Guzaarish | गुज़ारिश | Request [2010]

7/10 | 22.Jan.12
Guzaarish | गुज़ारिश | Request

Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Hrithik Roshan
Aishwarya Rai
India

GUZAARISH (2010) is essentially WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY? transplanted to Goa, but it feels like a throwback to the three-handkerchief Hollywood weepies of the 1950s. And it stars Hrithik Roshan. I loved it, but people who are immune to sentimental blubber and unmoved by Hrithik Roshan’s charms might find the film mildly entertaining at best. Hrithik explained GUZAARISH’s disappointing box office this way: “If we would have shown some happiness, my body, biceps and abs in my [i.e., the character’s] younger days, it would have made a difference. Maybe we missed out on that.” Yes, that sure would have made a difference and I’d give this film a 10. As it is, though, Hrithik’s performance is really quite good, even subtle, but then the movie as a whole is well-acted and relatively low key given the material and the traditions of Bollywood. The only full-scale dance scene is given to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, with Hrithik’s dancing limited to highlights of his character’s pre-quadriplegia magic show act (think David Copperfield) as shown in flashback. (As a side note, I’d like to point out that Hrithik’s dancing here is strikingly feminine [*not* effeminate], but I have no idea if that was a conscious decision.) Pluses: Hrithik’s hair, his hirsuteness in general, has never looked quite so alarmingly attractive as they do here; the palatially enormous colonial-era Goan mansion Ethan Mascarenhas (HR’s character) lives in is my idea of a gorgeous old house. So what score would I give GUZAARISH? It’s an 8/10 for me. Objectively, maybe 6/10?

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