Am I the only one out there that’s a bit underwhelmed by the Saawariya phenomenon?
I really want to like this movie – award winning director makes a Dostoevsky adaptation enacted by a couple of well behaved star babies supported by two Bollywood megastars. Sounds good. Here’s my money… or maybe not?
The problem is, everything that I’ve found interesting about this movie so far is completely divorced from the actual promos of it. Sonam Kapoor looks lovely and I knew that without the promos. The only other information I’ve been able to glean from the clips so far is that I can expect to see her run a lot (I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked!) and her wardrobe is predominantly made of dark colors.
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has an eye for detail and builds gorgeous sets – however, he’s come a long way from his cash-deprived Khamoshi days and has been getting progressively OCD about his sets to the point where they’re no longer settings for his characters but rather, the most compelling character in his movies. Lovers of Black might disagree but I can’t help but remember that the human bits of the movie that I loved the most were mostly close ups of Amitabh Bachchan where I wasn’t distracted by the decor.
I suppose you can posit that this might be a strategy to draw the viewer back to watch the movie again, this time for the actual performance now that the “gawk at the gorgeousness” factor is done with, but that’s really not how I work – if the set is what I remember the most about a movie, then I can pretty much wait for the DVD to see the acting. Others might feel differently but that’s their choice and their ten bucks.
So Saawariya – a rather nice soundtrack that’s grown on me with one song, Saawariya Daras Bina Nahin Chain by Richa Sharma, that I’ve fallen in love with. [Digression: Now hear this, Bollywood! Give Richa Sharma more songs to sing! What the hell is wrong with you people?] Salman Khan showing up as the Id ka chand (heh) and Rani Mukherjee waiting somewhere offstage to make her entrance.
And Ranbir Kapoor. Ai-yai-yai!
Where to begin? I can handle the RK references. The moment Abhishek Bachchan removed the “flop actor” tag from his resume, I saw the writing on the wall and thus know that from now on till the day he retires, young Ranbir will have to talk about his entire khandaan and their many successes. O Celebubaby, Thou Shalt Mention Thy Genetic Foot in Stardom’s Door.
Actually, it’s sort of worse for Ranbir because other starbabies have at most one or two people to pay dutiful homage to – he has a whole army of them crowding at his back. Cousins Karishma and Kareena Kapoor have had to make obligatory references to their grandfather from time to time but their parents were hardly the big stars Rishi and Neetu Kapoor were in their day, so nobody really cared to know what influence they might have had on them as artists. In any case the Kapoor sisters have always presented themselves as entities separate from the larger Kapoor clan thanks to Babita and Randhir Kapoor’s marital separation.
No such luck for Ranbir. Not only are his parents still together but they still make a cutie-pie couple whenever they venture out. Also he has his famous mother’s face and his debut movie has at least two RK references (he dresses like The Tramp and there’s a little Nargis-Raj Kapoor under the umbrella moment in front of a giant RK sign emitting sparks in one of the promos. I wonder if Anil Kapoor asked for a Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja reference somewhere and got Mr. India‘d for it?]. He even gets to release his aunt’s biography of his grandfather right before the release of his film. Anvils are dropping everywhere.
And one of them apparently dropped right on top of his head while he was shooting the movie and caused severe blunt force trauma. That’s the best explanation I can come up with for the way his characters acts – the head shaking, the dazed nincompoop looks, the extremely fake manic laughter… If Bhansali weren’t such an egomaniac and completely committed to his movies, I’d ask if he had some sort of grudge against the Kapoors that he was taking out on poor Ranbir.
Well, that was till I found out Bhansali’s secret weapon – Ranbir’s scrumptious bum. Who cares what goggle-eyed head shaking goes on above the neck when such interesting things are going on below deck?
Oh, others have taken their shirts off for various movies but how many actors can you remember getting seriously flirty with a towel? John Abraham has given it his best shot now and again and well done to you, sir, but this is in a league of its own. Poor ol’ Shahrukh Khan, toiling away at the gym for a six pack so he looks like all the other young studs out there… and his stunt is already obsolete coz of a white towel.
Such are the cruel ways of life and the movie making business.