From Sanjay Leela Bhansali, one of India's most acclaimed
cinema directors comes a movie about a magical love story
spanning all of four nights. Destiny plans a magical tale
for Raj over the next four nights of his life that shall change
his entire being. SAAWARIYA is the story of Raj's chance encounter
with Sakina and an impromptu romance that's initiated in a
remote town in the serene beauty of picturesque Simla, a quaint
hill station in Northern India that is known for its lakes,
mist, heavenly snowfall, rains and tall swaying pine trees.
The bright, fun-filled winding streets of the mall comes alive
with singing clubs, rustic folklore, dancing, lov ballads,
flourishing colonies of artists and weavers and chants from
the monastery-all woven in perfect harmony into a magical
dream. It is here that the dreamer finds the 'lost' self in
himself. Through Raj and Sakina's journey together, we are
reminded of the power of unconditional love through a thousand
layers of tumultuous emotions.
foreign movies are becoming more accessible and acceptable
by the mass consumption in Singapore, Bollywood, Hindi films
are in a way rearing it’s prominence and getting noticed
by both the American and Singaporean. So much so that Saawariya
marks the first time an Indian film that was co produced and
distributed by a Hollywood production house.
it’s hard to get beyond the stereotyping of an Indian
movie and onto the groove of masalas goodies (like a couple
of my fellow converted MX mates had). The mass dancing musical
(or dancing behind / around the infamous coconut tree), the
long winded-ness (ie long run time) and the ultra melodrama
had always been a deterring factor from ever becoming interested
with Bollywood films. Sadly Saawariya served as another form
of deterrence to another Bollywood flicks.
went wrong with Saawariya (for me)?
Nope, Ranbir Kapoor didn’t bare his butt in this
edition … keep searching elsewhere
number one reason why Saawariya failed to engage me was the
characterization of the protagonist, Raj (Ranbir Kapoor).
Raj’s excessive happiness, overly confident and arrogance
mixed with unbelievable naïve behaviors that veer close
to childish demeanor was hard to swallow. The way he attempts
to “charm” was either though goofiness or forcing
himself on the damsel like an unlikeable scoundrel would.
The things he did in the name of love was so childish (such
as quitting his job in order to meet the girl he is in love
with and the next moment, would be so upset with the girl
he is in love with over a small misunderstanding) that any
impact this “magical love story” is trying to
romance between Raj and Sakina very much was a non existence
one. There’s something troubling Sakina and that subplot
was in my opinion was far more engaging that the main romance
that Saawariya had been trying to cook through out the movie
screen time. Particularity it had to do with the presence
of a supposedly mystery extended guest appearance whom achieved
more in that short screen time than what Ranbir Kapoor couldn’t
do in the entire screen time and that’s selling the
ideology of charm.
it’s a very short story that’s been extended unnecessary
long through the musical numbers that obligatory in a traditional
Bollywood film. All the waiting comes to an anti climatic
finale. It’s not that I don’t get the higher sacrifice
for love theme that movie is trying to tell but it was more
of the manner the whole thing it was revealed. The way that
it was played out felt that the masquerade that we are made
to sit thru wasn’t worth the time or effort. It was
too short and uneventful that nothing much changes for one
character and the changes that actually happened was so minor
that it almost went unnoticed.
However, it’s not all that dreadful
during the two hours odd runtime in Saawariya. The set up
of the unnamed “almost timeless” city was beautifully
captured with fine cinematography. Even the Bollywood music
was rather infectious that the tune could embed itself in
your brain. But ultimately, poor characterization, non-engaging
performance and over extension of a short story made it tough
to like this Indian movie. It even makes one wary of checking
out another Indian movie anytime soon.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
the Music (19.59 mins)
Yup, you read it right; it’s isn’t Making the
Movie segment but Making the Music segment. Clearly the emphasis
of most Indian movies is very much the musical aspect of the
movie and this section goes into detail on the process of
creating the music for Saawariya.
goes into details on the various people that are involved
with the musical creation, right from the composer to the
singers who sang for the on screen actors. There are even
comments from other established personals in the Indian entertainment
business that provided the expected praises for the musical
dimension of this film. The bits that didn’t feel at
home in the section was the inclusion of certain self congratulate
moments from the Premiere Night that had nothing to do with
the musical aspects of this film.
Premiere Night (21.59mins)
The other extra bit that this Dvd included would be the video
segment of the gala premiere of Saawariya that was attended
by various who’ who in the Indian entertainment. As
expected, beside that it’s filled with self congratulation
moments that go on in raving about how good this film is,
there are also some performances by the singers who lent their
voice for the movie.
again, there are some repeats moments from the Making the
Trailers to Blu Ray Disc promotion, other home video titles
and even two TV commercials for a Bank! Rather amusing inclusion
and somewhat a first in Dvd trailer section. At least you
will be aware which Bank to go to if you need to transfer
money to India urgently.
movie is presented in sharp video representation which brought
out the grandeur of the magical set and fancy costumes.
Hindi flick that is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.40:1
anamorphic widescreen comes with Chinese, English, French,
Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai subtitles.
DVD RATING :
by Richard Lim Jr