Sachiniti

November 15, 2007

Saawariya-Movie Review (updated)

saawariya-wallpaper-60215-5641.jpg

Kaveetaa Kaul

Featured blog on Sulekha and Editors Choice

Cross Posted at Naachgaana

WordPress Featured Blog- Saawariya Review

Update : My hunch has been proven right..read bottom of post for details.

Saawariya review

In the present age when media of all categories and cadres, is purposefully bombarding ones senses and time willy nilly with information essentially suggestive as if of hypnotic capturing of ones personal opinions, reviews of a film eagerly awaited, overwhelm thought processes. Easily influenced gullible minds fall prey to the insidiously, oftentimes stridently suggested message tags of ‘hit’ or ‘flop’. A more discerning populace admittedly small in percentage, decide to cast aside ‘fed’ ideas and view open minded a movie which promises ‘greatness’ in the cinema-ic denotation.

‘Saawariya’ enraptures you. In the hands of a less acclaimed director, the film might have degenerated into a fantastic escapade that misses the mark. It might have emerged, fabricated, synthetic and soulless.

The director in this case had previously won us over with his dexterity enough to woo us into his personal universe .Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the conviction of his vision, coupled with the mastery of his craft, transports you into his world via a fable with a dreamy and satiric edge.

It is a poetic outing matched with touching gravity. For those unwilling to glide along in those fascinating gondolas, lilt in the blue of the azure background and waft along dewy eyed with its endearing characters, the film would perhaps leave them unmoved. But so does the ‘art’ of Michaelangelo. For some its merely another experience, for others a ‘divine vision’. I daresay that personal stage of spiritual evolution often dictates the level of response to art, as a whole.

‘Saawariya’ held me captive from the very first frame. My childhood was spent in a ‘make believe’ world of doll houses and silvery streams. It was as if my soul had been peeked into by a kindred and displayed back how splendidly in munificent revelry, a story could be spun around this fantasy land.

The film is awash with amazingly endearing characters and four nights in their life. A myriad emotions engulf them and the central character Ranbir Raj, a flaneur, whose innocence and gentility magically charms its way into your heart.

It is a hard task to set a film rolling moreso when you demand from the audience ‘ a willing suspension of disbelief’ to a greater degree than other Bollywood films, since undertaking a journey into another’s mind asks for immeasurable faith. What is evident in this film from the first frame to the last is just that. The mind of Sanjay Leela Bhansali exposing itself in a cul-de-sac world. Is he courting disaster? No.. he has taken films in India and from India to another level altogether. I can firmly state that never before has there been a director of his stature, in his genre of films…he can be counted ‘among’ the best.

Based on Dostoevskys ‘ White Nights’ the story unfolds with poignant preciseness, through the wailing of a child and Ranis outburst, Raj’s reaction and revealing of his character all in a sweep of a few minutes. Its remarkable. You find yourself right in their midst willing to roll along eagerly.

Rajs meeting with the wholly delectable Lillipop his to-be-landlady where he melts her heart and ours by the one question he asks of her and the silent, almost soundless cry that emerges from her, while they hug is one of the most cathartic moments. There are many such where subtlety is the forte in this elegaic film.

The look on Sakinas face when she hears the sound of her name , expecting Iman and in a flash, hope dies when she sees its only Raj. Underplayed yet thunderously powerful. In fact this can be enumerated as the mainstay of the film… the subtle nuancing of emotional scenes. Suggested more than enacted. Metaphors abound which necessitate a sensitive heart and fine tuning to appreciate. Those hardened by years of Bollywood drama unwilling to experience subtleties at play need to get in touch with their emotional, loving, trusting self to truly enjoy this ‘outre’. A cursory , casual, inattentive viewing would be downright unfair. That attitude is best reserved for the laugh-a-minute-riots which often grace our screens.

Is film making only about story telling? If yes, then how different is it from reading a book? Imo it is in the the magical usage of tools of cinematic expression that differentiate a classic from a perfunctorily shot story. Can you imagine what “Deewaar’ can metamorph into if shot by Scorsese? This is where Saawariya scores. Or then read Dostoevskys short story.
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Rani Mukherji has never looked as beautiful. Her dialogues were superbly written and superbly enacted. Every little lift of the eyebrow, a cock of the head seemed measured, yet not rehearsed. Not overtly over done, despite the demand of the character, in perfect balance, as if she knows exactly how she’d look and what effect even a wag of a finger is bound to create.

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Ranbir Raj or Ranbir Kapoor is a discovery who will enchant movie goers for a long time. He was simply brilliant. His fragile character, interluded with boyish passion, charm, wit, innocence, effusive and poignant stays with you as somebody you know you will continue to love. He has made a dent in ones psyche, enough to last a lifetime.

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Sonam Kapoor could not have asked for a better debut vehicle. She was lovingly presented, carved to perfection. Not a classic beauty, she grows on you through the perplexity of her character and the dynamism of her personality. She would have to be choosy of her future assignments. Not everyone is SLB to have spent years in grooming her. For success and accolades to sustain, talent has to be honed as a continuous process and resting back on laurels would be disastrous.

Zohra Sehgal as Lillipop is the last word in acting. She is an institution by herself, unmatched and incomparable. Her portrayal and its layering contributed vastly to the films claim to classy performances.

Salman Khan had little to do as far as histrionics go. But his star quality lent the character a solidity and foundation it required.

Impeccable an immaculate set designs which were a stellar character of the film came across as an embodiment of SLB’s take on a beautiful world physically but intrinsically one which enshrouds human sorrows as much. In other words despite the perfection of ones surroundings, it is the mind which makes or mars the perfection as a whole.

Suffering is not confined to an address.. its universal.

Virtual marriage of cinematography and direction is more apparent in this movie than any other. To be able to translate a directors vision is no mean task. The two technicians have to be perfectly synchronised. Art is mostly personal. Cinema, contrarily is the only form of art which involves a team. Therefore its imperative that each member find a space of synchronicity to operate from. Sanjay and Ravi Chandran have achieved this imaginatively.

Aural contribution by Monty songs and background score complimented the film superbly.. crafted to excellence.

There were flaws I confess. References to Raj Kapoors films, or scenes meant to convey lineage/tribute diminished the pristine quality of the tale that sought to be conveyed. It was not needed. Also to my mind, the story/ screenplay in the second half was a tad forced. The progression continued well till Raj promised to bring Sakina home. It should have carried on directly to the shock of Salman’s return. The detour to Rani, a song and a fight was jarring. This also turned into a continuity faux pas, since after the fight, when Raj is shown bruised, his next scene with Sakina displays none. Which brings one to believe that the additions in-between were an after thought perhaps to increase Rani’s footage and relevance. Affected the wholesomeness of the film imho.

Apart from this, the film has enchantment as its cutting edge which is saying a lot. Reminiscent of “Edward Scissorhands” a fabled tale which brought out the genius of Tim Burton, Saawariya is on similar lines. SLB comes across as a true movie visionary. Take a bow SLB..you deserve it.

In short as gulabji would say.. ” I likes it” An aside..Why do I get the feeling that the usage of “Jejus ‘” and such ‘likes’ were sourced from the effervescent Rakhi Sawant ?

To conclude..An uncommon insight into the torment of innocent hearts in an ethereal land is how one can sum up ‘Saawariya’.

Mashaallah!

Rating 4/5

P.S. A response to the almost ubiquitous criticism of this film, initially a comment :

The anger in most of the reviewers translated into a relentless attack, harsh and unforgiving is one of the main causes why I fear for Indian cinema never achieving pinnacles of glory.It demoralises, and stunts growth for future such endeavours. Anything that offers change, or is suggestive of an extraordinary interpretation of story telling is met with resistance and is made to feel brutally unwelcome. It is more a reflection of the closed mindedness of most audiences in India or lets say Indians.Had the same film been made by Tarantino, there would have been a major surge of euphoria by the same audiences, each giving it wondrous , convuluted, over the top acclaim. Sadly I have noticed we continue to go by stereotypes. If you are beautiful you cannot be intelligent/or a good actress. Aishwarya rai an apt candidate. I think she is brilliant. But she has had an uphill journey to prove her talent.

Liken Saawariya to a beautiful woman..therefore ’she’ is not capable of being inherently worthy of merit. The accusation has been mainly of the visual treat the film offers. So you see the analogy?

Also the film plainly avoids spoon feeding.. a lot was left to conclude pre supposing the intelligence of the audience. Four nights, except for the flashback of Salman, the rest was linear. But Indian audiences are fed on a staple diet of background of the characters upto four generations sometimes that for them this excerpt does not ‘make sense’.

Yes Sakinas character was not easy to understand, topped by the fact that she abandoned Ranbir. Somewhere the audience was hoping that the character of Salman was illusionary and it will be a fairy tale end. But for how many more centuries are we gonna prescribe a happy ending as the only one deserved of success/ acceptance? Its this close minded , blinkered stance which is regressive. Till we do not learn to unlearn or cast aside prejudices which sub consciously are stapled into our psyche, we have no business complaining as to the plight of our films. Come Oscars and the jury scratches their head for a suitable choice which wont shame us and which is not so far removed from global sensibilities.

I am glad SLB made this film. He should be ready for the uproar it has caused but continue to experiment. Every change in any sphere is initially met with strong resistance from the ‘fundamentalists of Indian cinema’..our critics and orthodox viewers. never mind..carry on.

I can go on.. I saw it with a typical multiplex audience which was a lesson in itself.Its palpable.. the reaction and I was able to sense it scene by scene.. my reaction vs. theirs. But I did my bit.. at the end of the film.. I clapped.. a few joined me.. others turned around scowling and then changed the expression to an amused grin..But thats okay. The message was sent.

And then the review. My away of showing solidarity to a resurgence in Indian cinema.I’d hate to think of myself as someone who simply complains about the sub standard, immature , frivolous, half baked, inane films churned out by the hundreds from the largest producer of films in the world.. India. Wish it would also tagged.. ‘the best made films in the world’..My dream.

Update 19th Nov’07 : So Ranis character has been heavily borrowed from Rakhi Sawant. ..my hunch was right. Rakhi has surprisingly wormed her way into our hearts. My initial reaction to here was ‘ewwww…what is this??’ Slowly one is forced to realise that This in fact is Rakhi Sawant!

Says Rakhi” “Bhansali didn’t tell me that I was supposed to tell Rani anything about my persona, gait and style. I think Sanjay must have told Rani to observe me carefully when I was present on the set.”

Trust Rakhi to have missed the point totally. Its not so much about the persona gait and style as it is about the peculiarity of her English. How on earth would she figure that out since according to her, in a jejune-istic way..there is nothing so darn funnily cute ’bout the way she speaks. “I speaks correct”..she’d say.. and we’d say .. “We agrees Rakhi.”


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107 Comments »

  1. wow..with this kind of review so zordar.. ab to dekhni padegi.I like ranbir kapoor o for him and yes SLB is a draw . but the reviews put me off. but u r right. Must have my own opinion on this. will let you know 🙂

    Comment by Neha — November 15, 2007 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  2. Saawariya- Movie review

    Reasons to see this film..many:) good review.

    Trackback by ekjut.com — November 15, 2007 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  3. Hmm, quite opposite to what the junta has to say. Most critics have also not quite agreed to the “art” of SLB as you mentioned, which made me stay at a safe distance from this movie. I guess, Bollywood is primarily meant for Masala potboilers like the other movie at the theaters now(which I loved through and through for obvious reasons). Though I loved SLB’s Black and Khamoshi, Saawariya has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. I think I’m gonna try the DVD when it comes out.

