Saawariya is based on Dostoevsky's short story ‘White Nights’ and it ends up being more like a ‘theater play’ than a film. The script is weak as it is vague and the screenplay is slow and monotonous. Bhansali’s film is based on a fairly abstract love story; his execution is average but does not manage to take the film higher due to the lackluster script and screenplay. The performances too by newcomers Ranbir and Sonam are above average. However the film is not a typical masala commercial film and may appeal to just a tiny segment, moreover the sad and melancholic feel of the film will keep viewers away as they prefer to watch ‘feel good’ films during the festive season. Overall Saawariya comes across as just about average.

The film has been produced and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and stars newcomers Ranbir Kapoor as Raj, Sonam Kapoor as Sakina, Rani Mukherjee as Gulab and Salman Khan in a special appearance. The music for the film has been done by Monty Sharma and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It belongs to the romantic genre of films.

Raj (Ranbir) is an artist, a musician; he is also a wanderer who is searching for something special. One fine day he chances upon a beautiful town and he is mesmerized by the beauty of this quaint little town. Raj is a loner and wanders out in the night, when one night he meets the beautiful, sad, mysterious and lonely Sakina (Sonam) standing on a bridge. Raj is immediately intrigued and drawn to her. Raj with his boyish charm decides to befriend Sakina. He also realizes that he has fallen in love with Sakina.

But destiny has other plans, when Raj learns that Sakina is in love with another man. She is in love with a stranger, a man whom she knows nothing about, but she stills waits for him to come back to her. Raj is heartbroken to learn that Sakina loves another man, but he is unable to stay away from her. He is caught in a whirlwind of his feelings of love and passion which drive him insane. Meanwhile Gulab (Rani), a prostitute who befriends Raj also falls in love with him. So what does destiny hold for all these people in love, who will loose their love and who will manage to be with the one they love?

There were high expectations from one of bollywood’s finest directors Sanjay Leela Bhansali, however he disappoints firstly with his script. The film does not really have a definite storyline; it is simply a vague concept of an abstract love story. Apart from the concept of unrequited love, no other plots are there and from start to finish this one emotion is harped on. The screenplay too is confusing and monotonous, many incidents and the reasons for them are left unanswered even till the end. Moreover even the locations and setting are vague. While trying to make his characters mysterious, Bhansali ends up not giving his characters much depth. However Bhansali does manage to execute the film with an artistic approach in terms of grandeur and opulence that one can see on the sets. Nonetheless this artistic execution cannot make up for the tepid script and screenplay.

The pace of the film is too slow and seems to crawl and makes the film monotonous. The film has style but lacks substance. However the sore point of the film is it’s climax, it is extremely disappointing and vague again. The romance in the film does not engross the audiences as even this is vague and abstract. The dialogues often get preachy while the movement on screen is slow.

The music by Monty Sharma is average with just a few numbers that leave a lasting impact, but overall the rest of the songs are situational. Saawariya is the one that stands out and it also lends a fresh and peppy feel to the otherwise dull proceedings. Ravi Chandran’s cinematography is good, but should have had variety; the blue setting gets too much after a while. The sets are good but the darkness to it is depressing. Dialogues are average.

Performances are average and newcomer Ranbir Kapoor definitely shows potential as a good performer, Ranbir gives a fairly good performance. He manages to infuse life into his sad and morose character. Sonam Kapoor looks sweet, but does not have much scope to perform. Her performance is just average. Rani delivers a confident and strong performance in her role as a prostitute. However Salman Khan barely has any meat to his role and is wasted. The rest of the cast is average.

Overall Saawariya has the right ingredients, big stars, big director and grandeur but the ingredients have not been utilized well. The story, script and screenplay are major pitfalls for the film turning out to be just about average. Saawariya turns out to be a disappointment for the Diwali festive season. At the box-office the film may hopefully do average due to the hype surrounding it.

Related Bollywood Pictures

  • Saawariya team on Amul Star Voice of India