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Saawariya movie review

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Cast Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee    more...
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Romance / Drama / Musical

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The Saawariya Movie Review

Falls short of expectations
By N K Deoshi
Rating: 2.5/5

From a bird's eye view, the dream world of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya looks like a vague cubist painting, with houses in hues of blue and green. And it is a world where the sun doesn't shine. Not at least in the course of the story.

Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story 'White Nights', 'Saawariya' is like a dark and surreal fable that enchants you with its visual beauty, but doesn't touch you where it matters the most - heart. And the reason for this is that Sanjay Leela Bhansali gives more importance to creating the right ambience rather than capturing the essence of the story.

To put it briefly, the film's beautiful form obliterates the inherent love and pathos in the story. And 'Saawariya' ends up as a unique study in the art of cinematography, but an average film that falls short of providing what it promised.

The anonymous town of 'Saawariya' is like a dream world where houses and buildings stand beside wide canals with gondolas rowing by. Ranbir Raj ( Ranbir Kapoor ) , an amateur singer, cycles in straight into a red light area and sings a song that brings some cheer to the prostitutes. That is his character. A smiling handsome lad with hair falling over his forehead, he brings smiles on the faces of those he meets. Among them is prostitute Gulab ( Rani Mukherjee ) who begins to like, even love, him in the course of the story.

But Ranbir is struck by love for a gravely dressed mysterious girl whom he meets atop a bridge. He tries to cheer up the sombre girl, but only manages to make a faint acquaintance of her. She is Sakina ( Sonam Kapoor ).

In his next meeting with Sakina, our besotted hero comes to know that she is waiting for someone, a man (Salman Khan) she loves, a man who promised to return on the night of Eid.

The story of 'Saawariya' is about the test of love, about the pain of unrequited feelings and about the women in waiting. Be it Ranbir's landlady (Zohra Sehgal), be it Sakina's blind mother or be it Sakina herself, everyone is waiting for someone.

The film could have been a cinematic masterpiece if Bhansali had focused more on developing the characters in depth rather than resorting heavily to their dramatic presentation. The silhouette of a veiled girl waiting on a bridge is appealing to the eye, but it doesn't make your heart flinch.

Music, by Monty, could have been another strong point of the film. But there, too, is overkill. Too many songs and heavy background score dominate the story.

Among the newcomers, it is Ranbir who handles his role with confidence. Sonam, though undoubtedly gorgeous, seems ill at ease with her part. In one close-up shot just after her introduction, her face - supposed to express sadness - is completely bereft of emotion. In the second half, however, she manages to sink her teeth better into her character.

Ranbir performs much better for a debutant. He is the quintessential charming boy who keeps smiling and tripping and unexpectedly showing a gift of gab.

Salman Khan plays his usual self while Rani is partly impressive. It is Zohra Sehgal, the 'now-stern-now-mellow' landlady who wins your heart over. Alas, she is kept only on the margins.

Despite the flaws of 'Saawariya', Sanjay Leela Bhansali ought to be praised for his technical finesse and his sense of visual representation. The look of the movie will be a subject of discussions and debate for students of cinematography and art direction. And it is for this overwhelming visual appeal that I chose to give the film more than two stars. Otherwise, 'Saawariya' is a film with emotional moments few and far between.

User Reviews for Saawariya

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08 Sep 2013
i like that movie specially its songs
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Saawariya Reviews 
Movie Review : Falls short of expectations (2.5/5)
From a bird's eye view, the dream world of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya looks like a vague cubist painting, with houses in hues of blue and green. And it is a world where the sun doesn't shine. Not at least in the course of the story.Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story...
Most Favourable User Review : reality (5/5)
i like that movie specially its songs... more
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