    Comment by Sujoy — November 15, 2007 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  4. Kaveetaa I must tell you that I saw this film with my wife and daughter and we felt the same way. This film has tried to do something different. I cannot put it the way you have but such films are welcome.
    I must also say that through the months that I have read your blog have come to know that you are a film makers wife though you have not said it clearly. For you to praise another director so generously is very fair and honest of you..Keep it up!

    Comment by Krishnan — November 15, 2007 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  5. We would like you to write for us. We are launching our website where we are looking for writers with a flourish and flair. We find your writing remarkable.Please contact us on the email address provided.

    Regards

    Ash

    Comment by Ash Thakker — November 16, 2007 @ 2:11 am | Reply

  6. Yes Neha.. opinions are subjective … why follow another’s? Exceptions are there ..like mine.. you can safely follow it.

    Sujoy a film which attempts to bring about change in the viewing habits or lets say tastes of audiences from time pass to a classic work is going to be met with stiff opposition. We normally are so well ensconced in our set patterns that breaking out of a mould is scary and painful. So critics or so called critics will lambast the film. See it for yourself.. and NOT on DVD.. It is made for the big screen by the maker and that is how you should view it if you want to give it a fair appraisal.

    Hi Krishnan.. Oh I am glad there is someone who agrees after seeing the film.

    As for your second para… All I can say is that those who are in fact passionately involved in film making and are connoisseurs will never limit the art as if their private property. Appreciation will come naturally and spontaneously. Nothing gives more joy than to see a good film. A bad film disappoints equally hard. It would be terribly mean minded for the fraternity not to appreciate a fellow makers effort. A small mind and heart can never really produce great work. Creativity is a sea which never empties so why worry?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 16, 2007 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  7. Nice review, i haven’t seen the film though.Media can manupulate anything , with the help of media some banners n actors claims their lukewarm success as super success .We can check out for ourselves by visiting by a nearby multiplex or movie hall

    Comment by Aneesh — November 16, 2007 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

  8. As usual a great piece of writing. Better than the film 🙂

    Comment by Jatin Lall — November 16, 2007 @ 11:36 pm | Reply

  9. I had been waiting for this movie so long, but sorry to say that i am so disappointed i liked SBL’s black , devdas and HDDCS but this movie is…….. see for yourself but pls don’t waste your money in cienma just wait till the dvd will come out(soon)that way you will save money and ……..time because u can skip the boring so boring part u don’t like(most of the movie). I really didn’t get the movie i think inorder to get this movie u really have to be pshycho……………

    Comment by SOMI ALI — November 17, 2007 @ 1:32 am | Reply

  10. Nice review Kaveeta, very thoughtful and a great counterpoint to the trash this beautiful movie has been subjected to.

    This movie is indeed a poetry on celluloid, and to really appreciate this labor of love is to watch it on the big screen

    Comment by maya — November 17, 2007 @ 5:21 am | Reply

  11. Hi Aneesh.. as a rule I desist from believing media hype for or against a film. They usually have a hidden agenda .Rarely is an MSM journo free of influences. Its the nature of their job I guess.

    Jatin.. that was cruel..atleast for Saawariya 🙂

    Somy ali..its good to indulge your psycho streak occasionally 😉

    Thanks Maya..that was the intention..to present an alternate viewpoint. There werent so many good reviews around, which was irking my sensibilities. And .. A dvd viewing would be like seeing the Taj in a bioscope and then wondering what the fuss is about 🙂

    Oh..and it is Kaveetaa..with a double ‘a’..just one of those quirks..

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 17, 2007 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  12. kaveetaa ji…ur review is brilliant..it is exactly d way i thought of the film…..and have no idea why people are calling it a flop when its such a beautiful movie…and would u believe when it ended..i was like….i want to see more pls….so we bought the tickets for the other day’s show toooo….:)

    Comment by kritika — November 17, 2007 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  13. […] Sachiniti’s Blog had a great Saawariya Movie Review. […]

    Pingback by Video of the Day- “Chhabeela” from Saawariya, 2007 « Bollywood Food Club — November 17, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  14. Thanks for your review! I enjoyed reading it very much and linked it to my blog.

    Comment by sitaji — November 17, 2007 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  15. well o well… it is difficult not to smile as to how we are all with minds-of-our-own 🙂 hmmmm.. i can just smile and not express what i have felt for this movie as the sheer strength of ur review makes me at a loss for words to even take a pot shot at Saa’ya …

    SLB has always been different – from his movies, to his approach, his movies, his ideas.. but somehow i just missed him all thru the movie…

    some like it hot, some like it cold.. some like it in the pot nine dayz old.. not an issue wordsworth 🙂

    u have really loved the movie- it takes a lot to knit such a pretty review… iske age.. lets not fight over the reels (far away from the reality of our lives..)

    nice one 🙂

    Comment by saptarshi — November 17, 2007 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  16. Kritika.. You sound so breathlessly euphoric..loved it. We share more than just the K 🙂

    Sitaji..thanks..so kind.

    Sapt “some like it hot, some like it cold.. some like it in the pot nine dayz old.. not an issue wordsworth :)”,,

    that is so awwwfully cute..only you can write like this..You know what just for this and the surrendering as if helplessly to ‘such a pretty review’ I suggest that you vent it out boy.. C’mon give it to us..pots and shots..Dont worry since we are in the mood for nursery rhymes, whilst reading it, I’ll just sing to meself “row row row the boat gently down the steamm..merrily merrily merrily merrily ..life is but a dream”

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 17, 2007 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  17. kaveetaa, sorry about the missing a:), why do you think this movie has gotten so much flak. Judging by the media reviews( which I never do) you would think this was one of the worst movies ever made!
    I have been unable to fathom the vehemence of negativity against this one. Is it because people were expecting the usual bollywood “innocent love” fable rather than the multilayered complex tale this was.
    Also was this a chance for people to get back at SLB??
    I am honestly puzzled at the response to this movie.

    Comment by maya — November 17, 2007 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  18. Dear Reviewer,

    I just cannot believe you have praised this trashy, utterly wasteful and stupid film. Its a grand exercise in indulgence and does not have a trace of believability. i think Bhansali made this to stroke his own ego. I hate to sound rabid, but the movie is really an assault on the sensibilities. I felt sad, offended and cheated after watching the film. I have to lot to tell you but suffices the say that the critics who have critisised the film are absolutely right about the film and have their hearts in the right place.I applaud them for sitting through this senseless assault.But I’m not so sure ican say the same about your review.

    Comment by Abhijit Singh — November 17, 2007 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  19. See, abhijit’s reponse it what I am talking about. As far as I am concerned , this was a gentle nuanced fairy tale-ish multilayered love story.That it arouses this kind of gussa in people is beyond me!:)

    I think this movie is a cult classic, its genius will be discovered in a decade.. then we can be the ones to say “we told you so ” he he

    Comment by maya — November 18, 2007 @ 3:30 am | Reply

  20. Dear Commenter @18,

    Why cannot you believe I have praised this film? Are you privy to my likes/ dislikes?
    That aside, your take on the film is entirely your personal perception which I will not question nor will I want to convert you into a ‘Saawariya’ fan. I am not inclined to spar with you on the merits of this film..my review was substantive enough..
    If “Saawariya’ is trash then give me this any day over ‘Nishabd’ and Rgv ki aag, and the other blockbusters/ extravaganzas, which are self indulgent,inane and demand that you take leave of your aesthetics while viewing.Those are an assault on my sensibilities and mind you equally budgeted if not more.

    To conclude..I likes Saawariya I write..you no likes.. you write.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 18, 2007 @ 7:17 am | Reply

  21. Maya..I know exactly what you mean, vastly proven by the above commenter. The anger in most of the reviewers translated into a relentless attack, harsh and unforgiving is one of the main causes why I fear for Indian cinema never achieving pinnacles of glory.It demoralises, and stunts growth for future such endeavours. Anything that offers change, or is suggestive of an extraordinary interpretation of story telling is met with resistance and is made to feel brutally unwelcome. It is more a reflection of the closed mindedness of most audiences in India or lets say Indians.

    Had the same film been made by Tarantino, there would have been a major surge of euphoria by the same audiences, each giving it wondrous , convuluted, over the top acclaim. Sadly I have noticed we continue to go by stereotypes. If you are beautiful you cannot be intelligent/or a good actress. Aishwarya rai an apt candidate. I think she is brilliant. But she has had an uphill journey to prove her talent.

    Liken Saawariya to a beautiful woman..therefore ‘she’ is not capable of being inherently worthy of merit. The accusation has been mainly of the visual treat the film offers. So you see the analogy?

    Also the film plainly avoids spoon feeding.. a lot was left to conclude pre supposing the intelligence of the audience. Four nights, except for the flashback of Salman, the rest was linear. But Indian audiences are fed on a staple diet of background of the characters upto four generations sometimes that for them this excerpt does not ‘make sense’.

    Yes Sakinas character was not easy to understand, topped by the fact that she abandoned Ranbir. Somewhere the audience was hoping that the character of Salman was illusionary and it will be a fairy tale end. But for how many more centuries are we gonna prescribe a happy ending as the only one deserved of success/ acceptance? Its this close minded , blinkered stance which is regressive. Till we do not learn to unlearn or cast aside prejudices which sub consciously are stapled into our psyche, we have no business complaining as to the plight of our films. Come Oscars and the jury scratches their head for a suitable choice which wont shame us and which is not so far removed from global sensibilities.

    I am glad SLB made this film. He should be ready for the uproar it has caused but continue to experiment. Every change in any sphere is initially met with strong resistance from the ‘fundamentalists of Indian cinema’..our critics and orthodox viewers. never mind..carry on.

    I can go on Maya.. I saw it with a typical multiplex audience which was a lesson in itself.Its palpable.. the reaction and I was able to sense it scene by scene.. my reaction vs. theirs. But I did my bit.. at the end of the film.. I clapped.. a few joined me.. others turned around scowling and then changed the expression to an amused grin..But thats okay. The message was sent.

    And then the review. My away of showing solidarity to a resurgence in Indian cinema.I’d hate to think of myself as someone who simply complains about the sub standard, immature , frivolous, half baked, inane films churned out by the hundreds from the largest producer of films in the world.. India. Wish it would also tagged.. ‘the best made films in the world’..My dream.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 18, 2007 @ 7:51 am | Reply

  22. Kav

    I will not go into my thoughts on Saaboreriya, but let me just say this. Most people (I am just talking about people’s reaction) bit into a lovely apple (which before biting into it appeared as tempting as the very apple that got Adam and Eve thrown out of heaven), but soon reliazed that it was made out of plaster of paris and was merely a show piece (not meant to be eaten).

    Saaboreriya as far as I am concerned (leaving my views aside) was marketed totally wrong. SLB should have prepared his audience via the promos. Just like YRF had prepared their audience before CDI. Imgine if the audience had gone to CDI expecting SRK romancing 16 girls.

    At the end of the day SLB is fortunate that SRK’s coattails offers a lucrative ride. Without OSO and the primed market place Saaboreriya’ Producers would have lost their pants even as Ranbit thanks to the censors kept his towel on.

    Amoungst the good bollywood movies I have seen this years (apart from what I have already mentioned) I count Dor and Khosla Ka Ghosla.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 18, 2007 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  23. very interesting comments kaveetaa !

    well i will respond at length to your comments when i have a bit more time

    suffice it to say that folks like Shaan symbolise the SRK fans who it seems like had a predetermined agenda to hate saawariya just cuz it dared to compete with OSO.. SRK fanatics opinions cannot be taken too seriously, especially JUVENILE name calling of films.. how old are these people ? like 10?

