Finally saw Saawariya last night, and I must disagree with the vast majority of the media 'experts' and even the vast majority of my fellow Bollywood fans out there. I rather liked it! To say that it lacks soul, as several reviewers said immediately upon the film's release, is unfair. To say that the makers of the film were caught in their own bubble is one way to look at it and one I shall not argue against, but my appreciation for the film and its presentation is nothing but positive. In fact, I think an on-stage adaptation of the film would be even more successful!
Treat Saawariya independently (i.e. outside the shadow of Om Shanti Om and the larger-than-life Shah Rukh Khan), and it is a film that would rank as good on its own merit. It would have been interesting to see the responses of the same individuals had not the media and everyone associated with it got caught up in the hype around the Diwali box office competition between the two films.
On to the movie. I thought it was beautifully screened. The dialogs were rather fitting. The music, as I have shared several times, was lovely and fit in well with the film given its genre. The performances were very good too! Ranbir Kapoor did very well, and Sonam Kapoor as Sakina was effective. She has the potential to do quite well if her roles do not require her to laugh as much. Not that there is anything wrong with laughing...but it does get a little redundant in the film. Rani Mukherjee and Salman Khan were outstanding as always. They have a presence about them that is special. Salman Khan can steal the show even in a cameo! A special shout out to Zohra Sehgal who is excellent (as expected) as the owner of a house in which she rents a protagonist a room.
On to the best bits of the film, its sets. Fantastic. Stunning. Visually overwhelming. And while it might seem to some that it is very fairy-tale-like, it would not be reaching too far to claim that it even resembles a typical European village in some ways. There is a good amount of truth to that, I believe.
Overall, Saawariya is poetry in motion. A depiction of love winning over infatuation, which is what I gathered from my viewing, at least. Most credit to the art director, music director, and choreographer, for the sum of the parts makes it a whole well worth heralding. Three stars for a good film! My only question: why was the towel scene with Ranbir needed? =)
My rating: *** (Good)
My classification: PG-13 (for plot)
Watch it if: you want to experience a visual treat you will never forget. This has to be among the best artwork in a long time.
Official website: http://www.saawariyafilm.com/