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SAAT KHOON MAAF Reviews ( Times of India )

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Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:34am | IP Logged
 

7 Khoon Maaf

Times of India

Nikhat Kazmi, TNN, Feb 17, 2011, 09.35pm IST
 
Critic's Rating:
**** 4 stars
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah, Irrfan Khan, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Anu Kapoor, Alexansdr Dyachenko, Vivaan Shah, Usha Uthup, Ruskin Bond
Direction: Vishal Bhardwaj
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Readers Rating: 
More from 7 Khoon Maaf
Trailer
Story: Susanna is a sad woman. All she wants is love. But all she ends up with is weirdness, wickedness and bestiality in the form of her sundry husbands. Naturally then, there is only one option left for her to end her bitter ordeal. Murder. The embittered woman devices innovative measures to rid herself of her unsavoury husbands, hoping to find the elusive happy-ever-after sentiment some day. Does she succeed?

Movie Review: Vishal Bhardwaj takes a leap from Shakespeare to Greek tragedy. After having successfully rendered Othello and Macbeth in a purely desi idiom, the avant garde film maker transforms Priyanka Chopra into a Medea-laike inferno who is hell-bent on revenge, after she fails to get her due from love and life. Is this leap successful too?

First things first. 7 Khoon Maaf is an intensely dark film which unfolds in shadows and silhouettes. So, if you aren't mistakenly looking for entertainment here, you are going to love this half-lit canvas of crime and punishment which lays bare the innermost recesses of a tortured soul. Vishal never once slips and lets go of his hold on this intense study of grief and grime. From the very first shot, which explodes with a grimacing Priyanka pulling the trigger on God-knows-who, the director inexorably draws you into this welter of passion and crime. All the death play takes place in semi-darkness: an almost outward pouring of an evil soul.

And this brings us to the second stirring note of 7 Khoon Maaf. The film is based on a seven-page story by Ruskin Bond. Vishal not only fleshes out the characters and adds immense details to the plot and the narration, he also balances the moral fulcrum at an interesting point. Priyanka may be a murderer, but is she evil? Never. Like all good and realistic crime and passion plays, this one too showcases the protagonist as a woman with a purpose. She may have used poisonous snakes and mushrooms and loaded guns to do away with her husbands, but you don't really blame her. Because somewhere through her dark and devious journey, Susanna carries the pain of every woman wronged: either by a two-timing husband, a wife-beating husband, a junkie husband, a murderous husband, a dictatorial husband, a sadistic husband, a husband who treats his wife as a sex object. The poor soul has no option but to end her anguish, any which way.

In terms of performances, 7 Khoon Maaf would undoubtedly end up as a milestone in Priyanka Chopra's career graph. The actor displays exquisite command over a complex character that is definitely a first in Indian cinema. She renders a subtle and restrained portrayal of a lonely and wronged woman who wanted love and only love from life. Amongst her husbands, it is Neil and Irrfan who excel as the brutes, even though it is hard to find fault with any of the characters in a Vishal Bhardwaj film. The music score (Gulzar and Vishal) is riveting too and boasts of the mesmerizing Darrrling number, amongst other tuneful songs. A word about the length: a bit of editing and tightening would make the experience more compelling.

Serious, sensitive and stirring, 7 Khoon Maaf is a whole new cinematic experience. Watch how Indian cinema is metamorphosing into something more substantial and glocal.
 
 
Review: 7 Khoon Maaf is a bloody good film
Published: Thursday, Feb 17, 2011, 20:09 IST
By Blessy Chettiar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

"I will kill him and drink his blood," joked a salt-and-pepper-haired Susanna in the promos of 7 Khoon Maaf.

Okay, so we all know the story of Susanna And Her Seven Husbands, the novel by Ruskin Bond. And when Vishal Bhardwaj (sometimes called India's Quentin Tarantino) decided to bring Susanna Anna Marie Johannes to life on the silver screen, there was bound to be added interest in the woman (Chopra in the film) who kills six of her husbands one after the other over a span of 60-odd years.