    Saawariya will be a cult classic in 10 years.. The masses just didnt get this movie and frankly its their loss . It seems to have found a devoted but discerning audience however yay!

    Comment by maya — November 18, 2007 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  24. Shaan what do you mean by Saawariya being marketed wrong? I dont get it.I thought the promos were quite indicative of the genre and didnt see no false promises there.

    As for the ‘cattails of OSO bit..thats absurd Shaan. SLB is quite a name on his own and the film would have created a flutter irrespective. On the contrary these odious comparisons with OSO have harmed it.

    Dor and KKG ..totaly agree. The strange part is that I had the song from DOR ‘yeh haunsla’ on the vodpod and the number of hits it received were really low.

    Maya ..Shaan is alright ..just has some irrepressibly obsessive blind spots ..like SRK, YRF, KJO adi and so on.And his hit list includes the bachchans, aamir.. all of this makes it three quarters of the industry 🙂 On other issues he is..umm..almost..brilliant..Shaan say ‘thank you’.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 18, 2007 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  25. Maya

    The truth of the matter is that competition always heats up the market place, it primes the pump (so to speak). Hence existence of competition is good. Saaboreriya’s attempt to make this a race helped OSO also. Without SRK’s coat tails, Saaboreriya would have made perhaps less than INR 100 Mil (domestically in India). Without Saaboreriya and the competition it presented, OSO would have made maybe just INR 350 Mil in its first week in India. Hence please understand I love competition. It makes my juices flowing. Right now as I write this comment, I have a child like glee. I just love, love, love competition, especially competition that collapses like a house of cards. Your gains on account of a energized market place gets compounded by the fading away of the competition. This my precious is called the “Double Whammy”.

    Anyways, as I said before the release, and as has been proven by the market’s response after the release, in this race, there was just one through bred horse on the tracks, and that horse was my SEABISCUIT (He runs faster when he hears approaching footsteps). Now only time will tell whether Saaboreriya becomes a cult classic or get relegated to the dustbin of history (I will have to take a trip on Cibelle’s Time Machine to find that out 🙂 ).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 18, 2007 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  26. Kav

    It is very important to prepare the audience before they enter the theater. Promos, title of the movie, et all should serve the purpose of preparing the audience. This is all part of what I call, “expectation management”. Most battle today are won or lost on account of this issue. SLB failed his movie (so far I have not stated what I felt on seeing the movie) by not managing this expectation factor. The promos made it seem that they were going to see someone light and fluffy, something with a happy ending. Had he made it clear that this was not going to be DDLJ Part II, maybe the reaction would have been different.

    Two very good example of this issue of “expectation mangement” are CDI and Veer Zaara. This is why I think Adi is one of God’s finest work, a gift to humankind. I can expand on this if desired.

    Thank you Kav.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 18, 2007 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  27. @ sachiniti…

    well its like a blue-blooded battle here!! blue coz tat was the paint tat got splashed all over this movie.. see… wat i meant was.. ‘id is an art’, sayeth shakespeare… n SLB stands out as a film maker par excellence… he mite have had a brain wave tat din generate into a box office tsunami and you mite have liked it, i mite have not.. but in reading a review, so honest, so detailed n so passionate… i don believe in pumping in words n take pot shots.. wats the mantra of reading a post… a blog? not to be clinical without reason… i loved the post – the way it was/is written n somethings aint up for debate.. so… the war-o-words rest as i still once again read the post n just see the angle of a cine-goer. i respect that.. guess tatz where we all try to paint the town red! whether OSO was better or whether saa’riya bumped bad… lets not pull down something to hallo-fy something else…

    OSO was equally worse/equally gud – aint no link between the two!! n as film makers… hehehe don place farah khan beside SLB – tat wud be… amen!!

    again.. ill any day vote for this post with all the kiddish banter, coz its smashing, its honest n as i said… we need not fitr over art – as they say, its in the eyes of the beholder n man!! u have seen the beauty.. 🙂
    so.. cheerz once again!!

    Comment by saptarshi — November 18, 2007 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  28. Hey Sapto babu

    “but in reading a review, so honest, so detailed n so passionate… i don believe in pumping in words n take pot shots.. wats the mantra of reading a post… a blog? not to be clinical without reason… i loved the post – the way it was/is written n somethings aint up for debate..”

    Khoop bhalo…babu moshai..aamhi tumhako bhalo baashi.

    There.. with that ends my complete vocabulary of Bangla bhasha.

    But honestly that was such a mature take from one so young in years…Im proud of you..No wonder the selection of ‘Saptarishi’by your momma..give her a hug on me behalf.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 19, 2007 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  29. Shaan.. I get your point on ‘expectation management’..but I thought the orientation via the promos was pretty apt.

    And No.. DDLJ part II..it ne’er did occur my good Sir!This film was far too artistic.And neither did it seem ‘light n fluffy’..

    But yes ‘unrequited love was not expected. Although this seems like Bhansali’s favourite theme ‘viraha’ as in HDDCS..yet Salman in this film was not Ajay of that one ( character wise).. so it did come as a shock.

    And its so kind of you to seek permission to ‘expand’ on your favourite theme.. since I am at core a kind hearted person..go ahead while I take a snoooozzzee.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 19, 2007 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  30. oh man…. now.. tatz quite a lot for a ‘young lad’ like me… floored 🙂

    u added an extra ‘h’ to all those bong words.. its ami tomake bhalo bashi.. Khoop bhalo, shud be shoob bhalo.. as they say bengali is a rounded language.. smooth it is 🙂

    Comment by saptarshi — November 19, 2007 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  31. Conduct a poll and you will find that based on the promos, people were expecting a Bobby/ Betab/ Love Story/ DDLJ /KNPH type uplifting young love movie but with a SLB touch. They did not enter the movie hall with the right frame of mind. No one expected a serious movie with a sad ending (which most ticket paying public found dull and drab too).

    But allow me to further illustrate this point (don’t worry, no YRF talk) from another perspective. Take the infamous towel song of Ranjir. More or less this was the early look that Joe Public got. Now what was SLB trying to achieve ? Likewsie what was SLB trying to achieve with all the talk about “will he or won’t he drop the towel” ? Or by putting out other clips which showed Ranbir doing some typical Madhubala type facial posturing ? Was SLB trying to attract old male geasers looking for fresh young meat ? Clearly an average Desi family would not sit together as a family and watch a young boy strip. By making Rabir an effeminate stripper in the early clips, SLB not only mismanaged the first impressions but set himself up for a setback.

    No matter from which angle you look at, you will find such examples of mismanagement. On the other hand look at successful movie and you will find that all of them were brilliant in managing people’s expectation. I think, unable to match SRK’s marketing skills, SLB went for a “rope a dope” strategy which dictated that he keep the content of Saaboreiya a surprise, i.e. making the surprise the little engine that could (win the audience over), while simultaneously hoping that OSO would be exhausted due to overexposure by the time of its release. SLB intention it seems was to announce smugly, “He who laughs last, laughs the longest”. Nonetheless like a true thorough bred, SRK, the Seabiscuit, kept on going without being exhausted, and at end, SLB’s gamble backfired. Instead of laughing at the world, the world was laughing at him. OSO got a “Double Whammy”, while SLB got a rejection, his delusion of grandeur dented, his reputation tarnished. I do not believe that he will survive Saaboriya. From now onwards he will be forever second guessing, he is too tightly wound to take this in his stride.

    Clearly we found that the emperor has no clothes(Here I was thinking that SRK was the one who took his shirt off).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 19, 2007 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  32. Sapto bau..Shoob bhalo..am learning.. no ‘h’..teek hoi..umm theek hai 🙂

    Shaan.. love story.. yes.. frivolous ..No. As for the towel scene ..why o why is everyone making such a ‘tandav’ about it. I thought it was cute n nice n then forgot it wolly. Raj Kapoor was the original remember the Bobby scene with Aruna Irani and Rishi Kapoor before the song ‘Main shaayar to nahin? All SLB was doing, as he has done throughout the film is pay another lil tribute to both the RK’s father and son.. thats it.

    Success has many fathers..failure is an orphan. On hindsight now you can attribute a hundred reasons for the success of OSO>>but there have been failures from his company as well.So the marketing strategy went wrong then? AS if YRF have never faced failure..nobody can have a hundred percent success rate.And what do you make of the promotion of Madhuris come back vehicle?

    I expect fairness from you Shaan..if you are the same person who has liked Dor and KHosla.. how can you so denounce Saawariya. It may be flawed.. but warts and imperfections in such a movie are dismissible.

    Be fair.. I was.. SEE i have put the best song according to moi from Oso on the vodpod. BTW this small snippet might interest you. I had produced a telelfilm for ZEE called ‘Mausam’the season of love..shot in Nepal.The main prop in my film was the same used throughout oso the dancing pair in the musical globe. Even the music interlude was so similar..aahh.. sensitive souls think alike.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 19, 2007 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

  33. Why is success linked to box office ? That is crass commercialism not art, but don’t expect SRK fanboi’s to get that:)

    Saawariya is the most successfull movie in the past few years for me because it has made be get off my arse and go watch it in the theater 3 times ( and I will likely watch it a 4th before its all said and done)

    Bhansali has created memorable characters which stay with us long after the fade to black.

    Far from being down and out, this movie will reinvigorate bhansali to achieve even loftier heights in his future ventures..amen. He has raised the bar and how.

    And btw I liked OSO a LOT in a light entertaining time pass kind of way.. Will I ever watch that movie again or comtemplate the fate of the protagonist? a big fat NO!

    Comment by maya — November 19, 2007 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  34. kaveetaa

    here is another theory of mine as to why this didnt click with the aam janta

    do you think bhansali kept the multi religious set up of this movie under wraps for so long cuz he thought it might not go down well with the audience? it was quiet a bold move to have people from 3 different religions ( rani was a christian i believe).. although in the movie religion was not a talking point at all , but somehow maybe it jarred the audience to see the interpersonal dynamics at play ? and some of those characters were so inpired by kamal amrohi or gurudutt. It IS refreshing to see a non political take on inter-faith romance.. i LOVE this new trend ( also evident in jhoom barabar jhoom). I think it reflects a definite maturation in the filmmakers if not the consumers( aam junta in hicksville india). What arr your thoughts?

    Comment by maya — November 19, 2007 @ 9:29 pm | Reply

  35. Kav

    So far I have not given my views on SLB’s movie. I have just talked about how he blew the marketing and by extension blew the movie. In fact I AM ARGUING that his deserved better. So there you go. If he had made clear upfront that the movie was going to be a serious movie with a somewhat sad ending. If he had made it clear that he is showing that to sacrifice is also love (here is where Bollywood has an advantage over Hollywood, there one can use a song to communicate the theme). If he had been wise enough to not pit it against OSO. If instead of Salman he had taken someone younger, maybe Shiney.

