Question: If there were to be an universal award for a movie in any language for having included in its story line references to at least five of the following catastrophic man made events in the last two decades, how many contestants would be there?
The events are: The disturbances in Kashmir, The Babri Masjid demolition, The Kargil War, The Mumbai Bomb Blasts, The Twin Towers Tragedy and The Gujarat Riots.
Answer: One
Question: And who would be the winner?
Answer: The question is superfluous, since there is only one contestant.
Question: And who is that lone contestant?
Answer: Pankaj Kapoor’s maiden directorial attempt, MAUSAM. In fact, MAUSAM should get a special mention, because its story line features all the six events listed above.
MAUSAM could also be credited with perhaps the first movie featuring various means of transportation. From the humble horse drawn carriage, the bicycle, the auto rickshaw, the tractor, the automobile, the trains in Indian Railways and the Glacier Express from Switzerland to the fighter jets, the movie spares no efforts to give adequate mileage to each of these transportation devices. Also, in terms of the varieties of locales where the action happens, there may not be many contestants. The lush mustard fields of Punjab, the theatre in England featuring Mozart’s concerts, residences in the rural heartland of Punjab and the chic towns of Scotland, the Kargil site, the by lanes of Ahmedabad and the interiors of a Gurudwara, the railway station in Switzerland all feature in the script penned by Pankaj Kapoor himself.
I will readily pardon the reader, who by now must have visualized MAUSAM as a grand epic. Well, perhaps, Pankaj Kapoor had visualized it to be one. The story builds up at a very leisurely pace, but because the director quickly realised that this was not a multi-episode TV series, he steps in to chop the scenes rather abruptly; despite that, the movie stretches for over two hours and forty minutes. One could have borne with that too, but for the fact that the story looks extremely contrived and lacks a reasonable dose of realism. Even the manner in which the love story develops between the protagonists looks shallow. As if to compensate for the lack of depth and passion in the love story, Pankaj Kapoor flirts with patriotism and when even that fails, tries to bring in the concept of the faceless aspect of terrorism. The end result is a flat and boring experience for the viewer. Both Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor hardly make any impact; it is a big let-down for Shahid after his superb performance in KAMINEY last year. Sonam has still to click despite being in moviedom for the last five years or so; a poor justification would be that she has played roles in only five or six films till date and with the exception of DELHI 6, the films have been eminently forgettable.
I could draw parallels between her first disaster SAAWARIYA and MAUSAM; both movies had generated huge expectations. The first one was touted as a classic by the famed director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and MAUSAM is by the phenomenally talented actor who held us in awe in the role of the carrot chewing Karamchand or the aging don of MAQBOOL. Both movies, curiously have towel dropping scenes; in the first one, it was Ranbir Kapoor and in MAUSAM it is Sonam Kapoor who does the act. And of course, SAAWARIYA had outstanding music; MAUSAM too has some excellent songs composed by Pritam with beautiful lyrics by Irshad.
After watching a few movies in which there are more than two Kapoors at play, I have come to the hypothesis that such movies would be disasters. This rule has held from the time of Raj Kapoor (his flops include KAL AAJ AUR KAL and DHARAM KARAM); the only exception seems to be the enormously energetic JAB WE MET. Was it because of the two English words in the title?
If MAUSAM had been titled as SEASON, would it have made any difference?
RATING: 2 out of 5
September 22, 2011

About The eternally happy Vijay

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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