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Movie Review: Mausam

Since seeing Shahid in person, I’ve been counting down the days to watching Mausam. The directorial debut of Pankaj Kapur and starring Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, Mausam has been heavily promoted and anticipated as a “timeless love story.”

Mausam tracks the love story of Captain Harinder “Harry” Singh (Shahid Kapoor) and Aayat Khan (Sonam Kapoor) and is divided into four seasons.  The movie starts in 1992 and tracks the star-crossed lovers over 10 years as they are separated and reunited in different countries.

Pankaj Kapur has made a movie of a different era and hence Mausam has an old-fashioned feel to it.  There is no overt sexuality in the romance, and it evolves slowly. Even the plot takes its leisurely time (at a runtime of almost 3 hours) to unfold.  And while these aspects may be appreciated by some, it is also Mausam‘s downfall.

While the premise is good, Mausam is hampered by the execution and mainly the screenplay.  In an effort to add humor or multiple dimensions, the movie gets too long and has its impact diluted.  Certain sequences get very cheesy and remind you of Indian movies from the 80s and 90s, i.e. hand paralysis (Hum Saath Saath Hain) and the feris wheel/horse sequence.

Pankaj Kapur does manage to make Mausam unique by interweaving the love story with key historical events like Ayodhya, Bombay bomb blasts, the Kargil war, September 11th, and the Ahmedabad riots. However, these do seem excessive and occasionally exploitive of serious issues.

Any love story rests strongly on the performance and chemistry of the lead pair.  Shahid Kapoor does an excellent job in an author-backed role.  He oozes charm in the first portion as the young country boy, and manages to exude a unique combination of hotness/seriousness as the air force pilot, even though the CGI sequences let him down).  Sonam Kapoor doesn’t have the acting maturity needed for this role and you can’t help but feel that Kareena Kapoor could have played Aayat better than her and lent in the gravitas the role needed.  Sonam looks ethereal in the Scotland portion, but her styling as a Kashmiri refugee detracts from her beauty. Unfortunately, the pair’s chemistry falls extremely flat. When the lovers are separated, the audience isn’t pushed to root for them to reunite.

Mausam is unfortunately a disappointment.  It is better than the last major Bollywood release, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, but only marginally so. If you are in the mood for a simple romance plus a mini-history lesson, go for it.

Dollz Rating: 2 stars out of 5

P.S. Check out the The Vigil Idiot’s hilarious comic strip movie review of Mausam!

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Synopsis:

Four seasons.
Four colours.
Four phases of their lives.
Four true historical events.

Mausam (Seasons of Love) is a story of timeless love in the face of political hostilities and religious conflict, between a proud Punjabi Air Force Officer, Harry (Shahid Kapoor) and an innocent Kashmiri refugee, Aayat (Sonam Kapoor).

Set against a landscape that transcends a decade and spans continents, Mausam is a classic journey that transports one into a world of indestructible bonds of love enveloped by the roulette of destiny.

In its First Season, the film begins with mere adolescent attraction between Harry and Aayat, in a small village of Punjab. In Season Two it develops into young love; Their love realizes its own depth in the hours of separation through Season Three. In the Fourth and Final Season their love culminates into togetherness, but not before sacrificing a lot personally and learning the truth behind universal love. It is a passionate love story, with various shades of life as its background, questioning us and yet not becoming indulgent.

Written and Directed by Pankaj Kapur and produced by Eros Entertainment, the film released worldwide on September 23rd, 2011.

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