    Maya

    Provoke me at your own risk. I urge you to be civil just as I am being civil to you. While it is true I do not agree with you, it does not diminish my desire to be respectful of your rights to express your views. Moreover I want to hear them. I am a good listener ( I am good to excellent in everything I do 🙂 )I hope you would be kind enough to extend the same courtesy to me also. Otherwise the purpose of having a forum is defeated. Also you don’t have to lie about seeing Saaboreriya three times to make your point, I get it, you liked it. Good for you. I now have a yardstick to peg your taste.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 19, 2007 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  36. @ kav… i mean just painful to see this go up the rocks… aint in gud taste – sorry if u aint like this.. but just felt like…

    @ SK sans the R 🙂

    u seem to ride ur own pony arnd town.. u add ur own dose of arrogance n even change the spell of the movie.. ya, u won be able to dream up a script like SLB, wud u?? but don mind playin ‘learn-to-place-the-alphabets’ properly when it comes to someonez creation…
    selling a movie is important as much as a jockey! tatz business – but that never is the catalyst. u seem to be working backwards with the OSO claims.. n this movie takes nothing away from SLB. there are very few cine-makers like him – don rush with the cold water bucket coz a six pack abs and some fancy packaging sold frozen vegetables over ‘khet ka muli’! i mean u seem to say tat the idiot box n a type-cast SRK have dissolved the sensebilities of cine-goers… u just have to sell n people wud be the Pavlovian creature lapping it up?? itne bude din nehi aye..

    n @ Shaan (the reply to maya’s comment – had to remind u..)

    man… u have a way with ur off the track-i-am-different-from-everybody comments and then u seem to suffer from the age old pneumonia n u sneeze without proper coverz.. just like the virus.. and ur veiled threats lurking in the air :)”Provoke me at your own risk..” its nice to see tat u think outta the box but then hope that the grey matter don stain the table cloth – as ur cup runeth over…

    i don know maya.. but i cant bet my dime that she hasnt seen the movie 3 or 4 or even a dozen times but u Mr Freud seem to be gud at mind games…

    as i had said its such an honest post but anywayz… SRK has made you comfortably numb.. just don try to team up all the folks in ur band wagon.. u seem to live outta theory – one manz meat is another manz poison… live in self glory.. don be the moon.. its not an advice.. just an observation.
    as to pegging ur taste.. wud be such a waste of time, aint it? ride slow mate… listen to avril’s ‘complicated’ 🙂

    Comment by saptarshi — November 19, 2007 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  37. Dear Shaan Khan

    I think you are being provocative with the language and description ( saaboreiya? rolls eyes)you have used for the movie. It is disrespectful of the writer of the blog who has expressed her views on the the movie in an eloquent manner. If you crave respect from others,please learn to extend the same respect in your interactions. In any case my direct discussion has been with Kaveetaa, and I am only interested in her opinion . Please refrain from directly addressing me in the future.

    I find myself antipathic to most fanatical fan boys or girls whose agenda is to advance THEIR favorite , fairness be damned! I am a fan of good cinema , it can come from SRK(CDI, swades) or SLB!

    Cheers

    Comment by maya — November 19, 2007 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

  38. Maya

    With your three visit to Saaboreriya you have been exposed your integrity. Further still look at your comment # 23. Tell me if I addressed you before # 23. Hence please refrain from addressing me in the future. You reap what you sow.

    As far as Kav is concerned, she is very capable of speaking her mind. I doubt if she needs an advocate and that too as intellectually worthless or morally compromised as you. Also please note, I have disagreed with Kav on a million issue without anyone of us calling each other names. In fact I have learned a few things via such disagreements.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 20, 2007 @ 12:04 am | Reply

  39. Sap

    Let us restrict ourselves to the substance (imagine my burden wading through your drugs doused words). If you feel SLB did justice to the way he marketed the film then say so.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 20, 2007 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  40. @ Shaan

    Ya Mr. Derelict, somehow the matter n substance only seem to be lacking in your (self) loquacious take on everything under the open skies…
    The time to waste to innovate the wide angles of a distorted vision is a joke. Now wasting more words on you, would be a bad marketing strategy – RIP. The freedom of speech and expression stands skewed by such ‘characters’
    The track of your mind seems aptly fertilized J but as I have said… Man! You’re one of a kind J enjoy your eternal happy highs…

    Comment by saptarshi — November 20, 2007 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  41. Good morning All!

    I see we are having quite a party out here. Chill guys..yesterday was destined to be a day of rising emotions. Moon is playing tricks I believe till the 15th of Dec.But honestly, we were having a fruitful discussion here guys and I was truly enjoying it. Each of you are so unique and erudite..Sapt, Maya Shaan.You have so much to offer in a dialogue. Lets not spoil it.. please.I request you.Thanks.

    Maya ..your comment @34 made me ponder. Why Muslim? Going by SLB’s track record one can clearly see his fascination for the age old women of yore..Pakeezah style. Devdas and Madhuris character was directly inspired from there. The mujras, the scene where a nawab throws money and presents ‘ghungroos’, Madhuri lying with her hair in the indoor pond like structure..etc.This was repeated in saawariya as well..I guess his infatuation with women who chose to coquettishly conceal rather than reveal is clear. Romance as in the era of 60,s and 70,s is inspiring for him. So that may be one reason.

    The other would be the liberty to dress his heroine in those lavish lehngas, embroidered and zardozi’d flowing chiffons to create that magic about her character.The haveli , her grandmother, Begum para and the whole aura was a vignette of days gone forever.

    The third reason I can think of is the large Muslim population in India and abroad who love to patronise films which mirror what they consider is their culture. I was told that this film was scheduled to be released during ‘Id’ which would have been perfect.Somehow , for whatever reasons it got postponed to Diwali.. which unfortunately did not bode well for the film, Box office wise.

    Ever since Amar Akbar Anthony and even previous to that film makers have attempted to bridge the nebulous religion based divide. It is yes, always refreshing. That may not have been the dominant thrust in this film, but was an element in the backdrop. Was Rani a christian? I missed that.

    But this may not have been the reason it did not click with the ‘aam junta’. There were too may ‘firsts’ he attempted. The sets, format, characters, story, technique, play with colors and then new stars. Our audiences are timid when it comes to experimenting.

    To give you an example. have you noticed a Gujarati in Usa will look out for food closest to home.. so will a Punjabi or South Indian.Within a few days you will see them in a frenzied hurry to locate the nearest Thali joint or Dosa joint or atleast an Indian restaurant. They rarely accept foreign ‘elements’ in their life with eagerness.In a film too, they are too settled in their viewing habits.For them a film has to have a ‘story’, the way they are accustomed to enjoying, and entertainment ‘bharpoor’ One will have to break in slowly, and continually, diligently. But…if its going to be met with BO revenue attrition..my hopes are low.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 20, 2007 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  42. Shaan..why dont you give us your honest take on the film? Reasons it has not done as well as one would have liked it to ( I resist from using the term ‘flop’ or ‘disaster’ etc..its heartless and also not right)can be many and also diverse. But in keeping with this post and like I said earlier my purpose for writing it as Sapt rightly gaged, let us focus on the positives of this endeavour called Saawariya. It encourages an honest maker.Are films only about box office success?

    Sapt what was it about the film which went against your sensibilities. You represent a part of the audience today which is in the majority in our country. Youth between the ages of 2o-35 are 70%of our population..so your views count sweetie. Since you have not quite taken to it, the film lost a sizable audience. So wanted to understand it.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 20, 2007 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  43. White Nights – Dostoevsky, i din know it was a FD story that would be reel-ized, but ya.. have read the story. i won go into the venn diagram of how much the story and the movie match n how people would have compared n all – its not hari putter 🙂 so there would not have been any pressure to draw a parallel…
    what i felt… the movie is larger than life coming at a time when the daily portion of life in itself is overflowing. it doesnt give you that vibe, that hope, rather it ends in a dramatic void.
    the average cine-goer does not evaluate the science of movie-making. they love a good story, absorb a nice plot and emote with a nice performance… ya, then to explain it all.. u zoom on the wide angles of the Carl Zeiss lens-wala camera, the sets/settings/clothes et all… as in u take each slab and point out the brilliance – but.. by this time, millions would have been earned coz the movie had just moved a bunch of people in totality.
    the lifeline should be a potent story which somehow din germinate with this saga… the acting was good but somehow the natural flair seemed absent.. as in the movie cudnt bluff its way into the reality zone; it remained a movie consciously which sort of distances you…
    life is fast and decisive. the ‘feel-good’ factor, the opium of hope and the pace makes one hold on… Saa’riya just din make a move to play the Pied Piper tune… ‘win the crowd n you win ur freedom..’ (from Gladiator, Maximus) and there only somehow SLB lost the thrust…
    life has its shades. cinema has/have tinkered with both the scales of human ethos, but again, commercially, if you see… the movies that have touched the jugular recently have been theme driven, with a message – RDB.. or have ended in the happy high of a well deserved vic, CDI/MB movies etc.
    what is the take away from Saa’riya? the imagery, the larger-than-life canvas – thatz not us 🙂 there is lots of dirt and muck to rummage thru before the ‘blood diamond’ is found…
    speed, direction, development at each level and a smell n taste of reality – i missed these n so even the well tutored acting seemed kinda put on.

    is it possible that the characters of the movie wud live somewhere arnd us, at any level of the social pyramid? no. it was way too dreamy.. abstract n that luxury is quite costly nowadayz- rather it is easy to carve a six pack ab, cut/copy/paste old movies n their themes n sell under a monopoly banner…. beauty n brilliance in cinema sometimes is a luxury that needs a third eye – now tatz quite a niche audience nah …

    Comment by saptarshi — November 20, 2007 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  44. Kav

    Take Anurag Basu’s Gangster. In that movie, amongst many things, Anurag made a very fine point, “sometimes you understand love only after you squander it “. The movie worked because the narration leads you to this final conclusion. Everything add up to this point. Moreover the movie works because it does not leave behind 90% of the audience, we all go on the fabulous ride and enjoy it. Yes the movie had a sad ending, but given what had unfolded in front of us, that was the only plausible ending. Kangana jumping off the balcony will remain etched in our mind for years to come.

    A pursuit of Haapiness with Will Smith was in many ways a sad movie too. His hardship is gut wrenching, but there is an arc to the story and we progress willingly along with the story from the start to the finish. A movie like Pursuit of Happiness shows that even sad movies can find a huge audience.

    Saaboreriya, deserved better. It is a laudable effort. I understand WHY you like. But Saaboreriya is like Paheli, it just does not add up into a satisfying movie. The biggest culprit are i)SLB’s marketing, ii)SLB’s inability to break loose of his own self importance and iii)SLB chosen mission to present Ranbir & Sonam as viable stars. Like Anurag Base in Gangster he should have chosen to focus the narration on making sure that the audience left with the understand of that one perspective of love, the central theme of the whole story. Like Will Smith he should have chosen to ignore the temptation of presenting his son to the world and focused on the arc instead.

    At the end SLB succeeded in giving us two stars but the world will have to wait for someone else to tell us the story. SLB was too busy being SLB.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 20, 2007 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  45. Hmmmm.Sapt..I get what you mean.The film is too far removed from reality for the relat-ability factor to come in. Its canvas is so unreal that it seems alien. Message is not clear.Story doesnt tingle the bone.

    There are films and there are films. Some document life, some are escapist speciously..they mask tragedy win an entertaining mould. Others like Saawariya are an expression of creativity, using tools of cinematic language and creating a genre quite its own. The story is an excuse to transport you into another world. Its a ticket to a Neverland. It could have been Alice, waiting in wonderland for her beau :)Cannot we as an audience begin to accept democratic principles of expression in cinema, wholeheartedly. We can try no?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 20, 2007 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  46. The comparison with ‘Gangster’ to my mind is unequal Shaan. Gangster was a passionate tale set in a real world. It had at its core a gut wrenching tale of love which would have won over the audience in any given format. That it was handled with sensitivity added the flavour.

    Pursuit of Happyness was again a vignette of life. Although the veracity of the premise is open to dissection. Was the success in career a panacea for all his miseries? Is this what Happy-ness means. There ought to be a sequel to that film where disillusionment sets in one more time.

