I guess this was one film, in quite a long time, which had garnered a lot of hype not because of the lead actors but because of the director. And that generally happens with a Mani Ratnam or a Ram Gopal Varma film (and Imtiaz Ali as well in my case). But with Mausam the unlikely superstar of the film was Pankaj Kapur. The fact that he’s an exceptionally talented actor and an artiste beyond commercial realms worked in his favour. And Mausam created quite a buzz, right since the day it went on the floors. And the fact that Pankaj Kapur had raked in son Shahid Kapur for the lead role took the viewer expectations sky high.
But as the saying goes, looks can be deceptive. And Mausam proved that true. The film falls flat on its face — a face that’s otherwise so gorgeous that you would love to treasure it. It would be wrong to say that it’s a flat-out bad film, because it’s not and that’s because the director has indeed shown his class in some beautifully executed sequences. You have to hand it to Pankaj Kapur for bringing forth a kind of romance that’s so not seen in today’s day and age. An old world romance (that some might find boring) which is almost like a Ghalib poetry — exquisitely lovely! Also the village sequence right at the beginning of the film portrays a genius at work. The characters, the situations, the feel is all too real and heart warming. But that’s where the good mausam ends.
What follows thereafter is a ridiculous love story that transcends borders, nationalities, historical calamities, personal issues et al. It even transcends all realms of stupidity. The too-much-in-love couple seem to get seperated at the weirdest of pretexts and neither is smart enough to reach out to the other in today’s day and age of communication. Letters are the only form of communication and that too sent at the wrong addresses. Phone calls are confined to the typical BSNL type tring-tring mode. The heroine keeps changing countries like she changes her couture dresses making it all the more difficlut to track her down. It’s all so ludicrous that you don’t seem to feel for the lovers. Or maybe it’s because there’s no chemistry between the two. After all what’s a love story if you don’t feel for the lovers and in Mausam, sadly, you don’t.
Then there’s the whole saga of events (Kargil war, Mumbai riots, 9/11, Godhra riots) that not only trouble the lead couple in their romantic pursuits but they also irk the ticket paying public. By the end of it you’d feel like asking the director, “Sir, why did you leave the Pokhran blasts or the Bhuj earthquake out of it?” Aarrgh!
Acting wise, I wouldn’t like to grudge Shahid Kapur for anything. As for Sonam Kapoor, she should simply stick to looking all pretty and fashionable. She just can’t seem to mouth a word with conviction… it almost always sounds too childish.
As for Pankaj Kapur, “Sir, I’m still a big fan”. Every Mausam!
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