Just a beautiful painting

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has earned a name for himself for making different and impressive movies. And accolades are kept ready by the reviewers even before the release of his new movie. Hence I was expecting the same for Guzaarish (2010) and it happened that way only. Praises were showered upon it from all the sides like anything. And when it flopped, some gentlemen started comparing with commercially unsuccessful classics like Kaagaz Ke Phool and Mera Naam Joker. Well, I had gone to watch it with a moderate expectation only because I have always felt that overhyped movies seldom come true to the pre-release expectations. And I had done the rightest thing.

Guzaarish (request) is the story of a paralyzed patient (Hrithik Roshan) seeking the permission to go for euthanasia. He loses the case in the court. Well, SLB has not bothered to clarify in the end whether actually he died or not and if yes, how could he do it. The screenplay of this movie deals with his life, his relationships with certain people and the related dynamics.Well-known painter Maqbool Fida Hussain (M.F. Hussain) has made two Bollywood movies – 1. Gajgamini (starring Madhuri Dixit) and 2. Meenakshi (starring Tabbu). These are the movies sans any proper and well-developed stories but very beautifully picturized. Painter Hussain has used his painting art fully in bringing his ideas down on the celluloid. That’s why these two movies are a treat for the eyes despite the boredom they render to the audience. SLB has done just that in Guzaarish.Each and every frame of Guzaarish is just like a beautiful painting. The set, the milieu, the colour-combination, the camera-angles used; just everything is a part of cinematographic and aesthetic excellence prevailing in the movie right from the start to the finish. That’s the reason, I watched the complete movie patiently despite the fact that it was proving to be a big boring experience.As far as the theme of the movie is concerned, years back, a low-budget movie – Shaayad (1979) had dealt with this topic with utmost sensitivity. However SLB has failed miserably in doing justice to the theme chosen by him. The treatment meted out is shallow and superficial.

The characters of Guzaarish seem to have alighted on this Earth from some other planet. I did not find either the main protagonist or the others connected to him as real flesh and blood human-beings. The relationships, the interactions, the emotions, the dialogues; everything sounds hollow and unreal. I am sorry to say but I feel that SLB has presented a fantasy in the name of reality. The movie has several superfluous things including the very idea of euthanasia because the hero is neither lonely, nor so uncomfortable in his life that he gets willing to die (one fine morning after spending 14 long years in that state and getting habituated to it). He has many people near him who love him very much, he has a creatively satisfying life and he is not financially troubled also (though in the court-room drama, this fact has been indicated quite ridiculously without any solid ground).I have a question for Mr. Bhansali. Who wants to die ? The answer is – one who is lonely (or feels he / she is lonely) or one who is hard-pressed by the poverty or debt or sorrows of life that he / she is not able to sustain. There is no such thing shown with the protagonist in the movie. He has shoulders of loving people to put his head on and cry whenever he has to vent his accumulated grief out. He has no valid ground to put an end to his life except his physical disability which he has adjusted with well over the years. He gets married in the end and enjoy his last (?) evening to his heart’s content by following ‘eat, drink and be merry’ philosophy with all his near and dear ones (except his mother who passes away according to the convenience of the director). His craving for euthanasia looks like a child’s craving for his favourite toy, nothing more than that. And then the moviemaker declares loudly the message of loving life and never-say-die also through him. Contradictory ! And ridiculous too.

The movie is not able to move even the highly emotional people like me. The director himself appears to be confused. He seems to be content by delivering a product falling in the category of modern art which (intellectual) people admire without understanding it.

Despite the Goa-ni back drop, the director has not shown the audience the beauty of Goa as the movie has been made more or less in the form of an in-house drama. However the aesthetic sense of the moviemaker is visible through the sets and the background. Bhansali has also portrayed the beauty of aging Aishwarya Rai quite ably (and her breasts too, through the revealing dresses).

Around 80% dialogues of the movie are in English. Then why has the movie been made in the name of a Hindi movie ? It’s a cheating with the Hindi movie audience. SLB could have kept 100% dialogues in English and made it purely an English movie.

The actors have given praiseworthy performances despite their unreal and improperly developed roles. Many sequences shown in the movie are impactless and seem to have been created only to suit the director’s thinking. Quite naturally, the performances are in accordance with them only.

There has been a big noise about the music of this movie also as if SLB has created some great music. I appreciate the songs which are much better than the crap being served through Bollywood movies now-a-days but they are not so great as to be remembered after one year. Like the movie, the music is also overhyped.

Technically and production value wise the movie is good. However the editing is not that good because it seems to be dragging at certain places.

With my rating of 2.5 stars, I recommend it mainly for its visuals. It’s just like a beautiful painting consisting of figures and colours but in two-dimensional form, not three-dimensional. You can try to understand the emotions and the situations portrayed therein but you can’t relate to them or feel them in the real sense.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
This entry was posted in Movie Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Just a beautiful painting

  1. Trayee says:

    After watching the movie i had a feeling that something was missing there after reading the line”SLB has presented a fancy in name of reality”from your review i realized what was missing.

  2. Very well reviewed. I agree with your points.

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