    Saawariya too proceeds from Point A to point B but at its own langorous pace. The message it sen out was like a caution against ‘love at first sight’ which if you remember Gulabji warns Ranbir with a ‘sambhal ke rehna..yeh raste hain pyar ke’ or some such.

    I hear you Shaan when you expect a more poignant sag or treatment from SLB. The point is that its not as if he is incapable of handling the film in the manner you seem to suggest. He has proven his merit enough . HDDCS was a feat in succeeding to hand over the heroine to a man who came in the second half while the first half was splendidly choreographed story of innocent love whose passion you believed in. I thought it was magnificent that the audience then rooted for the heroine to go back to her husband. So he is somebody you can trust with emotions.

    For this reason I had mentioned in my post among the earliest lines ” The director in this case had previously won us over with his dexterity enough to woo us into his personal universe .”

    WE had to willingly undertake that journey and a peek into how differently does he wish to narrate his tale. The basic premise has to be ‘respect’ for the Director and his vision. In fact should be a clause in the preamble. Failing which , questions will take precedence over acceptance painfully disturbing the assimilation of creativity at work.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 20, 2007 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  47. Kav

    I agree SLB’s track record (and I agree HDDCS was his finest work, better than even Devdas) is why we choose to get vested. This discussion would not have occurred if the director was Suneel Darshan (yes, I am bad). But you have to agree that SLB sacrificed the movie in his pursuit to provide Ranbir & Sonam an ideal launch pad and in his pursuit to caricature himself. This was SLB trying desperately to be SLB. The movie screamed, “Look at me, I am a genius, am I not ? Let me once again that I am genius”.

    Whether fantasy based or reality based, the focus should be on telling the story. The only loyalty a film maker should have is to its story/content. It is the beginning and it is the end. Stay on the message (so to speak) as we tell our politicians when we push them in front of the mike. In a fantasy the director has more wriggle room, whereas with reality based drama he is locked into a well defined parameter. I don’t excuses SLB because of the fantasy argument. He got distracted by his responsibilities to groom Ranbir & Soonam and his desire to feed his own ego. This is poor story telling. The substance is there like a diamond in the rough, and perhaps that is why it bothers me and perhaps that is what attracts you, clearly a case of the glass being half full or half empty.

    The road to hell they say is paved with good intentions. Saaboreriya was good intention, and good effort, but for most viewers it was a visit to hell and back.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 20, 2007 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  48. who says Saawariya is a flop?look at the no. of comments it generated … its 48 n still counting+………..No profit no loss

    Comment by Aneesh — November 21, 2007 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  49. In my opinion saawaria is the best ever, the poetry, the songs, the environment and the actors make you travel in a romantic world where love is prayed; this movie shows how love can be sincere, pure and divine. Hats off Saawaria.

    Comment by Dprince — November 21, 2007 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  50. Shaan ..Glad you agree on HDDCS. I personally think Khamoshi was good too except for the script lapses. The climax of the film ought to have been Manisha singing and becoming a winner. That was the logical end. However that was only the Interval point..the rest of the film got to be redundant and therefore missed the goal.

    And may I remind you buddy that a few moons ago i was fervently harping on storytelling as paramount in a film while you ,if I remember right were on the opposite shore in a YRF debate.Of course the tale is essential and so is the narrative effectively unfolded through grand visuals, as a determining factor of the Directors mastery on his craft. The best films are those that have achieved a balance.An example of this..for that you will have to wait till January.. if you get what I mean 🙂

    I honestly dont believe that SLB was trying to scream for attention via the grandeur. He was merely extending his sense of that scene a little further, giving it that tad more aesthetic nuancing. In other words he was perhaps giving vent to his imagination and wings to his vision. Not a crime in my book.

    Perhaps that ‘diamond in the rough’..well described by you..is the heart of the matter. A diamond is a diamond is a diamond. Only a trained eye can evaluate its worth.

    Reminds of the beautiful couplet used by Kamal Amrohi (I used to tie Rakhi to his son Tajdar Amrohi..Kamal Uncle was one of a kind.. the last of the Mohicans)

    ” Hazaaron saal nargis apni be noori pe roti hai

    bahut mushkil se hota hai chaman mein deedawar paida”

    And I thought it was the road to heaven that was paved with good intentions…

    Picture abhi baaki hai dost 🙂

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 21, 2007 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  51. Aneesh.. aapne mere mooh ki baat chheen li. It occurred to me as well..great minds and all that 🙂

    DPrince… “where love is prayed”..Nice

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 21, 2007 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  52. Clarifcation,

    Filmmaker’s loyalty is to make money and to his story. 🙂

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 21, 2007 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

  53. Convenient recant Shaan..not allowed.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 21, 2007 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  54. Kav

    See I am trained to talk. I do that non-stop. I see engaging someone in a discussion (with its inherent disagreements) as a form of respect. Unfortunately most people sometimes see that as a fight. A disagreement as an insult. I know you don’t, but I have to be always careful (nowadays).

    In my batch I was the Doogie Houser, got promoted sometimes because the teacher was intimidated of me. I finished my masters long before those born when I was born. I finished the course work for a PHd also. I have been running business since the age of 12 years (after my masters, I briefly worked also, just for the kicks, but could not submit, ended doing a LBO of the place I worked at). The reason why I say this is because, I have learned more from debates and discussions than via formal class rooms (I tell people that I am self taught even though I went to the best schools in US). For me a conversation is more important than even reading a book.

    Hence I apologize if my NYC manners sometimes make me appear too unrelenting.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 22, 2007 @ 4:31 am | Reply

  55. Interesting Shaan. I wouldnt for a moment doubt your “Doogie Howser” comparison. Most people especially confident and mature bloggers relish debates as much as I do. If I may say so Shaan, those who feel affronted by you are those who cannot understand your Kjo, SRk adi fixation and your Bachchan animosity. Perhaps they react to that.You perhaps have good reason for both. I cannot say for sure since I am not privy to your personal details. However conjecture is on what I base my conclusion as also the fact that you are a cut above so many in your usage of words.

    ‘Unrelenting’..in my lexicon is not something you need to apologise for, since I can be the same too. I would prefer to think of it as ” consistency of thought’ if not ‘courage of conviction’.

    Ah..yes..but what is not acceptable is ‘different rules for different people’ in the ‘story-telling’ above all context 🙂 Consistency in opinion is much needed there.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 22, 2007 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

  56. Kav

    Having now re-polarized the playing field, let us proceed.

    In the prior debate, I was saying one has to crawl before they walk and walk before they run. A time will come, when Bollywood will be able to choose any subject and run with it. They will by then have access to all markets and channels. Today they have to work within the parameters that they can manage (i.e. today we can only be financially productive in a limited range). Hence Bollywood’s reach (which is ever expanding no doubt) will be and has to be a consideration while selecting a story, but post selection, one has to focus on on the selected story.

    It is my understanding your position then (in the prior debate) was that one should forget reach and limitation and just focus on choosing a “great story / screenplay” (forgive me I paraphrase).

    No one is denying the importance of a story/screenplay. I just place financial consideration above that. In SLB’s small shoes, I would have first asked myself if the short story (a wonderful short story I agree) would translate well into a decent full blown movie (even after it is packed with a gazillion songs). I would have stopped at that stage itself, because history has shown time and again that not many great short stories have done well on the large canvass.

    Anyway, that was the first major blunder that SLB committed. His choice set him up for a disappointment. Next he focused too much on grooming Ranbir/Sonam and while not enough on making the movie come together. K Jo, the genius personified, would have taken that same story and made it palatable. Let us not go back to KANK, the poor soul got emotionally black mailed by the Bachchans to expand their presence which killed the movie, still KANK managed to wheel in the moolah and break records (hence all is forgiven).

    Next, SLB completely bungled the marketing (we have talked about that). He still could have salvaged this movie if he had spoke more about the movie, its story etc during the promo phase. At best this movie would have been like a car with a Hemi engine, some cylinders silent but it would have still ran. Unfortunately he focused on Ranbir’s effeminate skills and sent all the wrong smoke signals (what was he thinking ?)

    Finally the biggest mistake that SLB did was the biggest mistake that anyway who goes up against SRK does, i.e. he went up against SRK.

    In summary this movie was beyond the reach of SLB’s ability. What we witnessed was Murphy’s Law. I personally feel Anurag Bose/Mahesh Bhatt combo would have done a better job with this story (with a INR 100 Mil budget). Needless to say there is still enough to look at and wish if only ……

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 22, 2007 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

  57. lol..I was merely responding to your post para wise..which I am doing now as well.

    It is precisely for the reason you quote that I often lament on why production houses with the wherewithals continue to stubbornly cater to the LCD despite the fact that risque ventures undertaken by them where subject is King, have more of a chance to cover the financial gamble. I believe today that SRK’s magnetism can turn a non commercial story into a blockbuster. Do Paccino and Cruise, De Nero play to the gallery? They pride themselves at the script selection. So do prestigious Production houses. Learning to walk before flying criteria can work at the commercial level not in the creative arena. I disagree.

    Coming back to SLB, the reason he chose to work with newcomers despite the fact that he had merely to wag his lil finger for any superstar to feature in his films, is because he visualised a fresh pair free of image encumbrances, who could be readily believable as Ranbir and Sakina since he was creating a Neverland. All directors worth their salt work MIGHTY HARD on the stars or non stars in their films in ‘grooming’, to elicit a performance which comes closest to the image in their head. Believe me I know..first hand. SLB had to live up to the distinction of introducing Raj Kapoors grand son! It was a heavy duty obligation.I think the fact that Ranbir wins your heart is tell tale of how well SLB has succeeded.

    No film maker goes ahead with a script until he isnt cock sure of its worthiness, in the given parameters and in the message he wishes to convey. SLB too must have been greatly pleased with the plot.he had a major hand to play in it as in all of his films. Hindsight teaches you pertinent lessons.

    Except for the fact that the audience was not ready for a tragic end to R’s love, which like I said is an irritatingly genetic diet for our audiences, there was nothing wrong with the marketing. What did you expect SLB to say about his film or the story.. It was all in the treatment. If you ask me to narrate the story I will bungle it up as well. Since this is not a 200 page melodramatic script.

    And No..it was not pitted against SRK.. If a chinese restaurant comes up adjacent to Moghlai would you call it pitting against or a street where a variety of fare is available.I am sure most connoisseurs of cinema saw both films. I dont know how much to believe of b.O. returns.. often they are so cleverly manipulated by the Pundits depending who they want to show as having tipped the scale.

    Ab and MB are my fave too. but they have attempted films with a formula-ed story line. Heavily graphed, with its peaks and climaxes at clever intervals, sex and women in overdoes as much as emotional highs. This film cam nowhere close to that genre.

    You will have to eat your words Shaan so far as both SLB and Ranbir are concerned. SLB will emerge stronger and so will RK…both are here to stay. talent outlives all ..I KNOW 🙂

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 23, 2007 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  58. Kav

    You are right. SLB succeeded on the issues that he tended on the most, i.e Ranbir & Soonam. I think Saaboreriya is Ranbir & Sonam’s calling cards. Not that a pedigree needs any of this as there are cases of even worse talent (Ranbir is good) who have survived 17 consecutive flops, merely based on their last names. I think what Ranbir now needs is a three film package with YRF or atleast one with YRF, one with DP and one with RC. His future is bright. I agree talent & sincere hard work outlives all BS.

