Mausam: Aesthetically shot, pathetically made

What if Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’s character, Raj goes to Simran’s place, picks up the cowbell she keeps on the door, but is never be able to trace her? What if Bhagyashree wasn’t blessed with the ingenuity of sending kabootar to Salman in Maine Pyar Kiya? Simran had the common sense of informing her neighbour where her family was heading to, but alas, Aayat (Sonam A. Kapoor – the credits read so) of Mausam doesn’t demonstrate an iota of such intelligence.

Now before you accuse me of comparing Mausam with DDLJ and MPK, let me inform you that Pankaj Kapur, who (mis)directed the film ensures that he has every ingredient of a legendary love story. The only scene that stands out in Mausam is the exchanging of hand-written love notes (In an age of SMSes, Sify andYahoo Messengers). The love notes are dampened in a glass of water as a symbolism of a dampened script.

As for the performances, Shahid is no Rajesh Khanna of Aradhna and Sonam is no Manisha Koirala ofBombay. In fact, we feel pity for the poor actors, who are saddled with a dumb script. They somehow manage to wade through the crater-sized loopholes in the plot.

The film revolves around a couple affected by almost all major incidents in the last one decade. It seems as if there are sensors attached to the lead actors, who get attracted to the places where war, riots or epidemics take place. The much touted F-16 fighter plane scene makes the helicopter sequences of ‘Dr. Dang’ in Subhash Ghai’s ‘Karma’ seem like a masterpiece.

Binod Pradhan paints each frame beautifully, especially the scenes inPunjab. The film has aesthetics of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, romance of Yash Chopra, and writing of Kantilal Shah, the C-grade filmmaker whose name appears at a fair in Ahmedabad during the climax of the film.

The stallion and child, whom Shahid rescues during theGujaratriots, are sure to get nominated as ‘Best supporting actors’, as they actually ‘supported’ the lame climax of Mausam. The scene was meant to leave the ‘intellectuals’ please themselves, by trying to decipher horse as metaphor. Maybe it was Pankaj Kapur’s tribute to MF Hussain. Go figure.

Well, the late artist reminds me of the fact that each frame of Mausam looks like a piece of art. But then how long can you stare at harebrained paintings? Hadn’t it been for the audience (who applauded at every scene that made them yawn), I’d have fallen asleep. Strongly recommended for insomniacs – sleep guaranteed. Better still, book a recliner seat. Caution: Bad weather ahead.

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