Saawariya poster


wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

An everyday love story is presented as a fairy tale. The lackluster dialogues, the amateurish acting, the unwarranted slow pace all add up to a tedious watch. The only saving grace is the music.

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Running time: 130 minutes
Genres: Fantasy, Musical, Romance
More Movie Info

This love story has nothing unique about it. The two protagonists are equally adorable characters, but want different things. Therefore, the audience is forced to take sides between two good people. This is indeed a very interesting and novel concept for us as an audience. Also, the good thing about non-unique subjects is that it is easier for a larger audience to identify with the characters. But, unfortunately, whether it is the dialogues, or the theatrical acting, or the slow pace, or the direction, or a combination of all, I didn't get involved enough to care too much for either of the characters.

Interestingly, I was more curious about Gulaabji's (Rani Mukherjee's) character. It could be because Rani played it really well and was the only one who got good lines.

The other dialogues were outright tedious. Especially the monologues given to Ranbir Kapoor. Both the lines and he as an actor were trying too hard to charm. He seemed to be treading the thin line between being cute and coming across as mentally retarded. And even though he is really good at making use of his puppy eyes, Ranbir shouldn't have been asked to giggle or wriggle. He certainly shouldn't have been asked to dance behind a semi-transparent towel, with light thrown from the "appropriate" direction. I know-I know, elsewhere, I have appreciated female audience being taken care of appropriately, but a quarter-monty just for the sake of it? No, thank you!

Sonam too had dull lines and her expressions looked like they were on a programmed loop - sad-smile-giggle-happy-glycerinated eyes-repeat. But the chemistry between her and Salman Khan was really good. She did look really dainty and with a touch-me-not quality. But, I would really have liked to see her with fewer layers of make-up. My guess is that she would look prettier.

The one thing that I enjoyed a lot was the songs. Sameer's lyrics were only a shade better than his own average. But, the music was nice and soothing (except for the title track). There was something about the way the songs were recorded that made you take note of the singers. Kunal Ganjawala's voice gives the songs the required energy. The group choreography was fresh. But when Ranbir was alone on the screen things became really hilarious. He has this unique Dev Anand-meets-Raj Kapoor-meets-Shammi Kapoor-meets-Prabhu Deva potpourri dancing style which obviously ends up being weird. However, the use of colors and contrast, and the lighting were very different from the rest of the movie. All this put together made the songs an enchanting watch.

Speaking of enchantment, we know that the only way Sanjay Leela Bhansali can make movies is when it has grand sets. It's a fetish; it's like choosing the best-looking font before starting work on a document. He knows they look artificial, so this once, he picked a subject that would give him the excuse to use grandeur. He made a fairy tale. Even if you keep this disclaimer in mind, there is nothing spectacular about the sets. The entire movie is shot just within one studio setting. To maintain the tone, the few long shots of this wonderland are animated (with a toy train running through it). But the beauty is captivating for about two seconds.

A barely interesting subject combined with an unnecessarily slow pace makes the movie just-about watchable. The main characters are sweet, but do not have the muscle to pull it through.

- meeta, a part of the audience

34 reviewers(?) - 8 yays 4 so-so 22 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Akshay Shah, Akshay Shah : ...the poor characterization of Salman Khan stands out like a sore thumb.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bollywood Mantra : ...The film's consciously created staginess is its biggest virtue.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Ranbir Kapoor was excellent, I am sure this guy is gonna make big one day for sure.... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'souza, : ...Only a master craftsman could have dreamt of a film like this and worked towards putting it together exactly as he saw it in his mind’s eye... full review

Thumbs up, by Suparna Sengupta, Passion for Cinema : ...Also wonderful is Rani Mukherjee.... full review

Thumbs up, by Samir Dave, Planet Bollywood : ...This is one of those films that will take you to the magical world that exists within director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s fevered mind.... full review

Thumbs up, : ...Saawariya will evoke respectful references in hushed tones.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...This is a film meant purely for viewers who find cinema a synonym for aesthete... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...You cannot mistake their works for anyone else’s, so singular is their pursuit of the visions that consume them... full review

