Joined: 06 May 2005
I am not quite sure what to make of Mausam. It is one of those films which undoubtedly
me take you through the plot through the symbolic 'seasons'. Pankaj
Kapur should be lauded for using this extremely clever plot device,
which I might say is a touch Shakespearian. The title of the film
'Mausam' can seem to infer the four seasons that characters experience
throughout their journey.
It is the year 1992. Harinder Singh or Harry (Shahid) is a typical
village brat. He bides his time doing all the things that boys are
notorious for, all the while waiting for his dream to come true – get
the acceptance letter from the Indian Air Force. However, destiny has
other plans. His life is thrown in turmoil when in comes Aayat (Sonam
Kapoor), a girl who ends up in the village due to the insurgency in
Kashmir. This part has all the makings of a summer romance – love at
first sight, beginning of courtship, innocence of first love etc. It
seems like the sun will shine on the lovers forever. However, the
demolition of the Babri mosque signals the end of innocence. Sides need
to be taken and the lovers are torn apart amidst the political turmoil.
In the meantime, Shahid gets his 'dream' job and gets accepted into the
IAF and Sonam moves to Mumbai.
Monsoon, or as Pankaj Kapoor portrays it – the pain of separation. The
lovers, now at the opposite ends of the spectrum are hardened by
circumstance, not by choice. Shahid begins to settle in his new life and
so does Sonam. Any hope of seeing each other again is all but lost and
this hardens them both even more.
Winter or reunion by destiny. Shahid and Sonam meet again at a Mozart
concert in Scotland. Sonam is not the shy girl anymore. She has become
the vivacious diva, which rather surprises Shahid, melting away his
hardness and reigniting his passions once more. You can feel the 'cold'
vibes between the lovers and the cobwebs that time has put on their
Shahid gets injured in battle and realises his 'dream' was something
else all along. The lovers meet again, this time amongst the carnage of
the Gujarat riots. Will love conquer all or will political turmoil once
again play spoilsport? The question remains: "The trumpet of a prophecy!
O Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"
after the clever use of the seasons as a plot device and the beautiful
aesthetic nature of the film and the structure of a period drama, Mausam never
quite touches the epoch of brilliance. There is still a lot to be
desired. Firstly, the circumstances in which the characters are thrown
into do not seem to be all encompassing. The characters always have the
choice to be together (and no, I do not mean that in an existentialist
sense). It is just that regardless of the political turmoil there is
nothing that keeps the two protagonists apart. As a viewer, it does seem
a bit childish and nave that the lovers could not overcome this one
single obstacle. Perhaps if a series of obstacles were placed, things
would have been more convincing.
the dialogue of the film was very weak. Even though the film relies
more on facial expression to convey feelings, it does not completely do
away with the necessity of good dialogue. There is hardly any point of
reconciliation. Both characters are unable to convey the dilemmas they
face to each other and they have many chances to do that. This is where I
think Veer Zaara worked much
better. It had a similar premise, but we knew what held each character
back and both Veer and Zaara knew that too. Also, by the end, Zaara was
told what held Veer back and that was in itself a poignant moment. There
is no such moment in Mausam. At
no point of the film do the characters confess what held them back, not
even in the end. This makes for painful viewing because it makes it
harder to care for the tragic circumstance of the characters. Also, the
predictability of the plot is a big concern. There is no twist, or at
least the audience is not kept in anticipation for the fate of the two
protagonists. They meet and part, meet and part and after a while you
can almost predict the cycle. At 2 hrs 30 minutes, this becomes
will only comment on Shahid and Sonam's performances as all the other
characters were very much fillers. This was very much a lead pair film.
Shahid was much better as the younger man in the village. The moustache
looked corny, but more importantly, it made him look childish in the
emotional scenes when he needed gravitas and composure. Shahid should
also never attempt to cry as it is hard to connect with his pain when he
is making such a ridiculous contorted face. All in all, Shahid was
excellent in the first half, the moustache was avoidable and definitely
needs to work on his emotional scenes. Sonam definitely outshone Shahid.
