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Guzaarish movie review

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The Guzaarish Movie Review

Magical Hrithik steals the show
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Rating: 4/5

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?

Viewers may use a little psyching up before sauntering into a screening of Guzaarish. Bhansali’s fascination for dark colour tones isn’t unknown since his award-sweeping Black and the blue-shaded Saawariya which was an absolute clunker. Guzaarish, with excellent cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee, carries forward Bhansali’s penchant with the nocturnal hues. The story unspools at a sluggish pace and often streams into tear-jerking episodes and flashbacks as the protagonist’s life as a magician extraordinaire is etched out.

For the most part, Bhansali retains a firm control over the narrative, but seems to go overboard in a few sequences, like the courtroom arguments and the group hug in the climax which turns out to be unintentionally comic. These warts are all but compensated for by the awesomely shot magic sequences.

More than the director, it’s Hrithik Roshan who steals the show with his humdinger of a performance. Solely through his facial expressions, eyes, and voice modulations, Hrithik brings to life the character of a self-mocking, life-embracing, death-seeking character who’s exuberant one moment and depressed the next. It would be pity if Hrithik doesn’t sweep the best actor trophies in the award season early next year. Aishwarya Rai, looking stunning in low-neck costumes that are no doubt incongruous with her character of a nurse, is in form once again. Shernaz Patel goes overboard in a few scenes and so does Suhel Seth. Aditya Roy Kapoor, the guy with a frizzy mop on his head, performs well. Monikangana is there for only two scenes.

Summing it up, Guzaarish, despite its warts, could be the best film of 2010. More than its awesome visuals, it’s the message of the film that wins you over. In pursuing his own death, the film’s hero teaches us a few things about life itself: “live fully, forgive quickly and kiss slowly”. It is Bhansali’s toast to life. Grab it. Lip it. Neck it. Be drunk with it.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

User Reviews for Guzaarish

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22 Dec 2010
aishwayra rai
हे गुयस इ
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26 Nov 2010
50 - 50
a dark kind of film...hrithik is good...but very dull storyline........
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23 Oct 2010
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