So there it is. Saawariya directed by that-guy-whose-style-looked-like-something-I-didn't-care-to-see, in all it's Region 2 (that's European DVD region for those unaware) glory, staring at me in the shop shelf, placed mistakenly under the "Comedy" section. I know it's probably not smart, but forgive me - I rarely see Indian movies or "Indian-esque" films in my local shop, and when I do, I go a bit crazy (this explains the Marigold DVD in my shelf). The cover says "A genuine Indian Bollywood-movie" in Finnish - yes, as opposed to those ungenuine Indian Bollywood movies.
And so I do buy it, even though I'm almost certain I won't love it and pop it in on New Year's Eve.
The plot shouldn't be new to anybody. Based off Dostoyevski's "White Nights", Ranbir Kapoor (son of Rishi & Neetu) plays Raj, who comes to a very blue town to become a successful poet or musician, or something. He's like a Guru Dutt character on a sugar high, whose poetry sounds more cheesy than genuine. He meets Gulabji (Rani Mukherjee, probably the best performance and character in the film), a prostitute who he befriends and ends up falling in love with the beautiful Sakina (Sonam Kapoor, daughter of Anil), who is waiting for her own love, Imaan (Salman Khan).
Yadda yadda yadda. Sonam and Rani are both fantastically beautiful, Ranbir is generally good and proves he is capable of dancing like any new generation star should be, Salman gets to be effective (with kohl!) and the youngsters manage some very good, very convincing scenes together. But little by little, I realize I don't really care for the movie. It's not exactly dislike - it's simply apathy towards the story, towards the characters and their fates. When the film ends, I sort of shrug. "Already? Okay."
The dark blue colour scheme starts out lovely and the visuality of the film is undeniable, but it all gets to be a bit too much at some point. It just feels like it doesn't serve a purpose of any kind; had the story kept me engrossed in the film, I might've found it interesting or potentially meaningful. Like maybe the mood of the film changes the way I perceive the colours of it. But that doesn't really happen; the visuality of it seems skin-deep, if even that. I screencapped a lot, especially the lovely ladies of the film, but I would not call it the prettiest Hindi film ever.
So unfortunate. The songs, even though I quite liked them, felt awkwardly paced and whatever other things I found promising or good, I ended up being quite disappointed in. Raj starts out a funny, likable character and ends up going through a puzzling metamorphosis into a crazy-in-love guy that might've been more understandable, had the script been stronger. Sakina also suffers from mild insanity caused by love, but for whatever reason, it seems just the tiny bit more believable. The poetic dialogues - or wannabe-poetic if nothing else - seem to slow everything down and even though I had subtitles in my own language, I kept zoning out on the story and what was being said.
Oh well. I try to remember the things I did like - Gulabji and the kids when they're in the first stages of getting to know one another. The rest, to quote Avril Lavigne's ever-green tune "Girlfriend", is quite simply "so whatever".