Sanam Teri Kasam-Review

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It’s been long I haven’t reviewed any movie. The movie ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ (I swear by you) starring debutantes Harshvardhan Rane & Pakistani actress Mawra Hocane released on February 6. Rarely have I come across any such a heart wrenching love story in recent times. One that would probably remind you of your first love that didn’t materialize into what you thought it ought to. Mawra plays Saraswati(Saru), a young girl longing for love and Harshvardhan plays Inder, an ex juvenile convict who seems to be taking one day at a time with no particular aim in life and separated from his father. A typical ‘beauty and the beast’ sorta concept which always works.

I didn’t read the tag line ‘A Love story sealed with a curse’ and so was expecting it to be a light hearted, simple love story that hit a minor roadblock and then eventually all turns out okay. Though what happens towards the end leaves you teary eyed and empty hearted. The mainstay for me in this movie is undoubtedly the doe eyed beauty Mawra Hocane. For those who’re unaware about her being a Pakistani television actress, it would be hard to tell that she is not a South Indian Bramhin girl that she plays in the movie. I haven’t come across a performance like Mawra’s in a long time where you would actually want to reach out to the girl in the movie and provide her some support and may be even hug her to make her feel better. That is the degree to which Mawra actually pulls you in her character that you start to sympathize with her for real. Harshvardhan pulls of his role equally well but somehow the makers haven’t done justice to him or so it seems. The dialogues are probably just half in number as compared to Mawra. You can’t make a fair assessment of his acting skills from his role in the movie.

Mawra’s portrayal of a young, innocent and vulnerable girl longing for love and Harshvardhan as a baddie turned good guy touches the strings of your heart. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Mawra’s innocence, Harshvardhan’s stern look and the film’s music literally hypnotize you. Though the movie suffers when it comes to screenplay and seems sluggish in many parts, it is clear thanks to the actors’ performance that you manage to sit though somehow. As mentioned before, something hold you till the end of the movie. You see yourself crying involuntarily in certain scenes. To give away a spoiler, the start of the movie itself shows Saru’s epitaph on a tree, may be the film makers attempted to mentally prepare you for it but you still end up shedding a lot more tears than you would’ve thought.

In closing, I just want to say that the two actors certainly have a future in Bollywood and they’ve proven it in their first Bollywood performance. The placing of the movie’s songs such as ‘Bewajah’, ‘Tera Chehra’ & ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ along with its choreography is just apt and so is the mood of the movie that they capture. Other actors too like Saru’s parents or Inder’s father and essay their roles pretty well. Though the movie bombed at the box office it will be watched by people in the coming months. The lack of star quotient perhaps is the reason behind the movie’s box office failure. But all those who’ve seen it have ended up praising it. All that you hope for is to not let anybody’s love story end in a tragedy. Though the way the climax has been shot it ends on a sweet note, again teary eyed though. For now, all I can say is that if Mawra reads this then just to let her know that I’m head over heels in love with you Mawra, ‘teri kasam’. 😉

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Look with Respect or just Look Away

Like all other men, I do look at women except that there has been a change in perspective. May be because I’ve changed from a boy to a man and perhaps become more responsible. It did take long but it did happen, maturity came a bit late but it did. Without trying to justify anything or paint my own gender negatively but, there are times or age when most men are wired this way that their heads rotate like a surveillance camera and eyes work like a scanner when they see at a pretty chick or ‘maal’ walking down the street. The worst part is even the woman knows she is under someone’s scanner  and she can see it from the corner of her eye. All she does is ignore and walk away because if she has to retort to it then she’ll have to do that with ‘n’ number of men throughout the day. Few men realize there is more than what meets the eye when they are ogling a lady.

She has a nice sculpted figure, looks all decked up with formal clothing and make up. Please do not be under the impression that she is doing all this to grab eyeballs, to impress her boss, or steal your attention. She is doing it only for herself. Her nice figure isn’t something that she tries to emulate looking at a model. Her physique is just a byproduct of her daily work out which she does to maintain stamina and energy to help her sustain long hours of work. Her make up or formal clothing is not to pretend or exhibit to anybody that she is ahead or more sophisticated than you or her other female counterparts. She does it just to be with the times, because her corporate culture demands it. May be she is doing it just to feel good about herself, to fit into the kind of society and friend circle she belongs to or just because she wants to be that way. May be behind the eyeliner she is trying to hide a night full of tears about her break up or some other pain she has gone through.

