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Bhansali boo hoo - Guzaarish


I know, it might sound unduly parochial and unaccommodating of minorities perhaps, but why is Sanjay Leela Bhansali stuck on European sensibility? I am not questioning his choice of Goan catholic community as the backdrop for his stories (But even then there aren’t as many white people in Goa who dance the flamingo and wear jackets all the time or wear the Spanish gypsy dresses. In the movie most of the actors are very fair. Hmmm, perhaps it’s the Indian movies prerogative.), but his artistic liberty that is very narrowly defined by a certain romance with European visual culture and obscene opulence. What really bothers is, we don’t have many poetic visionaries creating beautiful cinemas, and the one we have is hopelessly afflicted with myopic obsession with a certain style that robs much from his story telling.
Guzaarish is beautiful at times, but then it was actually supposed to be about life’s wonder and an individual’s choice. The beauty should come out of this wonder, not through tropes of settings and plot. The film has juxtaposed the notion of life’s beauty and a person’s freedom to end one with humongous sufferings, without ever connecting the two. A film that should have had a strong existential motif ends up being just a mixture of protagonist’s nostalgia to life’s beauty and his desire to end it.
Well, the film may make you cry in instances; however it could have been much more. Bhansali’s ‘Khamoshi’ perhaps still remains one of his best movies where the film achieves what it set out to do.
I saw ‘Guzaarish’ at a talkies and I could see people poking fun at the film at many instances. Perhaps, Bhansali needs to work on who is he making films for. I understand that a director too needs space for his creative expression, which might not be yet appreciated by audience. But the audience was only feeling incredulous at the lapses of story. Indian movie goers are a passionate lot, but they won’t prefer a visual spectacle over a weakly developed narrative.

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