir. Obviously Harry woos and serenades the Kashmiri kudi but their love story is nipped in the bud, thanks to the first historical event, the demolition of the Babri Mosque. Mausam one over!

Likewise, Mausam two, three and four arrive and pass by as Harry, now an Indian Air Force pilot, and Aayat, still gorgeous as any Kashmiri girl, meet and separate and meet and separate again as this love story flits from Scotland, Switzerland, America and Mallukot right down to the riot-hit Gujarat where the family picture is finally made complete with Harry, Aayat, an orphaned child, and…guess who?…a horse!

Pankaj Kapur describes Mausam as “a love story beyond romance” and he makes it so by setting this tale of love between a Punjabi boy and Muslim girl against the backdrop of four events of communal and religious significance: namely, the unfortunate demolition of the mosque, the Kargil war, the 9/11 attacks, and the Gujarat riots. The idea clearly is to tell a love story dovetailed with a message of social and communal harmony.

The intention deserves respect, but how one wishes Kapur had practiced a bit of restraint rather than fire on all cylinders to make the lovers writhe endlessly with pangs of separation. Even the visual quality in some scenes (like the riots or when Shahid chances upon Sonam in Switzerland) is compromised. And the air combat involving Shahid has such tacky special effects that the IAF almost stands vindicated for its objection.

Performances are strictly average. Shahid tries to make the best of the bad job by his dad but remains the typical cute loverboy transmuting into a somber gentleman while Sonam is the dainty damsel in distress from start to end, save for a few flashes of her moony smile. The songs composed by Pritam drip with melody a tad sugary for our eardrums.

To be fair, Mausam has a few moments that stick with you. The unspoken dialogue between Shahid and Sonam in a Scotland café, the rainy evening they spend huddled inside a pipe, or a brief moment between Shahid and Aditi Sharma on a train, are such glimpses of brilliance. But they are few and far between. And oh! the film is almost void of humour. The only instance when I had a hearty laugh was when a partially paralyzed Shahid saunters down an avenue in Scotland and the song that plays in the background has the lyric: “Poore se zara sa kum hai (slightly less than the whole)”.

All in all, Mausam is a tiresome watch.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5
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