Who is the seventh husband/victim you may ask? Well, I'm still trying to work that one out. You might want to watch the film to draw your own conclusion.

7 Khoon Maaf unfolds through the point of view of Arun Kumar (Vivaan Shah), a servant boy in Susanna's father's house. Young Arun is in awe of, and love with, Susanna, whom he worships for getting him admitted in school and changing his life forever. Apart from Arun, Susanna has a brigade of faithful servants, a butler and Maggie Aunty, who are also her partners in crime.

Major Edwin Rodrigues (Neil) is Susanna's first husband and casualty, one-legged, arrogant, and a doubting Thomas.

Rodrigues is followed by junkie rock star Jimmy (John), masochistic poet Wasiullah 'Musafir' Khan (Khan), Russian double agent Nikolai Bronsky, opportunist Viagra-popping Inspector Kimatlal (Kapoor) and, finally, the bankrupt naturist Dr Madhosudhan Tarafdar (Naseeruddin Shah).

Susanna is nasty, but you can't help but sympathise with the girl for landing one wrong man after another. Chopra is undoubtedly one of the best actresses we have in the Hindi film industry, and here she is clearly Bhardwaj's muse. Wonder who else could have pulled off a better Susanna.

Bhardwaj's screenplay tries to stick to the book, but the limitations of film are blatant as transitions do not always convey the passage of time. The make-up tries to cover up those shortcomings but falls short nonetheless. The transformation of Susanna from an attractive young girl to an old and haggard woman, seducing a young man whom she helped raise as a boy, is eerie yet done to perfection by Bhardwaj.

One woman on a murder spree sounds enough to give you the chills, but still the thrill factor remains elusive. Chopra's acting skills cover most of the flaws in the screenplay, but Vivaan Shah steals her thunder. Naseer's son is clearly a talent to watch out for.

Bhardwaj gives each husband just about enough of a lifetime (literally), while keeping 7 Khoon Maaf essentially Susanna's property. Bhardwaj falters in places, probably owing to the limitations of adapting a book onto film.

Bhardwaj, who doubles up as the music director for the film, knows well the dark moods he wants to convey. His background score is foot tapping and creates the illusion of involvement in the script for the audience. Bekaran's Sufi feel and Darling's seductive tone are particularly memorable.

Sympathies apart, none of Susanna's reasons for murder are compelling enough. Neil, John, Khan, Kapoor, Dyachenko and Naseer play their parts well, never returning to haunt the film once they are dead and gone. Ruskin Bond appears in a cameo towards the end.

All in all, no words can fully express the wicked experience of 7 Khoon Maaf. Go catch it for some 'bloody' good performances and a great storyline

 
Big Oye
 
7 Khoon Maaf' is awe-inspiring romantic misadventures

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Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Starring: Priyanka Chopra , John Abraham , Neil Nitin Mukesh , Naseruddin Shah , Irrfan Khan , Anu Kapoor , Usha Uthup , Aleksandr Dyachenko , Ruskin Bond , Vivaan Shah , Konkana Sen Sharma

OyeG Review

'7 Khoon Maaf' is a film about the romantic misadventures of Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes (Priyanka), a girl who over the course of time gets married seven times due to the untimely and mysterious deaths of half a dozen of her hapless husbands.

The film, based on Ruskin Bond's short story, Susanna's Seven Husbands, features seven male leads with Neil Nitin Mukesh as Susanna's youngest and first husband who is an army major. As well as rockstar John Abraham, poet Irrfan Khan, an inspector Annu Kapoor and a nuclear power agent Russian actor Aleksandr Dyachenko, and Nasseruddin Shah playing her oldest husband and a man who has a unique skill of blending medicine with horticulture, ayurveda and spirituality. Naseeruddin Shah's youngest son Vivaan Shah (who she fondly calls Sugar) is also an important part of Sussanna's life.