    But on the other hand, I predict (and you heard it here first), SLB’s carrer graph will now emulate RGV’s graph. A special category needs to be created to catalog SLB and Shaad Ali, both walk around naked and no one has the courage to say that the emperor has no clothes. SLB next, if it is Bhaji Roti, and with the Bachchan clan, will taste even worse than Saaboreriya. While I am on this prediction streak, let me also say i) JA will disappoint at BO (HR should be careful, he is numero duo in Bollywood and cannot afford to be part of indulgent movies)and ii) Anurag Base is on a verge of a major break through to the next level, if only he would call Adi and collaborate on a film with him (you have to understand that Muhammed does not go to the mountain, the mountain needs to go to Muhammed) and iii) K Jo’s next will have the quality of CDI and the marketing of OSO (think big, think very big, it is a bird, it is a plane, no it is Shaan big)

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 23, 2007 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  59. Shaan that is quite quite unfair. SLB is a fine, fine Director who will always remain one of my favourites…..regardless of the commercial success of his films.

    Quality work and Art inherently is like butter on water..always floats above the muck underneath and remains unaffected.Period.

    Of your three predictions I agree with two..figure it out.

    And while you are on this ‘prediction streak’ why are you not committing yourself on A N?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 24, 2007 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  60. AN requires the same kind of promo/release as CDI. If SRK was a women and playing the lead in AN in place of MD, it (i.e. AN) would have been a sure thing. Regardless, MD is one of the best actress of our recent past. She is a extremely talented actress and a very good dancer too. People will on seeing AN will see the difference that a good actress/ dancer makes.

    Honestly I wish MD had played Rani’s role in KANK (ofcourse with Lil C’s role trimmed so as to not clutter the movie with irrelevancies).

    AN will do business proportionate it its budget, and in keeping with its expectation. It is about a girl who returns to her roots to see all that meant something to her, neglected. The movie does not meander, it keeps its focus on this woman’s struggle to revive and restore her passion. We all have one such passion that we value, hence chances are most in the audience will connect.

    Go see AN, MD has the “latak & jhatak” of a Diva.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 24, 2007 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  61. Hi there,
    I saw the movie and i was actualy quite amazed 2 c ranbir’s towel scene and specially when it was fall down. I dont understand how come saawariya got right to show this film in cinema PG12. It should b PG 18 after watching dat scene. Although it was only for a sec but still!!Apart from songs film was crap.. Shame x

    Comment by Saad Feroz — November 24, 2007 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  62. i saw saawariya da week it released..i had been waiting for it for sooo long…n i dont think anyone can say that saawariya promso gave a misleading image…the movie promoted uncondtional love…n it showed us how complex how pure how beautiful love can be!!!

    i have been soo disappointed by the critics,the audiencesi reaction.The movie has been subjected to negativity it doesnt deserve..it is a brave attempt!!The indian audience should be clever enuf to understand da beauty of this movie..
    The visuals are striking,the story breathtaking (if u think moments make life den y not a film)the emotions are subtle…the characters haunting endearing…esp ranvir raj…u cant but love them…

    i loved reading dis review,,,glad to know there are ppl who can appreciate beauty..dis movie is ,according to me,the 2nd best product of slb….

    saawariya deserves accolades…i just want to thank slb for making dis movie…he gave us a great piece of art!!!also a special mention abt da star kids…

    sonam is a pretty girl n da best charm is u cant categorize her beauty..she gives a honest performance..i hope she does gr8

    ranvir…honestly wen i saw da promos i went like he is ok…not gud lukin..but his actin skills.his schoolboy charm has blown me away..he is a an actor to watch out for..
    he at the very beginin of his career given a performance which many of us will not forget!!

    the leading pair luks gr8 !!

    n thnx again for highlightin the simple beauty of saawaariya

    Comment by neha — November 24, 2007 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

  63. Shaan, the title song of AN, has good beat and the start of the song is good. Though more purity could have been maintained , it is whiff of good music , with good use of dhol. No Rap. etc , but very appealing. Bahut din ke baad aaisa gana suna.

    Comment by gajanan — November 26, 2007 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  64. Gajanan

    You are right, I think AN has a few good songs. Unfortunately I am slightly tone deaf, consequently have a very limited appreciation for music (sad all males in my family have this problem). The only desi music I know is what my grandmother plays (in her house) or what Rahim Chacha (my help) plays at my house (my mother understand very little Hindustani/Urdu so at her house there is zero Desi music).

    AN is a typical Hrisha Da / Basu Chaterjee type package. It will open small and hopefully pick up via word of mouth, i.e. a small movie with strong legs. Some will come for its music, some for the MD and still other just to enjoy a simple story well told. I will go because of MD.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 26, 2007 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  65. Shaan MD is slowly turning into a highly respected icon not just because of her talent but more also to for the chramed existence she seems to have creted for herself in her domstic life..Unfortunately women oriented subjects almost always miss the marquee. Remind me of one in recent times or not so recent as well. The comparison with CDI while may apply on the script level is erroneous on any other. For one SRK’s draw and MD’s are poles apart…and like I said a woman based subject with only a Kunal kapoor for company is a poor attraction for the paying audience.

    Please bear in mind that MD reached where she did because of the superstars who featured in those films as well. It was the package. The smaller films like Santoshis or the other one with Shabana failed. This is a tragic phenomenon nonetheless a reality. meryl Streep films would be a dud if made in India.

    Get my point? I do not know why the makers opted for a smallish budget film for her comeback sans male stars. Kajol made an entry with Aamir in Fanaa. Surely MD deserved a better project..methinks.

    Saad Feroz..Hi.. I missed the towel of ranbir ‘specially when it was fall down” ..it was censored in India.. how and when did you get to see it? Is it more obscene than Mallikas dress code in most films?

    Hi Neha.. the second. Thanks ..and So glad you liked the film. We are in a painful minority not just on this blog.

    Liked your point about ‘moments’..but for most its about a full two and a half hours. ..sad na?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 26, 2007 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  66. Kav

    Kajol is “Wada Pau” from Dadar while MD is “Chili Chicken with fried rice on the side” from Linking Rd, Bandra. Don’t get me wrong a Vad pau with its gauti mirchi is good and hits the stop too, but chili chicken is more appealing. We expect more from MD and hence the difference in the treatment. I agree that women oriented film do not do well, but the same is the case in Hollywood. Here too a women oriented film on relative basis, preforms poorly. Fortunately Hollywood is a bigger market (dollar wise) and hence a moderate hit is enough to support this segment. We have the luxury of narrow-casting.

    I understand why you think CDI and AN are apples and oranges, but I see AN as having the potential to be MD’s CDI (again relatively speaking). Like CDI, AN is very focused in telling its story without meandering. Also the story is very simple, something that all can understand and relate to. Unfortunately as you mentioned, we saw this year (or was it last year) what happened to DOR. Nonetheless, at the very least it should do better than DOR, thanks to MD.

    Via la MD, long live my chili chicken.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 26, 2007 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  67. The chilli chicken , vada pav analogy was quite lost on me Shaan. Come to think of it, if you do insist, both are vada pav mulgis from Aaamchi Mumbai..as in both are from Maharashtrian families,,both are married and now enjoying motherhood..both catered to the junta at large all thru thier careers.. MD thru her dhak dhak dances and Kajol through her loud, extempore, rather overt performances. I like both, nevertheless as actresses…they do convey what is needed. Kajol in KKHH was memorable. MD ..the funny thing is I cannot single out a single performance which has left a mark on me personally. She was always MD who delivered ..that is it..but going beyond the script.. I donno..maybe that Anil Kapoor film.. with Prabhudeva as choreographer..I am terrible with names..was the only one she wasnt the dhak dhak girl.

    Now for some special numerological prediction which I dont normally venture into but in this case just to prove the point that Numerology is a science..
    Saawariya added up to 26=8..not a favourable number for 99% of the population..AAja nachle too adds up to the same..26=8. Now unless Saturn is a friend for YRf or MD.. the prediction is not too good.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 26, 2007 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

  68. Kav darling you are sometimes so dense.

    * Kajol is plain like a Vada Pau, but with some loud gauti mirchi lurking at the edges.

    * MD is dhak, dhak, more exciting, hence Chili Chicken.

    * The movie with Anil Kapoor you are referencing is Pukar (amazing dance by MD).

    * One outstanding MD performance which should be written on her epitaph is Devdas.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 26, 2007 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  69. Hmmmm..your attempts at euphemism with the ‘darling’ did nothing to wipe away the denseness of ‘dense’. Just cuz you find chiili chicken exciting and vada pau plain doesnt necessarily mean the world delights in your culinary preferences darling…. you can be such a dope!

    Devdas would have been zilch without SLB!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 26, 2007 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  70. Shaan, it is very rare to hear good music. The violin like sound and the dhir–akthi ….. wah , what a beginning in AN. I do not know , how it is picturised. If picturised well, then it should be good. Hope they have seen Guide several times to learn well.

    Reminds me of Piya those Naina Lage Re. Waheeda Rehman, what a smile and what dancing. Burmanda was class , it had teen taal as well as Rupaka Taal. Even when typing this , I feel like getting out my chair and do the steps, magar slowly, age hogaya.

    About the director’s role , I agree with Kaveetaji. But Kaveetji the dance director is also important. Guide’s Vijay Anand , Kamal Amrohi in Pakeezah for Meena Kumari. If you see the stamp of Vijay Anand in picturising songs , it is very good. I do not know who the dance director was. For example Teesri Manzil ‘ Ho Hasina Zulfowali Jane Jaha” Helen and Shammi super dance. Shammi’s clinking the spoon in the glass bottle according to RD music was treat to watch. The dance director has very important role to play with the director. Both have to agree. Of course the actress has to be good looking and should dance well. It should not be that both the director and musis director make Tun Tun dance. Of course yeh bhi agar kaar diya , maan liye hum is d+md ko.

    SLB +Dance director + MD team was a success in Devdas. Kaveetaji do you agree?

    For all to see Helen, Shammi, RDB< Asha , Rafi M Sultanpuri and the dd + Vijay Anand in action.

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ufTK010yHFU

    The picture is not very clear. Just see click and see on the right side, you may get good ones of this legendary song picturization.

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=g2I0DjgVGYM
    This is slightly brighter, but full song is there.

    Comment by gajanan — November 27, 2007 @ 5:44 am | Reply

  71. Gajanan ji.. ‘Guide was a great example. All the songs were wonderfully composed by S.D. Burman and equally well picturised. The key was I guess situationally well pieced together and ofcourse Vijay Anand the master craftsman.

    ‘Mose chhal kiye jaaye’ is a statement on what facial expressions can mean in a song. It remains one of my favourites performance wise..waheeds grace coupled with great choreography. This song was followed immediately by ‘Kya se kya ho gaya’ ..I think first time on the Indian screen that two songs ran simultaneously and audiences loved it mainly because the emotion was strong and so identifiable. About the choreography I think it was master Sohanlal..the present ruling choreographer Vaibhavi Merchants grandfather.

    About Devdas..yes Saroj Khans contribution can never be sidelined. It was immense. the brief almost always , or atleast in personal films , is the Directors. Only those sequences leave a mark on the threshold of time which are a perfect mix of great work by the choreographer, Director and actor….there is no two ways about that.

    Loved the link. We miss Vijay Anand ..’Tere Mere sapne’ was another favorite…as also Jewel Thief..His sensibilities were unique which he often gave credit to his older brither Chetan Anand for. It is tragic that the family had to face such harsh times with Chetan jis sons implicated in the murder of Priya Rajvansh . I had personally met him.. a soft spoke gentleman, extremely good looking and lovable. He and Balraj Sahni are epitome of good looking actors of an entirely original category..cant think of any other today. The simplicity and openness of character that shone through their countenance.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 27, 2007 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  72. Who can forget , Dev and Mumtaz on a cycle ” He maina Kasam li , again Vijay Anand, with Kishore in full zest esp ” Paake Tujhe …….” lines. Wah kya awaaz, kya aada, kya cycle bell ki awaz, extremely soft.

