The Magazine Covering All Aspects of The Indian World
Editorial Business Forum Political News Dispatches & Reports Letters Spotlight Travel Spiritual Lifestyle Health India Sport Scene
December 2007 - January 2008
Film Reviews: ‘Om Shanti Om' / Saawariya
‘Om Shanti Om'
‘Om Shanti Om’, from the stable of Eros Inernational is meant to be an entertainer. Directed by Farah Khana and starring Shah Rukh Khan with Deepa Padgune, a new talented actor. She is beautiful and looks gracious. They both perform well.
SaawariyaThe meaning of Saawariya
It means beloved - the one who is dusky and beautiful. Lord Krishna is adored by gopis as Saawariya. He is the lover who epitomises love.. Love is the be-all and end-all for him.
The film world expected a lot from Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Unfortunately, he disappointed us.
Saawariya is a simple story. In fact there is not much substance to the story. The audience is being taken on a romantic flight to a town which exists in the imagination of the director or writer. The images of the town, the buidings and the bridges reminded me of Venice. But Venice is much more beautiful and romantic. Moreover, it is Real. The town in Sanjay Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ is a figment of imagination. The characters, Gulabji (Rani Mukherji), ad the two newcomers Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) and Sakina (Sonam Kapoor), with excellent pedigree, have performed well within the limited scope of the story.
Raj, a kid with high count of testosterone comes to the imaginary town and meets Gulabji, a prostitute. The young Raj is full of love and affection for everybody he meets. Naturally, he gets love from all and a place to live. The first beautiful and mysterious girl he meets, he readily falls in love with. Her response is not hostile; but it is certainly not love at first sight. This torrid love (at least from his side) is bound to end in disaster and it does.
Why? Mainly because the director and story writer are either under the influence of ‘political correctness’ or are cowards who donot want love between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl to come to fruition even in the imaginary world created by Leela Bhansali. The story becomes glaringly allegorical when another character Imaan (Salman Khan) is introduced. Naturally, for Sakina, a Muslim girl, ‘Imaan’ (Faith) gets priority. And the hero is left in limbo.
We have had many successful Bollywood romantic films where people of two religions or two castes or two provinces come together despite these hindrances. Bollywood is notorious for creating artificial impediments between lovers. But, in the end, love triumphs. In Saavariya love is one-sided from the very beginning. That is why the love songs are without any true emotions. Dialogues are wooden and cliche-ridden.
There are no less than ten songs in Saawariya and the music director, Monty Sharma says “That in itself was a challenge for me, because I’m a ‘finish-a-job-and-get-out kind of person.” Well! Monty I do not think your songs will last 2007.
The tragedy is that the debut of the two new actors does not seem to be very auspicious.They will have to try again for their niche in Bollywood in a good realistic story. Saawariya is, alas, imagination gone haywire.