I called up by youngest bro (who's a great fan of Hrithik since his school days) for a review. But he told me that after the Kites debacle, he's not keeping track of Hrithik's movies lest he be disappointed again. So he was keeping his expectations low... My poor brother had grown his hair long last year as Hrithik (in Kites) for promoting the movie, but Kites release kept postponing and Mom's was chasing him for chopping off his mop of hair!!! Finally the film was a disaster and my bro was sullen while we kept teasing him. I love saying funny / critical things about Hrithik just to irritate my brother.
So back to Cinemax Hall last Friday. 3 Guzarish shows. My mind was imagining a drama style saza (a la Bhansali style) which would last for almost 3 to 3 n half hours! I asked the counter fella about the duration of the movie. '2 hours 15 mins', he said. 'Relief' - I said to myself. Even if its a torture, we can manage to sit through it. My friend confirmed on phone that she was okay for seeing 'Guzarish'. And we went for it.
The movie, like all Bhansali movies is like a drama, with a work of art mixed with antiquity/ historic touch to it. Though the movie is set in present times, Bhansali shows us artwork and brings history/ antiqueness to the movie by setting it up in an old Victorian style house, which are found in interiors of old Goa. And if this wasn't enough, he's made Aishwarya Rai wear Victorian gowns just for effect. The people who do not know much about Goan culture might think that Goans still wear such gowns in present times! What is contrasting to this is that 14 years back when the magician, Mr Ethan Mascerenhas (Hrithik) was younger and performed on stage, he and his assistant wore more contemporary clothes!
The Victorian House, the Victorian gowns of Aishwarya and the plush green interiors of Goan villages make the movie a visual treat- almost like a piece of art unfolding in front of your eyes. Hrithik plays his part as an paraplegic well. But his character fails to convince you that he's fed up of life or deserves his plea (Guzarish) for Euthanasia to be accepted. I could not feel the pain of his character nor did it extract one tear from my eye. He doesn't look like someone whose both kidneys have failed and heart is going weaker by the day! But yes, his pain can be felt the dialogues and description of his state by his friend Devyani Dutta (Shernaz Patel) and his mother (Nafisa Ali), who have played their parts convincingly. As for Aishwarya, she dressed way too loud (bright red lipstick and all) for her part as a nurse, but projects her character well (though sometimes you fail to understand her background!)
When the people are told that Ethan D'Souza is going for a trip outside his house first time in 12/14 years, you wonder how ....
a) He'd managed to give those encouraging lectures to students after becoming an invalid, as shown in the movie. He couldn't have given them from his house!
b) If he's not moved out of his room since so long, why hasn't he become pale in the face or frail ? In fact, he looks quite fresh except for his limp body! (In fact, even if a common person has viral fever for 3-4 days, he/she looks weak and pale).
c) When he enjoys his first outing in several years, one wonders why he's not taken outside the house more often, if that is possible! Maybe he might find a reason to live!
Apart from above bloopers, the whole movie is sensitively and sweetly made. And those who like sensitive parallel cinema will appreciate the movie.
Aditya Roy Kapoor adds charm and freshness and humour to the entire movie.
The end is quite abrupt. You will again wonder if Ethan can laugh through life for 14 years, why can't he bear to live a few more days or months?!