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Home > Movies > Reviews > Readers' review

Saawariya is sheer poetry

Sreesha Belakvaadi | November 14, 2007 13:04 IST

It is very easy for anyone to miss the strengths of Saawariya. I am aware that most of the reviews are negative, which is fair enough as everyone is entitled to their opinion. And here is mine.

The first and the foremost important factor to understand about Saawariya [Images] is that it is not a movie with a story; it doesn't carry a definite structure like prose. It is sheer poetry, and with poetry, abstractness becomes all the more personified. Poems cannot be judged, they can only be felt. It's like seeing a rosebud bloom into a rose.

And judging poetry as prose is a gross mistake; and this is precisely what happened with Saawariya. Reviewers or the so-called connoisseurs are not able to see the poetic nature of the Saawariya, which I think is the very pivot on which the movie has been made. Unfortunately, the visual-poem is over-shadowed partly due to lack of understanding art and partly due to unwarranted comparison with Om Shanti Om.

Saawariya doesn't have a strong subject; it has a very ordinary storyline. And yes, direction is not strong enough to carry the emotions to the common man. However, one can watch Saawariya in an altogether different dimension, which was what I did. The visuals are so poetic and painting-like, that I am sure an artist would melt witnessing the shades of blue and green in the film.

In fact, the movie gives you a feel of the musicals -- like a poem sung and expressed through the medium of flamboyant sets and paintings. There is an innate subconscious soul to the entire movie -- the soothing bluish-green tints and neon lights, the lovers' bridge around which all emotions are poured and the poetic surrealism of the paradise like city having tones of ancient Venice.  

Omung Kumar, who worked on the sets deserves applause. If not for him, Saawariya would have been the worst film of the year. Omung has taken a quantum leap in creating a city that has the feel of extreme surrealism, completely unconventional to what we have seen before, extravagantly rich in aesthetics, vividly blended with shades of grey and bluish green. 

Mellow lighting infiltrates throughout the city through streamers, blinkers and vintage-styled lamp posts. The statue of a magnanimously etched Buddha illuminated with natural fire-sticks and diyas takes a central recognition amidst several intricate objects of art that encapsulate the magical city. The entire movie is shot in darkness to give it a dreamy and mesmerising effect. The character of Rani Mukerji as a call girl only personifies the night-feel and gives strength to the overall soothing dream the audience can witness. Monty's musical score too adds to the whole mesmerising experience.  

There are many noteworthy scenes from the film. For example, the one where Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are floating in love and ecstasy below the mammoth statue of Buddha. Cinematographer Ravi K Chandran cuts this situation through the top shot of Buddha, and for a moment you are lost in that world.

Then there is a wide-angle shot of the city at night where Ranbir introduces Sonam to look at the melting silence of the night. A train hoots with smoke billowing from its chimney, and that is indeed a classic shot.

But the one which launches you into a world of absolute bliss is the scene where an emotional Sonam is seen running through the dark alleys of the magical kingdom with bluish-green pebble lights flashing around the corners. The music is so powerful, that for a moment it forces you to change the opinion of the whole film to be a classic of its own kind. Then the camera dissolves, fades and cuts to the semi-lit caves literally floating.

To sum up, Omung Kumar, Monty and Ravi K Chandran are the real pillars of Saawariya. As for Sanjay Leela Bhansali [Images], he deserves to be neglected.

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