Alright first things first, for those of you who don’t know Hindi/हिंदी Mausam (मौसम) means Season(s) and in an immediate sense means weather, but, we Indians love things that occur over long periods of time, so in the broader and wider sense it means Season(s). Following this, this also happens to be the title of 2 movies, one that came out back in the 70’s, which the 2011 version has nothing to do with, just so we’re clear about that…I’m sure the word Mausam has been used in a variety of other movie titles, and it has most definitely been a part of many song lyrics. C’mon people, seasons play an integral part in our love stories, our dramatic scenes as well as fight scenes, how else can you sit there and mock us for running around trees and singing songs? Khair koi baat nahin. Now, I would like to toss in a disclaimer here, just ‘cuz I love doing so, and also because, this one I feel is important that you readers are entitled to. I’m not great at reviews, they aren’t exactly my forte unlike my supremely talented creative twin, who writes amazing reviews. Check out his link, it should be listed on the right side of my blog page :)…Blank Page Beatdown, check it out, it’ll be the best read of your life EVER!
Since I just finished watching this movie, I guess you’re being served up with a tawa fresh review. So…when I first watched the theatrical trailer for Mausam it definitely did pique my curiosity. One of the main things that the trailer and the film’s tag line emphasized was the classical, eternal, timeless love story between the main protagonists in the movie, portrayed by Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. When I first saw the ‘First Look’, that’s where they unveil the poster of the movie, I half groaned at the timeless love story aspect…yes my generation is a lost cause, our concept of love is defined by it’s own set of categories, so when you say timeless and classic and all this other schnazz it actually makes the eyebrows get all quirked up and…well you get the point. This movie had it’s fair share of troubles to finally be released to the general public, and, throughout the making of the movie shots on set were posted and you see a very dashing Shahid Kapoor in a military Uniform, and then in subsequent snippets it was revealed that he’s an Officer with the Indian Air Force. So it got me thinking, wait what? Oh no a military love story? Oye vey…I hope he didn’t fall in love with the General’s daughter leading to a court martial ‘cuz that would not be cool at all.
With the theatrical trailer you catch a glimpse of quite a lot of things that gets your mind spinning and reeling at the possibilities of just what the plot of the movie could be. You see this young carefree dude and chick (Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor) and suddenly the next shot of her, is in some dance studio and him all dressed up in his wrinkle & crinkle free uniform watching her dance and fun things of the sort. Oh and there’s also the music accompanying it that absolutely adds on to the curiosity piquing factor. The first bit, that shows them as young, carefree individuals has the beautiful and lilting beginning of “Rabba Main Toh Mar Gaya Oye” playing in the background, and as you see the shift towards I guess adulthood and a not so naive time the music picks up the pace with the intro bit of the beat worthy, heart pounding, emotionally charged “Aag Lage Us Aag Ko”. Initially, I wasn’t too stoked to watch this flick, but then once I saw the theatrical trailer I definitely wanted to watch it, it looked attention and performance worthy, and most importantly the movie was directed by Pankaj Kapur…well some people may know him as Shahid Kapoor’s father, but, most people know him for his sensational acting skills, he’s one of the most renowned actors in India, he’s a very distinguished actor in the theatre and film circuits and add the fact that he’s one of India’s most prolific TV stars. I remember when I was younger, I used to watch this show of his on Zee TV where he used to play a detective/PI on this show called Mohandas B.A.L.L.B. and he was quite a quirky P.I haha…my Mom and I still recall a few lines from that show.
So with these expectations I waited until the movie was released, and all those movie reviews came out to see what the verdict on the movie was. Unfortunately the news and reviews weren’t all that great, and while I do take the word of a bonafide film critic for whatever salt the critic might be worth, I still like being able to formulate my own opinion ’bout the flicks I watch. So after probably a month or two? I finally watched the movie, well actually I started watching the movie a while back, but life had more pressing matters that needed to be taken care of as opposed to watching Mausam. Now as some of you might not know, I’m not a huge fan of divulging plot lines, but if you really want to know what the story is and then decide if the movie is worth your time, then hey definitely hit Wikipedia up, it will most definitely give you everything you’re looking for.
Before I get all snarky about things I didn’t like with regards to the movie, I’d like to laud the Director’s efforts into attempting a story of this sort. I definitely liked the incorporation of some of the darker moments from India’s recent past that served as the backdrop or rather the springboard for this story to grow and progress on. However, the folly with doing so is that you open up too many story angles, and too many areas of interest that you’d like to focus your energies on and in the process the main plot-line seems to lose it’s momentum. The moment you find out the girl is Kashmiri Muslim, and the boy is a Punjabi Sikh fella who prefers the anglicized version of his name, ‘Harry’, the first thought that pops up is ‘Oh crap this is gonna be a religion face-off and it’s gonna be a never ending drama between both sides, where either the girl’s family hates the boy for his religion and it’s all a no-no or it’s the other way around, and you have their relatives piling on to the street with an assortment of weapons ranging from pipes to hockey sticks. Thankfully, we’ve progressed in that area as far as our movies are concerned, and the movie thankfully doesn’t waste a whole bunch of time on going through the religious backgrounds and all complications associated with it. Shahid Kapoor’s character Harry sums it up very nicely in one of the scenes, when his lady love tells him that her father doesn’t think it’s the right thing for either of them to be in this relationship, to which Harry says he’s right and wrong and ends up telling her how we’re all human and in essence the same and follows it up with a very simple yet deep question ‘What were we before we were born?’ It’s the simplicity of such moments that makes the movie almost endearing in far too few sequences. I wish the Director was able to flesh out a more concentrated storyline, the parallels he used were beautiful, and it would have been absolutely poetic, unfortunately instead of a balance there was a lot of displacement that tends to throw the viewer back and forth and wondering about a lot of things. In addition, there was something absolutely beautiful that I learned from the film as well, the meaning of the name “Aayat”, it’s a very pretty name, and for those of you who like me have no idea what the name means, it means ‘Holy couplet’.