She was vulnerable and shy in the first half as the displaced Kashniri
girl and vivacious in the second half as the diva. She managed to pull
off both ends of the spectrum with aplomb. She also looks stunning in
all the costumes she is asked to wear. We saw a glimpse of that in Aisha and
we see that again here. Not hot mind you, beautiful. Reminded me of
Audrey Hepburn, especially in the second half. She also managed to pull
off the emotional scenes much better. The chemistry between Shahid and
Sonam was definitely there but it was more spiritual than sexual or
romantic. I wouldn't call it sizzling, but rather, poignant.
Pritam's music was good. All the songs were situational but more importantly, gave us an insight into both protagonists' psyche and what they were feeling at those moments. Binod Pradhan's cinematography was excellent, almost unreal at times in its aesthetic splendour. All in all, a decent attempt by Pankaj Kapur that deserves a watch for aesthetic brilliance. Not quite the magnum opus he would have hoped but there is enough to keep you engrossed.
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Joined: 06 May 2005
This week marked the much-awaited release of Pankaj Kapur's directorial debut Mausam, starring Shahid Kapoor in the lead opposite Sonam Kapoor. The father-son duo managed to generate decent openings all over India and in places like Delhi and Punjab, collections were outstanding.
As for other territories in India, collections are growing with every show. Judging from the audience response, most distributors feel the first-day collection would be approximately Rs 8 crore or even more.
On the other hand, Akshay Kumar's Indo-Canadian venture Speedy Singhs, directed by Robert Lieberman and starring Vinay Virmani, failed to engross the Indian audience and cash in on its first day at the ticket counter. The third film to hit the screens was Aron Govil's U R My Jaan, which went unnoticed.
In Mumbai, Rajesh Thadani of Multimedia Combines says that Mausam did average business, with a 50 to 60 per cent opening. But, he adds, collections are improving with every show and are expected to close its first day at around Rs 7.5-8 crore, all-India. Speedy Singhs failed to capture the audience and make a dent in collections.
"In Gujarat, the response to Mausam was outstanding. It did business of 90–100 per cent on its first day," says Thadani.
Delhi gave Mausam a resounding opening. G D Mehta of Bobby Arts International says, "The opening of Mausam was 70 to 75 per cent. Its first day might close at Rs 5.5-6 crore, nationally, and in Delhi, first-day collections will be around Rs 2.5 crore. Speedy Singhs opened at 15–20 per cent only."
Distributors in East Punjab danced to an altogether different tune. Surinder Salluja of Lakshya Movies says Mausam took a decent opening. No doubt, expectations were high as this venture is based in Punjab. It opened at 45 per cent and collections are improving as the day progresses. The first day is predictable to close at Rs 7.5 crore. Speedy Singhs failed to impress and took an opening of 20 per cent."
In West Bengal, Moni Venkatesh of Shri Vekatish Films predicts that Mausam will close at Rs 50 lakh in its first day in the territory, and at Rs 8 crore, all-India. "The numbers have improved from its opening of 45 per cent to 70 per cent in its evening shows. Speedy Singhs has had a bad opening although its reports are decent. It's still not getting the audiences' attention."
Jeetu Khandelwal of Movie Pioneers adds, "In Orissa, the first day response to Mausam is good, and the film took an 80 to 90 per cent opening. It is expected to close at Rs 8 lakh in its first day in the Orissa circuit. The craze for the film is impressive and it is only fair to say that collections are bound to improve. Speedy Singhs did average business at the box office. MBKD is still doing average business."
But in Mysore, Mausam did not meet audience expectations although business prospects appear lucrative over the weekend. B H Basha of Bahar Enterprises says, "The opening of Mausam was not up to the mark and the film has drawn a response only 20 to 30 per cent response at the box office. The response to Speedy Singhs is below average and MBKD is still strong at the box office."
In Bihar, Mausam managed to take a decent opening. Abhay Sinha of Yafhi Films says, "The opening of Mausam was average, with 50 per cent collections. The film is expected to have a better weekend than its opening. Speedy Singhs did business of about 40 per cent and U R My Jaan hasn't released here."
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