    Comment by gajanan — November 27, 2007 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  73. “Lately, Cibelle has been spending a lot of time at my house, teaching Rahim Chacha, how to make comfort food. Needless to say, Rahim Chacha cannot do anything, certainly not cooking, without his music from the 50s and the 60s. So while Cibelle is teaching Rahim Chacha how to make that perfect macaroni and cheese, he has been teaching her Desi music and by extension, Urdu. I don’t like music that much and certainly not music from before my time, but it is my destiny now to tolerate Cibelle’s inspired bursts into a bollywood song. I cannot tell you how hard it is to keep a straight face when Cibelle sings, she can hold a tune but butchers the words completely.

    This morning as I got out of bed, Cibelle started singing, “Abhi Na Jaao Chore Ke , Ke Dil Abhi Bhara Nahin ”. Now this is after she woke me up a few times last night with, “Chal Sanyasi Mandir Mein, Teri Chaabi Mera Taala Saath Saath Khankhaege” I was on the seventh heaven last night, generally girls don’t like to “sing” as much. Hence this morning listening to her sing, “Abhi Na Jaao…”, I said to myself, “Nayki Aur Pooch Pooch” and dived back into the bed into the tender waiting arms of Cibelle.

    Alas the bliss was short lived. SLB was at my door, ringing the bell while simultaneously banging on it with his fists. As I heard Rahim Chacha walk up to the door and let him in, I quickly took a shower and changed out of my night clothes.

    “Good morning” I said walking down the stairs to SLB.

    “I am sorry to barge in like this, but I am very upset and wanted to talk to someone” said SLB sounding very apologetic.

    “No problem, what are friends for”, I said, dismissing any need for an apology.

    I knew why he was here. I knew why he was upset. SLB had recently made the mistake of going on a head on battle against SRK and was now paying the price of going head on against SRK. He was hurting, and being tightly wound, he could not get past the bone crushing defeat he had suffered. It was pointless to remind SLB that it was SRK who had made him the big time director that he was today (or at least until Saaborriya was released). SRK had made him, first by agreeing to work with him in Devdas, and next by financing Devdas out of his own pockets when Bharat Shah (no relation to Akshay Shaggo) the producer of Devdas went into a serious problematic phase. All that gratitude was now forgotten, SLB saw only blood.

    I remember not very long ago SLB was so cocky and full of himself, that he decided to release his movie on the same day as SRK’s Om Shanti Om (“OSO”). It was not long thereafter that he found himself unable to match SRK’s marketing blitz. Rather than cut his losses and go into damage control mode, perhaps change the date of Saaboreriya’s release, SLB went for a “rope a dope” strategy which dictated that he keep the content of Saaboreiya a surprise, i.e. making the surprise the little engine that could (win the audience over), while simultaneously hoping that by the time of its release, OSO would be exhausted due to overexposure. SLB’s intention, it seems, was to announce smugly, “He who laughs last, laughs the longest”. Nonetheless like a true thorough bred, SRK, the Seabiscuit, kept on going without being exhausted, and in the end, SLB’s gamble backfired. Instead of laughing at the world, the world was laughing at him. OSO got a “Double Whammy”, i.e. the benefit of an energized marketplace, compounded by the windfall of a receding competition. On the other hand SLB got a rejection, his delusion of grandeur dented, his reputation tarnished.

    So there was SLB in my library, sitting on the edge of the sofa by the bay window overlooking the 18th hole at an adjoining golf course. I told him I saw good intentions in his efforts. Perhaps, if he had focused on telling the story rather than grooming Ranbir & Soona. Perhaps, if he had managed the audiences’ expectation better with his promos he would have seen a better response. But SLB was in mood for any of that. “I have decided to show the world and especially SRK that I too can make a Masalla Movie” he erupted. “I will make the mother of all Masalla Movies” he added.

    “Take it easy”, I said “Loosing against the Don Jungli Billa Khan of Bollywood should not be such a badge of shame, it is not as if you lost against the serial looser, Big B. Things could have been worse. You are a winner just for having had the opportunity to go up against SRK”.

    “I don’t want to hear any of that consolation talk Shaan”, SLB cut in, “I am going to make a Masalla movie right away. In fact I am going to remake OSO “

    “Sanjay, it is not that easy to make a Masalla movie. It may appear so but in fact it is even more difficult than making the pretentious bull shit that the Khasi Bakra, Anurag Kashyap makes”. I said trying to reason, and before he could cut in, I added, “Now listen to me before you say anything. Some time back Gurinder X-Large Chaddi thought she could do a K Jo or a Sooraj Barjatya . But after making “Bride and Prejudice” she went from Gurinder X-Large Chaddi to Gurinder Bina Chaddi. She lost all her reputation. You would be wise not to try to be Farah Khan”

    Once again SLB cut in, “No No Shaan I have decided I will remake OSO and that is that. In fact I will compose the music and write the songs as well”

    “Really” I said trying to play along.

    “Yes, I will make an even more mindless item song than Dard-E-Disco” SLB said arrogantly.

    “Is that right, a mindless item song about pain” I said, rolling my eyes.

    Without any warning, SLB got up, removed his shirt, mimicking SRK’s dance steps, started to sing to the tune of Dard-E-Disco, “ Dhungun Mein Mere Hai Sundaas Ke Lende, Sundaas Ke Lende, Dhungun Mein Mere Hai Sundaas Ke Lende … Yeh Paani Puri, Yeh Bhel Puri, Yeh Ragda Paytis, Kar Gayee Apni Jadoogari, Payt Mein Garbar Hai Machi….Dhungun Mein Mere Hai Sundaas Ke Lende, Sundaas Ke Lende, Dhungun Mein Mere Hai Sundaas Ke Lende…Sundaas Ke Lende, Sundaas Ke Lende ”

    “Wait, wait, what kind of rubbish is that, where is the Dard” I said while holding my head with both my hands.

    “I am taking Lil C as my hero, he is fiber deficient, you know, as in constipated. The Dard will be there alright. There will be huffing and puffing too. It will be there when he tries to release his Sundaas Ke Lende into the Sundaas” SLB explained.

    “This is disgusting. Oh man this is filthy” I said as I got up to walk away.

    “Oh come on as if Dard-E-Disco was some poetry. This is the mother of all mindless songs” said SLB urging me to sit down and listen.

    “I told you, this is not your cup of tea. It is not as easy as you think. People don’t want to see Lil C relieve himself, pain or no pain, with or without the huffing and the puffing. Tell me , is this your big idea, Dhungun Mein Mere Hai Sundaas Ke Lende”. I said, trying my best to project as much disbelief as possible.

    SLB stood still for a moment, then said “Now I see what people have always said about you, you just stick up for SRK“. With that he started to walk away

    A little defensive I tried to refute him “Well that is not true. I am in fact being a good friend by telling you that this idea is stupid just like your idea to make Saaboreriya. There is no way Saaboreriya would have amounted to anything. I give you credit for making the attempt but it was not a commercially feasible venture. But this OSO remake will kill any shred of credibility you may still posses. I suggest you take a long break, come back after a few years when people have forgotten Saaboreriya and then start all over again”.

    Feeling insulted, SLB left in a hurry. Alas I fear we will be seeing a yet another RGV in the making.”

    The above copy paste is from Shaan Khans blog..

    Comment by Sundas Khan — November 27, 2007 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  74. This has freaked me out. Will somebody please tell me what in Gods name is going on? Shaan..have you written this blathering bunkum baloney balderdash?? I’ve run out of words!!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 27, 2007 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  75. [ Edited..Although there is no comment moderation on this site but continuous posting of unrelated, unexplained, obscene copy pastes from other sites is not permitted]

    Comment by Shermnaak khan — November 27, 2007 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  76. THIS BLOKE SHAAN KHAN SHOULD BE BANNED FROM ALL SITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by SHAADAAR KHAN — November 27, 2007 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  77. Read this and get the truth

    Comment by Sirf sach — November 27, 2007 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  78. Read this and get the truth

    Comment by Sirf sach — November 27, 2007 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  79. Get the facts

    Comment by Sirf sach — November 27, 2007 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  80. Egawd!!! Shaan …sorry to say so but u r the pits man. I didnt bother to go to ur blog..if this is vot u write there then i know now why u go around to different sites leaving your url behind..Kaveetaa have you read this on his site. I have another word which u have missed or maybe didnt want to use .its utter BULLSHIT!!!Have some shame Shaan!!!!!!

    and sirf sach…thanks for that link….no wonder these shaan types go on blowing oso trumpet because it is also in the pits…all those hit figures were bullshit!!!

    Comment by Neha — November 27, 2007 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  81. Neha “if this is not enough soon you gonna see the Videocon ad with “oh so-so” along with Dhoni ..another PR Excercise “Wait and Watch , ALL TV channels going gaga over it promoting so so

    Comment by Sirf sach — November 27, 2007 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  82. Check the IP of the recent post, It will be the same IP as one of your quasi regular. It is Akshay Shah (aka Akshay Shaggo).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 27, 2007 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  83. No Shaan..It is NOT Akshay Shah. I certainly dont think you should take names on just the basis of conjecture in an open fora that too under a masked identity while Akshays is in full view. It is really unfair to Akshay, who I know incidentally through Naachgaana.com and have grown to be fond of.

    And its not essential who it is in the above comments.The point is that the blogs copy pasted here, from your blog presumably, (including the one I edited out) were in extremely bad taste. I cannot imagine your compulsions for resorting to this tone and language. And on this very post itself @24 I had taken up for you openly and praised your use of language!!Shudder!

    For long now I have been receiving mails about your write ups. I had visited your blog initially just once, therefore had no clue as to the extent of vilification being indulged in. I am sad and greatly disappointed in you Shaan.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 27, 2007 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  84. Kav

    You are covering up for Akshay Shah. He IS A scum. Nonetheless that is your choice. What you have deleted or not I don’t know, hence I cannot comment upon, but what I post on my blog is fun and free of any desire to submit to anyone’s interpretation of freedom of expression should be.

    Goodbye

    Comment by Shaan Khan — November 27, 2007 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  85. Amma Shaan , Jasbad me aakar aaisa keyboard na toko.
    OSO, SLB aur yeh saab filmiwale ek fanatasy ki duniya hai.
    Inke upaar aaisa comment marna hi SHAAN ke kilaf hai.
    SHAAN ek Insaan ki SHAAN hai , isko aaisi time pass Jasbad me aakar, muth pheko.

    Comment by gajanan — November 28, 2007 @ 6:39 am | Reply

  86. Shaan..I repeat it is not Akshay. I have no clue to the persons identity. As for the post I deleted it had to do with Mr. Bachchan, SRK and a zip…it was obscene. You know the rest.

    The least I expected was that my word hold credibility.

    A genuine piece of advice..your idea of fun needs a re-think.

    Shaan you are talented. Please channelise your energies productively like you have often done here. Presently am confused as hell. There is so much information coming in from so many quarters which I had absolutely no clue about..I barely surf the net ..so I never get to know what is going on…Phew!!

    Gajanan ji,

    film waalon ke seene mein bhi dil hai jo dhadkta hai .Chot unhen bhi pahunchti hai chahe jismaani ho ya phir roohani.

    Phir bhi.. khoob farmaya.

