wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
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.Read more
- meeta, a part of the audience
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
Thumbs up, by Martin D'souza, Glamsham.com : ...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
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, 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 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, 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
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
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?