So where shall we start with the flaws? For one I’d say the running time of this flick. It definitely could’ve been shortened by sooooo much more. There were some scenes that were plain unnecessary and just worked to hinder the storyline rather than enhance or establish it. Also, this whole reunion and separation problem between the main protagonists gets really frustrating. The part that got me all frustrated was this whole affair of how one is searching for the other but they just don’t know how to get a hold of them and never seem to find a way to know where the hell the other person is. Yeah I understand the internet wasn’t the greatest thing in the mid 90’s but honestly by the late 90’s pretty much anyone and everyone had a freaking e-mail address and everybody and their uncle found their way into your address book even if it was an old classmate of yours from kindergarten. Their lack of communication and their inability to keep in touch had me absolutely frustrated, I was yelling at my laptop ‘What the HELL DUDE?!? Call X, Y and Z and you will know!!! It’s India ve, especially the village, anybody and everybody living around your house and a few houses down from your house know where you, your immediate family and your distant relative are at and also know what each one of you does for a living and what you do as extracurricular activities!’….yes clearly I put a lot more thought and yelling into it than necessary, as my advice just didn’t help *sigh*. Isn’t it frustrating when people NEVER listen to you?
In terms of acting, well Shahid Kapoor was brilliant, that guy just keeps moving from strength to strength with each of his films, I guess he’s one of the most underrated actors in the Indian movie Industry, and I sincerely hope he has an absolutely bloody brilliant mind blasting mega super-duper blockbuster. I felt bad for the guy, you can tell he’s put a lotta effort into the movie, from playing the carefree young punk to the polished and smart Army man, and then some. You can see the transition in his body language, and his facial expressions and you wish for his sake that the movie had been a hit just for his efforts. Sonam Kapoor…now there’s someone interesting. She’s an a’ite actress for most part, I mean I don’t find her mind numbings amazing or anything of the sort. Sometimes she ends up being a tad bit annoying on screen but that is to be expected, I think most actors go through that, but I think she needs to work a little more on her emoting abilities, especially during highly emotionally charged scenes. She either tends to overdo them or underdo them, I’m sure with time she’ll figure it out. Her delivery in the emotional scenes was a mixed bag throughout this movie, in some scenes she actually pulled off quite a convincing performance but then of course those scenes were overshadowed by the under or over performance. I must admit that she does have a beautiful smile, and she’s one helluva tall chick, but she definitely needs to work on the emotional aspects of her acting and needs to loosen up just a bit with her delivery of such scenes. Oh and she needs to stop giggling unnecessarily ‘cuz that really does seem fake and put on lol. In terms of the lead pair chemistry, there was something poetic about it, it is one of those jodis/pairs that has immense potential, but if the narrative hadn’t kept hitting so much turbulence I’m sure the director would’ve been able to fully tap into said chemistry and exploit that potential. However, that being said, I think other directors should try giving this lead pair a shot in the future, there definitely is something there that the audiences will be able to connect to and resonate with.
Oh yes another beautiful aspect of the film, besides a few of the locales and a few camera shots, is the music of the film. There are some absolutely beautiful songs in this movie…yeah no guesses for which one my fav song from the soundtrack is…that’s right ‘Rabba Main Toh Mar Gaya Oye’ and to pep up my mornings quite a bit there’s the other groovy shoovy number ‘Sajh Dhaj Ke’ which just has a remarkable effect on your neurons and your feet, they start tapping to a beat of their own. It’s true, I have 2 left feet and they go off on their own tangents when this songs comes on….it’s almost insane. I also loved the way that despite having controversial and violent religious upheavals, that unfortunately India has weathered, never is there any finger pointing nor is there a blame game that holds one faith more responsible than the other. When asked who were the ones responsible for the death or loss of a loved one, I found the response to be quite poignant. Aayat asks Harry who those people were who were responsible for all those who died, and his response to her question was, (mind you I’m translating the lines here,) ‘Fearsome/scary shadows, who have no names nor faces.’ These scenes have been handled with such maturity and finesse and have been painted into the backdrop to the central theme/plot, namely the epic love story, without spending more time than necessary on analyzing the hows, who’s or whys to the situations. Topics like the communal riots India has faced and been subjected to, are very sensitive issues, and need to be treated with the utmost care, and all I want to say is hats off Mr. Pankaj Kapur, thank you for not making this movie a religious propaganda.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t recommend Mausam as the first movie to go rent out on DVD, it’s one of those movies you watch just to kill time or like the popular usage goes, it’s just a timepass movie yaar. Of course you would have the advantage of fast forwarding things as well, which will make the proceedings move along just a tad bit faster. If anything watch it for that poor lad Shahid Kapoor, bechara, but only if you’ve exhausted all other movie and entertainment options, or if you’re having a random insomnia episode. Well…that’s it for now folks and I’ll catchya on here soon, there are a few minor updates that I have to confound y’all with! Cheers, and I hope all is going sensationally and exceptionally well with each and every one of y’all.