Yeah, there is a palpable attempt in some scenes to make you shed some tears. Some scenes appear artificial and far fetched (The lawyer in the box, Most of the scenes involving Omar, The radio station campaign). Some story elements are just dropped in there in the pile which never merge with the rest (Omar turning up to learn magic, The mother, Sophia’s abusive husband, The competitor in magic etc).
But still…I think we are taking Sanjay Leela Bhansali too much for granted. How many main stream film makers have the courage to make a film about a quadriplegic and euthanasia? That too with Hrithik Roshan. As I overheard some one saying- who wants to watch a movie in which Hrithik Roshan cant stand on two legs? Many may argue that this is an attempt to repeat the magic of ‘Black.’ But still how many are out there who could make a ‘depressing movie’ and expect it to be a hit? Regarding his consistent indebtedness to other movies for his works, why do we have to single out Bhansali in Hindi film industry for finding ‘inspiration’ else where? Another criticism has been that trying to validate a quadriplegic’s need to die ‘because he has suffered too much’ is doing a disservice to all quadriplegics fighting to lead a life with dignity. I agree. Especially because it is a well known fact from studies that among patients willing for undergoing mercy killing, a major proportion is in a phase of depression and would benefit from treatment. For the vast majority, a need for euthanasia is a passing phase from which they will eventually escape once their reserves to cope rebuild and their depression is controlled. But why are we even having a debate about this here? Because Bhansali was ready to make a film about a quadriplegic. And he didn’t make the first film in India with misguided intentions and factual inaccuracies. And it still remains a work of art with all these.
Personally I found some moments heart warming. And dialogues were smart at times. It is always tough when writing drama to know when you are really playing with your audience’s heart and when you are trying too hard. Bhansali too tries hard at times. His strength is that he is good at creating great moments out of nothing (like Sophie letting her hair down in the restaurant after the court scene). And his weakness is that he is too obsessed with creating picture perfect frames such that he don’t really get a sense of the linear structure of the story. And writing beautiful scenes is something. But making them authentic and ‘happenable’ is another thing.
I have never been a big fan of Hrithik in terms of acting. But this film shows his growth. There has been a definitive expansion in the repertoire of expressions. He proves that he is mould-able with the right role and the right director.