Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a name that is associated with quality cinema and his stories always strike a chord with its viewers except Saawariya which didn’t make any sense nor did it justify to the tremendous potential of SLB. The latest offering from SLB’s creative studio is ‘Guzaarish’ a soul stirring story about a Paraplegia stricken patient. Paraplegia is a complete paralysis of the lower half of the body, including both legs, usually caused by damage/injury to the spinal cord. You can draw many parallels from films like Whose Life is it Anyways or even The Sea Inside but SLB gives a master touch of his own and churns out a beautiful tale that celebrates life. I also would like to inform you that it is no where inspired or copied from Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige as reported by many newspapers in the past.
The story is set in Goa and it tells the story of Ethan Mascarehas (Hrithik) who is an accomplished magician and during one of his stage performances he becomes a victim of his own magic and suffers serious injuries turning him into a Paraplegic patient. His world is surrounded by few people, Sophia – his nurse (Aishwarya), Devyani – his lawyer (Shernaz Patel) and Dr. Nitin Naik his physician (Suhel Seth). Ethan who is confined to a wheel chair, becomes a Radio Jockey at an FM Station called Radio Zindagi. His show talks of hope, laughter and sunshine and it’s difficult to imagine that the man behind it has been immobilized with a spinal injury for the last fourteen years of his life. Ethan files a petition in court for mercy killing. This decision of Ethan leaves Sofia stunned as she shares a silent love with Ethan.
Ethan takes the help of friend-lawyer Devyani [Shernaz Patel] to support his appeal. Even Ethan’s mother Isabel [Nafisa Ali] supports him in his petition, although Ethan is persuaded by his physician Dr. Nayak [Suhel Seth] to retract his case. Alongside all this, Omar [Aditya Roy Kapur] enters Ethan’s life with the aim of learning magic from him. Impressed by Omar’s love for magic, Ethan agrees to pass on his legacy to him.
There are few prominent scenes that will leave you emotional and teary eyed, especially the court room scenes, Aishwarya’s outburst in the court, the hearing of the petition, the climax etc…
Performances are the highlight of this movie. Hrithik fits into the character of Ethan easily and you cannot imagine anyone other than him performing that role. Aishwarya is topnotch after a long time. Shernaz Patel, Aditya Roy Kapur, Nafisa Ali and Suhel Seth are very good. Newcomer Monikangana Dutta has very little to do in the movie. On a lighter note SLB even makes the fly act well in the movie.
Music by SLB is not a chart-busting fare, however the lyrics and the soulful songs transport you to a different world especially the title song and Tera Zikr. The costumers are good, the back ground score by Tubby and Parik are subtle and very effective as it goes with the mood of the movie, the cinematography by Sudeep Chaterjee is wonderful and the dialogues by Vibhu Puri and Bhavani Iyer is heart touching.
The hindarances to the wonderful movie is its pace and heavy dosage of English dialogues that will limit the movie’s performance in the single screens and will only cater to the class audiences. Overall the movie is an emotional fare and might not do huge business at the box office but will reap all the major awards.