Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Aditya Roy Kapoor
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing
Do you remember that scene from Om Shanti Om where Shahrukh Khan is supposed to play a suffering deaf and blind lover with no functional limbs? And what his reaction is? „This film will be critically acclaimed, it will win awards..... but this film will flop!“ Of course we all remember that scene. But I suspect Sanjay Leela Bhansali never saw the film (that by the way beaten his own Saawariya hollow, releasing at the same day). Had he watched the movie and saw th scene, he probably wouldn´t have made Guzaarish – or perhaps would treat it bit differently. SLB is responsible for some of my most favourite movies. In fact right from Khamoshi to Saawariya I cannot rate them lower than 9/10, that´s how perfect they are to me. Guzaarish however, made me unwillingly put my bias toward the director aside and admit that what they say is true. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a megalomaniac who boasts a lot and the more he is trying to create a perfect film the more annoying he gets. Guzaarish in the end feels wanna-be-ish and rather pretentious.
|Strong Saawariya deja-vu....|
|"I lied! I want everybody´s attention!"|
The films touches a rather sensitive matter of euthanasia, but (fortunately) does not state the ultimate opinion, neither is the point of view forced to the public. It doesn´t get preachy, or not too much. In the end it is a simple story of a man, who wants to leave life, that is slowly slipping away from him anyway.
|"LOL let´s die today!"|
What saves the movie are the performances. Hrithik as a disabled magician, who is in dreams still haunted by the adoring applause of the audience, was amazing. His facial expressions were spot on and there are very few actors, who could have done better, maybe not even the same. From deeply desperate to maniac-like joy, he gives his all to the character. The show-stealer in a beautifully subtle role is, however, his devoted nurse aka THE Aishwarya Rai I love and always dreamed of getting her back after the disasters of Raavan and Action Replayy (sadly it only confirms the theory about her needing Bhansali or Mani Ratnan to bring out the best in her). Their interaction is interesting to watch, although the unending verbal sexual innuendos in between them seem cheap and Aish´s moaning scene pure awkward. It almost ruined the film for me at the very beginning. Yes, after watching it whole you understand why Ethan talks like that and why she responds, but it simply comes a a complete shocker and not everybody will be as understanding and willing to understand as I am.
|She was amazing... but even if she was crap you´d forgive her because... look at her face!|
All the supporting cast was very good too, although Aditya Roy Kapoor seems destined to be the new age comic side-kick. A new generation Johnny Lever in a way. What irritated me BIG TIME was the constant slipping into English by all the characters, beyond the limit of tolerable. Too much of it. Music is beautiful, but it does not live up to standarts of Devdas, HDDCS or Saawariya soundtrack´s quality (and again – English songs in Hindi films are just not done).
In the end I was quite confused. By Ethan, who preaches about living life to the fullest, but wanting to die. By Sophia, who doesn´t want to let him go, but is the one to kill him with his consent. By depressingly beautiful visuals, that actually creeped me out instead of bringing the sense of enjoyment. Something was simply missing. Guzaarish is not a bad film by any means, however coming from Sanjay Leela Bhansali it is a huge disappointment and his weakest work as yet.