    And that song you mentioned ‘hey maine kasam li”..I think Vijay Anand forever romnticised a cycle ride like never before.That film had a plethora of emotions so well nuanced with out standing music. I would never have imagined Mumtaz giving this level of performance with another director. The ‘jai jai shiv shankar girl and bindiya chamkegi actress made one believe in her when she sang ‘ Jaise Radha ne mala japi shyam ki maine odhi chunariya tere namm ki’…unforgettable.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 28, 2007 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  87. Woh din Kaveeyoki thi
    Aab tho sirf awaz hai
    Kaveetaji , Kavi ko dhundo
    Kavi agar kaveetha na kare , sirf awaz kare
    Tho Sannata hi sahi

    Comment by gajanan — November 29, 2007 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  88. whew, what kind of crap was being spewed forth on this blog kaveetaa ji! talk about verbal diarrhoea !

    nehow nice discussion gajanan ji

    totally agree about guide and the song picturizations.. one of a kind surely..waheeda was an incredibly expressive dancer..

    did anyone else notice the facial resemblance between sonam and waheeda?

    also , anyone catch onto the dialog delivery of sonam, their was such variation in cadence, almost had a meena kumari touch sometimes..i know i know thats blasphmey but me thinks sonam acquittted herself rather creditably in a difficult role!

    Comment by maya — November 29, 2007 @ 8:39 am | Reply

  89. Madhuri Dixit could have got roles like Waheeda and Meena Kumari , as she had the ability. One feels the directors lacked the vision of Vijay Anand and Ghulam Mohammed , to apply the Indianness to Madhuri. One Devdas was not enough ( too much gloss was there. A SLB obession). When Mumtaz did so well in TMS , MD could have also done well with a director like Vijay Anand.

    Comment by gajanan — November 29, 2007 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  90. Meena Kumari touch will be there , when there is simplicity like the screen appearances as in her movies. For example in Dil Apna Preet Parai ” Ajeeb Dastaan Hai song , the lyrics and the simplicity of the presentation ( mind you it was in B&W) is a pointer what simplicity can achieve agar actress me that charisma and shakti hai.

    I doubt with a penchant for gloss, speed and aping the West for anything and everything, one can match MK performances and style. It is not impossible , but will the audience like it and accept it. I am not saying do B& W and do it slowly , but there has to be an distinctive ada and an audience to follow this ada of MK.

    Comment by gajanan — November 29, 2007 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  91. Gajanan ji @87

    aapki baat kehene ka andaaz nirala hai

    sach hai kaviyon ka na bol bala hai

    magar kya karen yeh public jo sab jaanti hai

    bas kaveeta hi ko nahin pehchaanti hai

    Chaliye aapas mein hee ras khoj lete hain

    kaveeta ka mazaa khud hi boojh lete hain

    🙂

    Hi Maya,

    Sonam has performed wonderfully for a newcomer. One cannot pinpoint any flaw in her assaying of that role. She is still young barely out of her teens. One presumes she will age, like wine..get more sensuous and deep. SLB’s contribution cannot be sidelined here. The litmus test will be her next film. One hopes she makes the right choices..or actresses like Mandakini and Bhagyashree, mahima chaudhary went kaput despite brilliant debuts at the hands of masters.

    Its too soon to put her in Waheeda or Meena Kumari mould..with time maybe.These divas have risen from the ranks both in their personal life and professional..that maturity that glistens in their acting then gets to be un matchable. I always believe that to be good actor , lifes vagaries have to be felt at the soul level. Sensitivity has to be honed.

    But you are right in thinking that she will perhaps be include in the greats some day. Sonam is definitely a welcome actor in the fraternity who will play a long innings.

    Gajanan ji

    Vijay Anands last film was ‘Ram Balram’ which failed at the B.O…he had retired from active direction much before Madhuris time.Had madhuri been offered roles which demanded performance to that level Iam sure she would have risen to the challenge.

    ‘Sahi Bibi aur Ghulam remains one of my favourite films as also for Meena Kumaris performance. What she lent to that role is indescribable. To play an alcoholic with such grace and poignancy as also so authentically is an extremely difficult task. She just lived that role.I believe it is being re- made..but nobody today can do justice to it..perhaps only madhuri could have at the hands of a good director.

    I had the good fortune to meet with Meena ji. She was ill at the time and I was small. But even then I remember the meetings vividly. The ada you speak of was a distinct part of her character. She was so unique in so many ways. Not a single actress then and now can compare with what she personnified.Her voice, her andaaz her manner of talking, moving, laughing, even just plain looking at you had a style.

    But you are right our audiences today as mentioned in one of my earlier comments comprise of youth and their sensibilities differ vastly from those over 40 like the rest of us. So I guess we will have to ruefully remember’those times and those films’.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 29, 2007 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  92. SBG , Madhuri , she will have to do voice training. Woh jo tremble MK ka voice me hai , it will be difficult to re-do. The main reason you felt her performance was numero uno was that the director (Abrar Alvi)> [of course Guru Dutt’s input must have been there] allowed VK Murty , GD’s cameraman do the talking , which is what good cinema is about’ “Let the camera talk and actors act”. When you have a distinct ada and the halka sa trembling voice of MK : GD, AA, VKM efforts look great cinema.

    I do not know who is going to act in the remake. But I tell you , it will be difficult to remake this movie, esp MK’s role.
    This movie won 4 awards at the 1963 Filmfare Awards:

    Best Movie – Guru Dutt
    Best Actress – Meena Kumari
    Best Director – Abrar Alvi
    Best Cinematographer – V.K. Murthy

    Comment by gajanan — November 29, 2007 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  93. Priyanka Chopra is reported to be the choice. Whilst I do think she is extremely talented and beautiful going by the performances I have seen yet it is early to comment on her for this role. One has seen only her contemporay performances but one never knows..she may give it a unique take. Let us wait and watch.

    About SBG..I have been told, that Abrar Alvi was only a front since Guru Dutt had lost his confidence after the non success of Kaagaz ke phool.. so may have not openly lent his name as Director. But the film is too plainly the work of Guru Dutt…primarily.I am glad that Filmfare gave this film the awards it deserved. I think music and background score should have also been awarded as also Geeta dutt.. for na jaao saiyan..dont you think?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 30, 2007 @ 11:28 pm | Reply

  94. kaveeta

    i wasnt suggesting that Sonam is anywhere close to Meena K in terms of acting. All I was referring to was the use of her voice as an instrument of seduction , which Meena ji was great at too..
    Although Meena kumari’s voice was quiet possibly the most expressive voice i have heard in terms of the the “dard” in it.. No wonder she was THE tragedy queen.

    I think the new version of SBG is not so much a good idea.. I mean no way can anyone of this generation compete with the actors of the original.When there is no hope for an improved version why attempt it? If someone like SLB was making it, I would have been all for it. He has the sensibility to bring out the viraha ras oh so beautifully

    Comment by maya — December 1, 2007 @ 3:13 am | Reply

  95. ‘voice as an instrument of seduction’….hmm…interesting. To be honest I will have to see the film again from this particular perspective.I was too busy soaking in the experience generally.

    The fact that actors of yore had no Institutes, coaching classes of Taneja saab etc makes their contribution so much more awe inspiring. There wasnt any voice modulation tutored to Meena Kumari or Ashok Kumar or Dilip Kumar..or Raaj Kumar. they evolved a style entirely their own…distinct, unique, original, one of a kind. truly awesome.

    I agree about SBG as a remake. Its impossible to recreate the magic once captured so brilliantly. If you dont recreate the era the story is not relevant. if you do, then you cant ever do it as well. Quite a catch 22. SLB would have perhaps been the only one could expect to come up with a classical take on it.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — December 1, 2007 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  96. i think as far as meena k was concerned that wasnt voice training or modulation, just the voice that she was born with.. have you listened to her shayari on CD,, it is most excellant albiet depresssing fare.

    she was definitely the quintessential”artist” , she was born to suffer for her “art” or “art=suffering” for her

    her life would make an excellant screenplay-biopic.. altho none of the current crop could do justice to it.. what do you think?

    Comment by maya — December 2, 2007 @ 5:30 am | Reply

  97. maya if you happened to have seen the films of MK when she was relatively new like Baiju bawara etc even up to as late as Dil apna preet parayee you might have noticed that her voice was radically different.It had no trace of the by now legendary tremor that so significantly symbolises her . This was a cultivated factor..something on which she might have worked on diligently.

    About the suffering part ..it is so apt. I think somewhere she enjoyed being known as the ‘tragedy queen’ and did all within her capacity to perpetuate that imge..that of a childless, mourning wife and mother, longing for the un fated. She played it to the hilt..or maybe it was a case of real imitating reel.

    A film on her life ..um.. not unless one is privy to the inner details or what is obvious may be far from the truth.Perhaps Ash..fattened up would be ideal.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — December 2, 2007 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  98. MK , what about Shabana Azmi? PC looks too dollish for SBG.

    Comment by gajanan — December 3, 2007 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  99. Sorry for the delay in response gajanan ji.. I missed your comment.

    Shabana Azmi is too old for the charcter. The underlying subtle hint of a love story that perhaps ‘could have happened ‘ betwen Bibi and Ghulam is one of the finest underplayed nuances I have seen. He was in love with her.. but she was unattainable as the moon and as far away.For her, her husband was her universe..she knew no other. Therefore the characters romanticism does not suit Shabans age group, @% years back.. maybe.

    Pc has a classic face and talent to match.. although the poignancy and longingess that MK could bring about by just being herself is irreplicable.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — December 5, 2007 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

  100. Then it very difficult to get another MK. You are absolutely right Kaveetaji. Phir tho saab ke saab doll hi hai. Let us see if Soha Ali Khan does good work in KKC , which is described as a tribute to Guru Dutt and Waheeda. I do not expect a great peformance , but you never know.

    Comment by gajanan — December 6, 2007 @ 5:49 am | Reply

  101. khoya khoya chand was a pathetic, dull lifeless movie. Soha was most unsuited!!

    Comment by Nargis — December 11, 2007 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  102. Priyanka has the makings of an actor worth her salt Gajanan ji. Its just that she has to be guided through those emotions and the sensitivity of the director has to finely tuned so as to be as if infectious. or it will boil down to plain melodrama and predictable scenes. whether it is wise to even attempt a re make is of course arguable :)Some art is best left ‘whole’ in its pristine nature, intact.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — December 11, 2007 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  103. I never expected Soha Ali Khan to peform. Her face is very Sharmila type and all in all she will have an image problem to perform well. I agree , SAK was unsuited. I have just seen some rushes here and there and very dollish and stiff.

    SBG wapas banana itna aasan kaam nahi, plus aabhi ka intelllectual level bhi thoda kum hai , compared to that era. Too much emphasis on graphics. They have to stop this if they want to remake SBG. I do not know if VK Murty the cameraman of Guru Dutt is still alive. He may be old about 86 if alive. He could be the best person to give a verdict on this as to who can fill in MK from the present heroines. VK Murty was legend in his time. No computer graphics , sirf camera what an effect. I saw Kagaz Ke Phool again ( it is like a revision for me, I have seen it several times)

    Comment by gajanan — December 13, 2007 @ 11:28 am | Reply

  104. movie

    Comment by rahul — May 7, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  105. commenting after two years of release. I actually liked this movie, the concept. It was all different. A bit slow but was interesting.

    Comment by Sushant — May 9, 2009 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  106. bueno esta buenisima la pelicula pero lo q no me gusto fue q el chico se queda solo. pero el gesto q el tubo con ella al dejarla ir es q el entendio q ella no podria ser feliz con el .

    Comment by fabi — July 30, 2009 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  107. I like this movie is wonderful, interesting is the best i have seen in my life!!!

    Comment by Jessica — August 19, 2009 @ 1:02 am | Reply


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