Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) falls in love with Sakina (Sonam Kapoor). But Sakina is already in love with somebody else (Salman Khan) who goes to some unknown place in search of job on a promise that he would one day come back and marry her. The rest of the story is all about whether her lover comes back to her or not.
Actors: Ranbir Kapoor is excellent and lives up to the reputation and expectation from the family of Kapoors’. His innocent looks with exuberant attitude suited the character perfectly. This lanky lad is good at dances and has tremendous spontaneity. Sonam Kapoor is alright for the role and her expressions are limited. Rani Mukherjee is superb in the role of a sex worker who narrates the story. Salman Khan is adequate in a small yet pivotal role. Zohra Sehgal is very good as the nanny.
Story: Story of the film is based on Dostoevsky's short story 'White Nights'. It is a story that happens in four nights. Since it is a Russian story adaptation, the director chose a set-up where there is snow fall in the night. He also chose the backdrop of love between Hindu boy and a Muslim girl. But he did not indulge in any religious angle in the film. This story was earlier adapted in a Malayalam film titled 'Summer in Bethlahem'.
Screenplay - direction: Since the story of the film is so simple it is very difficult to run a two and half hour film in a gripping way. Hence we find the narration of the film pretty slow. There is lots of poetry in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's work. Since the characters and locations are limited, we are bound to get the feeling of bored at times. In certain scenes, SLB got the emotions right in this film. Especially in the following scenes -
1. The first meet between the old woman and Raj.
2. When Raj kisses the hand of Gulab in the ending of a song.
3. When hero and heroine parts in climax.
Other departments: This film is extraordinary when it comes to technical aspects. The art work takes the top cake. The entire set is in the variants of blue color. The music is excellent and all the songs are shot with great creativity. Cinematography is another huge asset for the film. The CG work and color grading is of top standard. Dialogues and lyrics are very good. Editing is fine. Production values of the film are top class.
Analysis: Saawariya is a kind of movie that can be liked by the people who have appetite for certain kinds of films. It is like a fairy tale set-up in an imaginative place. If you like films like Great Expectations and Oliver Twist (1948), you may find liking for this film too. The steps done by Ranbir reminded me of the ones performed by Fagin in Oliver Twist (the similarity could be due to height and costumes too). Saawariya is not a bad film if you have taste for poetic flicks. But, it will not appeal to an average cinegoer. If you are watching this film, make sure that you watch this film in a screen that has good projection and sound system.
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