The film showcases Susanna's journey to find true love and her encounters with men in her life who she marries and kills when they ditch, deceit or defy her.

 

 

Script/ Direction:

Writer-director and music composer for this film, Vishak Bhardwaj translates Ruskin Bond's fiction into a striking cinematic experience. The tone and attitude of the film sets it apart. Although in the beginning you feel things are taking long to translate and you find yourself anxiously waiting to witness the seven phases of Susanna's life, the strong narrative keeps you glued to your seats. Vishal Bhardwaj packs a punch towards the end by declaring Susanna is dead but the climax springs another surprise. Susanna's character has shades of a strong woman with a tinge of psycho behaviour, however, none of the male characters leave a lasting impression. Some of the sequences could have been cut short like Neil's fight with the mute man, John's loud performance as a rockstar and, Priyanka's sufi dance with Jesus Christ!

 

Performances:

After 'Fashion' and 'Kaminey', Priyanka Chopra gets a power script and a central role to showcase her talent with this Vishal Bhardwaj film. In 'Kaminey' (a Vishal Bhardwaj film), we got to see a different Priyanka and with 'Saat Khoon Maaf', Priyanka has pushed the envelope further. Barring her garish prosthetic makeup to look aged, the star has truly emerged an actress of substance and will be garnering laurels for her masterstroke performance. Neil essays the role of an insecure husband well, John fits in as a charming rockstar, Irrfan Khan as the poet and male chauvinist husband does well, Anu Kapoor is decent, Nasser is top notch. The Russian actor Aleksandr evokes laughter with his impeccable Hindi and dialogues like 'Mere Paas Maa Hai'. Vivaan Shah's role from a teenager to a married man is impressive. Konkana in a guest appearance is effective. Usha Uthup's attempt at acting doesn't amuse.

 

OyeG Verdict

Although a woman getting married six or seven times is hard to digest, '7 Khoon Maaf' is fiction well transformed into cinema. If you are a movie buff, this film promises to be a different experience. You will be guilty if you dare to miss this awe-inspiring film that takes the audience for a cinematic journey in a never before set-up that is anything but formula or Bollywood masala. Go watch it, it's better to be safe, than sorry. Eh?

 
7 Khoon Maaf Movie Review

February 17, 2011 09:06:53 PM IST
By Pankaj Sabnani, Glamsham Editorial
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It takes a really keen eye to visualise a film in a short story. Then to turn it into a full-fledged film is a different task altogether. And Vishal Bharadwaj has done exactly that to Ruskin Bond's short story, Susanna's Seven Husbands. It's a commendable effort as he has crafted a body (7 KHOON MAAF) out of a skeleton (Susanna's Seven Husbands). 

Love knows no boundaries and the vivacious Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes (Priyanka Chopra) is an apt example. 7 KHOON MAAF is her quest for true love. In a span of 35 odd years, she marries as many as seven times. Her husbands include Major Edwin Rodriques (Neil Nitin Mukesh), singer Jimmy Stetson (John Abraham), poet Wasiullah Khan (Irrfan Khan), Moscow resident Nicolai Vronsky (Aleksandr Dyachenko), police officer Keemat Lal (Anu Kapoor), Doctor Modhusudhon Tarafdar (Naseeruddin Shah) and one more (who can't be revealed as it would be spoiler). Arun (Vivaan Shah, son of Naseeruddin Shah) is the narrator, who considers Susanna as her prem devi. The bizarre deaths of her husbands make Sussane the prime suspect.

Vishal Bharadwaj's 7 KHOON MAAF is simpler when compared with his previous film KAMINEY, but getting into the intricacies would mean giving away the entire thing. He gets on with the story doesn't waste any time in establishing the characters. We get to know more about the characters as the story progresses. The narrative is intriguing and slowly grows on you. It makes you wonder, what would you do if you were in Susanna's shoes.

Vishal veer's away from showing anything gory. Of all the tracks, the Wasiullah Khan part stands out and is most outrageous. The film gets a bit predictable after a while but the engaging screenplay makes sure that there aren't any dull moments. The gradual ageing of Susanna from a 20 to 65 year-old is deftly shown.