Behind her attitude she is just avoiding the wrong guys and trying keeping them away from her. You may not be aware, but may be she has self esteem issues and your gaze isn’t going to help her in anyway. Your gaze doesn’t make her feel shy, it pricks her heart in many ways. All she needs are your comforting words and not flirty one liners to make her feel better. She looks all fiery, lively and passionate about work and you think her boldness could mean she is ‘open’? No. She looks after her husband her child and is just trying to match up to the challenges that perhaps her male boss has thrown at her. Looking at her in any way other than respectfully is insinuating her position in society. May be she is fighting her own battle, both at home and her workplace, may be even on the streets. I pray that someday you, you who looks at her in any other way, look down upon yourself. Look with respect keeping in mind the story behind every woman’s life. Look with respect or just learn to look away….

Dedicated to all the women I’ve known…..Happy International Women’s Day.

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Dil Se….’From the heart’ Review

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Is there any movie that you’ve disliked when you first saw and now you just can’t flip the channel when its’ being aired on Tv? For me it is the Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala starrer ‘Dil Se’..meaning ‘From the heart’.  The other day I happened to watch this movie while it was being aired on a local channel and I just sat there watching it till the end. Like any other SRK fan I still hated the end as none of us like to see SRK die in a movie. Released in 1998, this movie was directed by Mani Ratnam and music given by A.R. Rahman. Those were also the times when SRK carried the image of the romantic lover.  I feel this movie was way ahead of the times it was released in. Usually Mani Ratnam movies are better than that of their contemporaries. The movie is based on the seven shades of love in Arabic literature, the seven shades being attraction, infatuation, love, worship, reverence, obsession and death. The character of Shahrukh Khan passes through all these phases. Understanding this theme made me take a look at the movie from a different perspective. It was the sheer genius of Mani Ratnam’s direction, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sujatha’s writing and the character of Shahrukh that I now love this movie more than ever.

The movie has Shahrukh as Amar, a program executive with All India Radio who is so obsessed with a girl Meghana played by Manisha, who he thinks a simple girl having some mystery about her. The glint in Shahrukh’s eyes is hard to miss every time he notices Meghana. Meghana on the other hand is in fact a terrorist on a suicide mission. She belongs to a group which is out to avenge the atrocities inflicted upon them by the army on their people and followed by the ignorance of the government towards them. Manisha Koirala has aptly portrayed the role of a silent killer. The scene where she is reminded of the incident when she was raped as a 12 year old child is She is low profile, focused on the mission, ready to blow herself up for it. She keep on dissuading herself from falling in love with Amar but gives in towards the end of story.

From the mountain tops of Himachal to the sand dunes of Ladakh and then Delhi where it reaches the climax, the movie kept me tight in the seat. It starts off at a railway station in some remote area on a rainy windy night and ends again in an old desolate place in the city of Delhi. Both the times, its’ just the two of them.

He portrays the same obsessive lover like Darr but without the psychotic murderer part. He is more of a do gooder who, after discovering Meghana’s true identity, tries to dissuade her. The scenes where he helplessly tries to convince Meghana to abort the mission made my heart lacerate. The movie is made against the backdrop of the then contemporary India. As for the music, it is one of AR Rahman’s best projects. Chaiyya Chaiyya at the start of the movie, choreographed by Farah Khan atop a moving train sets off your mood followed by the title song in the later part of the movie. Its choreography is perhaps one of the best ever. The background score suits the movie in the best possible way and adds a different edge to every scene. The ending is perhaps one of the most shocking when you first watch it. Perhaps it was the first time that the protagonist and the girl he loves blow themselves up. SRK’s death was the first and last thing that I’d disliked the movie at first watch as mentioned before. But looking at the theme of the movie, there wouldn’t have been a better ending.  Something that would leave the audience in shock and disbelief. His last attempts at saving his love are all but something that would make you wish he doesn’t succeed or live. The ending dialgoue where he says “If you can’t come with me, then take me away with you” as they hug for one last time and the bomb goes off sums up the entire story and idea of obsession. One dialogue in the movie that is applicable to everyone who has loved and failed or loved and succeeded is this conversation btw Amar and Meghana while stuck in a lonely place on a moonlit night….

”You know what I dislike the most? These eyes of yours that I can’t understand anything despite me trying to read into’em; and you know what I like the most? It is these eyes, because I can’t  understand anything despite trying to read into them…and I like this distance between us, because if it wasn’t for this…there would be no reason for me to come closer to you.”

The film also marks the debut of Preity Zinta who suited the role almost perfectly. The film was an average hit in India but a major success overseas especially among the South Asian community winning a few Filmfare awards and the Netpac Award at The Berlin International Film Festival.

…….can just say that today I love this movie….Dil Se.

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