So-So, by Vaibhav Wankhede, M TV : ...The film is beautifully shot bringing out all vision of a fairytale land... full review

So-So, by Sneha Hazarika, : ...True to his genes, he displays a plethora of emotions effortlessly in his debut film.... full review

So-So, Urge to Fly : ...Through his characteristic use of melodrama he creates complex rhythmic patterns that go out of sync with the taal at times, only to emerge harmoniously in the final moments.... full review

Thumbs down, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...a dark and surreal fable that enchants you with its visual beauty, but doesn’t touch you where it matters the most – heart.... full review

Thumbs down, by Aly Kassam, Bolly Spice : ...Bhansali seems to have taken his directional ability for granted and forgotten that a film requires a strong story while concentrating more on the sets, cinematography and lighting... full review

Thumbs down, : ...The film lacks soul and also screenplay... full review

Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, Business of Cinema : ...meant to be expressed as lyrical poetry is, sadly lifeless and like its colour theme, monotonous... full review

Thumbs down, by Filmiholic, Filmiholic : ...I really didn’t care one way or the other.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Sanjay Leela Bhansali wastes so much electricity, man power and fiscal resources that even R K saab could have made at least five masterpieces with the same budget.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...the problem with varnishing a simple love story with all those embellishments is that the very simplicity of the plot, the fragility of the characters' emotions is lost amidst all that showing-off... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...As a storyteller, SLB is letdown by his own writing... full review

Thumbs down, Indicine : ...The visuals get tedious to watch as it is just dark from the beginning to the end and you crave for some bright light... full review

Thumbs down, by Indiequill, Indiequill : ...dude, Ranbir, I don’t care what Bhansali told you, leave that weird head shaking thing out of your repertoire.... full review

Thumbs down, Intermission, The Bookeazy Blog : ...I expected to see people crying by the end, but most of them had left, bored.... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...this long drawn-out romance fails to ignite chemistry between the lead pair... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashok Nayak, Now : ...he fails to convey the story captivatingly... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepak Venkateshan, Passion for Cinema : ...We never really got to understand either Ranbir or Sonam’s characters as they were not really etched... full review

Thumbs down, by Rupak Ghosh, Passion for Cinema : ...This is a film that any aspiring cinematographer should buy a copy of and watch again and again... full review

Thumbs down, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The film represents a musical drama than a motion picture.... full review

Thumbs down, by Greatbong, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind : ...What he does not give us is one moment of respite, one flash of redemption, one thunderclap of even mediocrity.... full review

Thumbs down, by Aseem Chandra, Rediff : ...A film that purports to be a love story is in deep trouble if its lead characters do not connect and are not believable... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...The problem lies with their puppeteer... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ... while dollars are positively dripping from the scenery, nothing is spectacular.... full review

Thumbs down, Upper Stall : ...It is an odd world that Bhansali creates and not just the way its looks. It is a world that seems practically devoid of men. A world full of lonely women... full review

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Plot Summary

Gulaabji (Rani Mukherjee) is narrating Ranbir Raj's (Ranbir Kapoor's) love story. Ranbir is new to Gulaabji's town and meets Sakina (Sonam Kapoor). He falls in love with her instantaneously. Will she reciprocate?

What Worked

  • Rani's pronunciation of "Jesus". Didn't expect this movie to take a dig at Rakhee Sawant's diction
  • Top angle shots of stairways were beautiful.
  • The way the green lights shone when Ranbir and Sakina are leaving the bar.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Rani's diction and English other than "Jesus". All sounded very forced.
  • Ranbir and Sakina holding two ends of the umbrella while walking looked silly.
  • Why was Sakina sending a letter to her lover, when he was expected to be with her the next day?
  • What ever happened to badi ammi?

Saawariya - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Music Director:
Art Direction:
Running time:
130 minutes

Comments (4)

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[...] at Without Giving The Movie Away is disappointed by Saawariya and considers the music its only saving grace. Speaking of enchantment, we know that the only way [...]

Mr. Bansali must take some time out and think agin what does he want to do. I dont understand what does of he think of Indian public.


i like the film and its wonderful

the movie was fablous & "rapchik".Ranbir *Sonam did their job very good.............................................

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