Guzaarish Hindi Movie Review
Often a person fights more valiantly when he is fighting with his back to the wall. And that's precisely the position where Sanjay Leela Bhansali was pushed to post Saawariya. And looks like he fought his best battle too! Bhansali admitted that he had gone into depression after the rejection meted to his last film and he sat inside his room for three months looking at a tree outside his window. Some good seeds certainly got planted as Bhansali strikes back with a not so simple Guzaarish.
Guzaarish is about a quadriplegic. It is about once upon a time world's best magician, but now bedridden for past 14years after a serious accident on stage. Throughout these years he has tried living a good life and inspired many to live their lives the best way they can. And yet as he finds out that he is running out of time with organ failures, he desires to die before getting dependent on machines for his heart beats too. The film goes in flashbacks to show the grand applause he gathered every time on stage and his belief in bringing smiles to people.
The theme is not at all simple. Euthanasia has long been argued and discussed but never has it been shown on Indian screens. Of course there are similarities that can be drawn with films that have been made abroad on the same topic. Some names like English drama 'Whose Life is it Anyway' (1981) and the Spanish film 'The Sea Inside' (2004) crop up. Plus the director makes the characters look very non-Indian. The clothes worn by the lead are very classical European. The argument may be that he is showing Portuguese descent in Goa, but there is a certain Omar Siddiqui (Aditya Roy Kapur) whose name definitely does not sound of the same line of descent and yet dressed in similar fashion.
Bhansali does well in keeping his characters very interesting and gives them excellent dialogues - a forte of his. The dialogues however also alienate the film from a large part of India audience considering the film has very liberal use of English. The screenplay has good pace. In fact after a long time I didn't look at my watch a single time before Interval to know when the break would be. The interval in fact came as a surprise and leaves one wishing for the second half to start early. It does and gets done with fast too.
The pace, apart from the screenplay, is also helped by some remarkable performances. Hrithik is bedridden for most part of the film but that does not stop him from dominating the screen whenever he is around. He outdoes himself as an actor and is a sheer delight. Aishwarya Rai pitches in with a powerful performance too. A couple of scenes - one in the court as she argues with the judge and one when she gets playful with Hrithik strike you. And of course Bhansali makes her look best that she ever does! Aditya Roy Kapur brings in brightness - something he did in his last film Action Replayy too. But the character somehow is similar and he needs to explore other characters too. Shernaz Patel and Rajit Kapoor pitch in with impactful performances as lawyers - fight for and against - the quadriplegic patient.
Overall, Guzaarish is a case well presented. There is an attempt to draw a safe line hence as the director tries not going against the code of law as he presents the case. It is a delight to watch for the superb performances. And last but not the least, every shot of this film is postcard material. So if nothing else, you will just fall in love with the beauty on screen!