 




view 7 KHOON MAAF poster

view 7 KHOON MAAF poster

On the flip side, you wish some of the stories were a bit more compelling and justified. This is what prevents the film from being an outstanding one. Arun suddenly grows up which is a bit baffling. The humour quotient could have been a notch higher. The second half is exhaustive and a bit stretched due to the copious twists and turns.

Sreekar Prasad's editing is superb. The transition of the various stories is astutely done. Vishal Bhardwaj's music is good with Darling and Bekaraan being the best songs. Even the background score given by Vishal is gripping and elevates the overall impact.

It's not easy to play a character spread across 35 years and Priyanka Chopra does that with immense conviction and confidence. She's a complete charmer and establishes her acting prowess. Vivaan Shah makes a very impressive debut. He's surely a talent to watch for. Neil Nitin Mukesh acts well but his good looks go against his otherwise stern character. John Abraham is underutilised. Irrfan Khan is outstanding as the poet. Watch out for the scene in which he slaps Priyanka. Anu Kapoor acts really well. Naseeruddin Shah is excellent. Aleksandr Dyachenko is passable and looks funny when he speaks Hindi. Ruskin Bond's cameo is okay.  

A captivating story and excellent performances make 7 KHOON MAAF a bloody good film. Make sure you attend the weddings.

Rating - 3/5



Edited by -Maddy- - 17 February 2011 at 9:34am

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Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:35am | IP Logged
 
 
 
 
PatelDevansh

  1. Can't stop talking about India's Meryl Streep - Priyanka Chopra. Truly an amazing performer who touches your soul when it comes to acting
 
Saat Khoon Maaf is a world of bad men and one vulnerable woman that's easy to get trapped in and impossible to escape from - Devansh Patel
 
PatelDevansh 7 Khoon Maaf teaches u that in spite of having not such great story line, the film still sustains coz of one woman show by @priyankachopra
 
@NeilNMukesh Writing Saat Khoon Maaf's 1st overseas review. To sum up in one word - gem
 
and boy did PC nail all her husbands ;) A portrayal so strong that by the end of the film, you really want to marry her :
 
    @Lan_Francis I guess it has to be the other way round. Neil, Vivaan and Annu Kapoor came across as the TRIO who gave a zestful performance less than 20 seconds ago via web in reply to Lan_Francis Let's now hear it for @NeilNMukesh He is a revelation in Saat Khoon Maaf. One of the best short performances in a long long time :):) 1 minute ago via web
      Take this guys - After a woman killing her husbands....u walk out of the theatre and ponder on marrying @priyankachopra Jaan kya cheez hai 3 minutes ago via web
      • @priyankachopra - Do not even hesitate if you get nominations next year like this - PC as 1st wife, as 2nd wife, as 3rd wife and so on...
       


      Edited by -Maddy- - 17 February 2011 at 1:36pm

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      Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:44am | IP Logged
      aaah I can't wait for this film! it's going to raack. 

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      Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:48am | IP Logged
      :D RT @PatelDevansh: Priyanka Chopra 5 stars - Saat Khoon Maaf - 3 stars - Harrow Observer, London, UK

      RT @parullxx: Berlin screening of 7 khoon maaf sold out. Its a 1600 seater. Not bad I say :)

      RT @sabakazi: @priyankachopra no one else but you could have played sussanna..
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      Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:51am | IP Logged
      Yaye!!

      Raja sen called the film CUTE Clown

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      Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:53am | IP Logged
      cant wait to see it. really hope its a good movie!!!!

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      Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:58am | IP Logged
      The film isn't getting too many compliments is it?? Its more PC's acting which is getting the accolades. Hopefully the film is good as well
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      Posted: 17 February 2011 at 8:03am | IP Logged

      Seems like PC did a great job again.. well done..

      hopefully movie too.


      can't wait till Sunday...

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