My take on Guzaarish

So far I have never felt the need to post a comment on Facebook in the middle of watching a movie. But for Guzaarish I did just that. I wrote with what could be called frenzied compulsion, “brilliant execution, brilliant casting.”

By Vasanti Sundaram

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Published: Thu 25 Nov 2010, 8:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:02 PM

It’s almost a few hours now since I walked out of the movie hall, and I am still posting on Facebook, asking my friends not to give this one a miss.

At the risk of making enemies, one of my prime reasons for watching the film was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. I don’t know whether it has to do with women loving to hate her or whether it’s her lack of sincere talent that makes her films a draining exercise, there is this general opinion that an Ash film would have little substance and merely appeases the eye that craves to revel in her beauty. So, how did Guzaarish take me in?

I had missed Black, I had missed Saawariyan and I did not wish to miss yet another labour of love that Bhansali’s films usually are. And true enough, Guzaarish has indeed set a benchmark for Hindi cinema in all aspects of filmmaking.

Bhansali’s story of a quadriplegic – Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) wishing to end his life has a familiar ring to it. But then, as Hrithik Roshan has said in an interview with The Hindu, Guzaarish is not so much about euthanasia as it is about the celebration of human life. In his words, “The film does not take a stand on euthanasia. It is an individual’s story, and his strength. It’s about a quadriplegic who lived for 14 years without being depressed a single day. He wrote books, won an award, gave sermons.”

If Hrithik mesmerises with his endearing eyes, uninhibited warmth, and his signature fluid movements despite his decapitated condition, Ash, in a career first, effortlessly essays the role of a stoic nurse with an incredibly human heart, full of love and compassion. As in Raavan, she uses her eyes to best advantage, allowing no room for excessive words. But then the audience has come to expect a performance of some calibre from both these stars, given their stretch in the industry. The actor who really steals the show and our hearts is the relative newcomer Aditya Roy Kapoor. He blends into the protagonists’ lives and brings a measure of unpredictability to the well-crafted scenes set in mystical Goa.

The music, Bhansali’s first attempt at composing for a film, is easy on the ear. Although you won’t really carry home a tune, the music is something that is bound to grow on you.

If Bhansali created a fan following for himself with Khamoshi, a story set around a mute girl with hearing-impaired parents; if he won global acclaim with Black that had a visually challenged central character, then with Guzaarish he can take a collective bow, if only for his empathetic sensitivity to the physically challenged people of this world.

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