Mausam (2011)-Hindi Movie Review

Sept 26, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Mausam is a 2011 Bollywood Hindi film directed by Pankaj Kapoor with Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor in lead roles. Read the Hindi movie review at Calcutta Tube.

There are things that you do and then there are things that you overdo. Debutante director Pankaj Kapoor may have once mesmerised us with his on screen performances but behind the camera he only shows glimpses while failing to captivate in entirety.

The background

The boy- Harrinder Singh, aka Harry (Shahid Kapoor), the girl – Aayat (Sonam Kapoor) and the stage – Mallakot, a sleepy village in Punjab. The boy meets the girl and they fall in love, simple enough? Well not quite.

Harry and Aayat have troubled pasts as in the Operation Bluestar for Harry and Kashmir riots in 1980’s for Aayat and their blossoming love seems to be a magnet for disasters.

So once they cling to each other and the next moment they are torn apart. The Babri Masjid is torn down and overnight Aayat has to shift leaving Harry devastated. Seven years later they meet in Scotland only to be separated by the Kargil war as now Harry is Indian Air force Squadron Leader Harinder Singh who puts duty above all. So the “chor-police” game of finding and losing ensues and we are left wondering if the love birds will ever meet.

The story – 1.5/5

It seemed after surviving through the one hour and 70 minutes marathon that Director Pankaj Kapoor wanted to do little too much in too little time. The backdrop of grisly truth of life that slits apart lives and causes upheaval in the lives of our celluloid protagonists should not have been stretched to every major incident in India.

It appears as though Kapoor wanted to create a chronologically described horror documentary in the background but while the subject itself offers much meat, it draws our breath away after two incidents and after two more it becomes repetitive and clichéd. You have the entire terrorism paraphernalia in the film, right from Kargil war to the Godhra riots (don’t worry foreign terror is covered as well thanks to World Trade Center!). Kapoor covers too much perhaps in an attempt to show that love triumphs all or perhaps to highlight the effects on ordinary lives but the message was clearly lost in the overused baritones of cupid love and jarring loss.

The truly brilliant part of the film is the first hour in native land with the “bhangra” and the
“parchi” romance, but after that the “videsi” pathos gets too much to handle for the “desi” folk.

What Mausam needed was lesser pages of script and more practicality (I can understand difficulty in communication in pre-cellular age but burnt letters for age old jealousy? Too much Bollywood masala Mr. Kapoor!) which would have made it less boring and more engaging and more believable.

For now-Yawn!

The direction and technique- 3/5

The debut could have been better but it wasn’t the worst. Pankaj Kapoor shows a rare subtlety and depth while handling several scenes in an uncanny and amusing manner (like Shahid and Sonam not talking in reality but their words being told in the background).

It is definite but then his brilliance as a prospect was marred by the excessive length of the movie which after coming out prevents you from reminiscing any of the good parts. Relief overpowers appreciation and in the end the entire creative effort goes down the drain.

But it wasn’t all dark clouds for Mausam as cinematographer Binod Pradhan excels brilliantly and delivers the goods with a punch and stuns your eyeballs right till the end.

Be it the fire in Gujarat riots or be it the serenity of Scottish pavements or be it the pathos of the lover- a silhouette against the dreamy moon, Pradhan delivers classic footage in every shot.

Not to forget is late art director Samir Chanda whose set designs are spellbinding to say the least.

The film was visually a compelling watch and a feast for the eyes, kind of sad that it is not so for the mind.

The acting – 2.5/5

Sahid is good but not great as Harry. He tries to juggle effectively between the Bollywood superstar and the actor that is locked within him. In the end he neither emulates the Top Gun star as the Air Force pilot nor does he appear close to the romantic geniuses of our own backyard, thereby earning the title of- Jack of all trades but Master of none.

Sonam is the real flaw as she appears frigid and never seems to mature throughout the film. After all she doesn’t have the capacity to grow beards to look heart broken or appear being torn by the adversities of life, so she has to make do with those big eyes of hers; but in this she fails.

As with any good romantic film, it is the characters which draw our attention and while the duo manage to give us some genuine ooh and gag moments in the first hour, they too fade away as the film progresses.

The rest of the cast offer credible performances and manage to add some shine to the otherwise rusty contour of this department of the film.

The music- 3/5

Pritam does a genuine good job and the tracks mould nicely with the screen play.

There are no individual chartbusters her here but in all the music manages to enhance the beauty of every scene and offers an able assistance to the visual splendour.

They however appear to be a little too many in number and just like the house that houses this department it too becomes a tad too much to bear towards the end.

Is this Mausam clear?

Well it isn’t really bright and shiny and there appears to be overcast skies this Mausam but if you still want to appreciate the vivid imageries that only silver screens can bring to life, then are welcome to venture into the terrorist storm ridden territories.

While you are at it you may enjoy the native “gaon ka chora-chori” love for a while and may get overwhelmed by the emotional turmoil.

But if a strong script and credible acting is your demand then drop the umbrella and go to sleep because that is exactly what you will do in the hall.

– Arnab Chakaraborty

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