Instead of telling you about the film Mausam, I can almost get away by preaching to you the importance of low expectations from a film! But since a major part of my work here is to do with the importance of being earnest (borrowing from one of my favourite reads) I have to say the film is a saga of colossal disappointment. It is plain boring to put it mildly. Swear to never judge a film by its promos because nothing warns us or even hints at such a waste of our time, money and energy.
Even though you maybe a sucker for saccharine Bollywood romantic films and have the enviable talent of sitting through them patiently, this movie is bound to test your patience and likely to rub you up the wrong way. Veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor marks his directorial debut with Mausam. With dad donning the Director's cap, we can't really blame son Shahid for trustingly donning an Air Force officers uniform coupled with a freshly grown moustache.
The film is three hours long and we so wished that someone would have thought of cutting the long story short. However since that did not come to pass, here is the crux. Set in a small village in Punjab, it essays the story of Harry (Shahid Kapoor) and Ayat (Sonam Kapoor) and the innocent love that blossoms between them. The best thing about the film is the first half where the energy and colors of rustic Punjab is portrayed brilliantly. The song and dance sequences intertwine tastefully. However nearing interval and post it, the effects of Pankaj Kapoor's shoddy writing and patchy direction is almost cataclysmic. It was being pitched as a classic love story that transcends borders, decades and discord. Sadly in the process it also disowns logic and sense.
From the early 90s to the beginning of the new millennium, the story alludes to all the wars and communal rivalry across the globe with the lead pair ever busy in a catch me if you can game. From tertiary references to Operation Blue Star and Ayodhya to Mumbai serial blasts and Kashmir militancy, 9/11 to the Gujarat riots - it documents all this alongside the predicament of the lovers. Well into the second half and we are almost crying at our own predicament. Bollywood romances do touch the realm of fantasy but Mausam becomes irrationally comic. There chance meeting and crossing of paths instead of being mere coincidences become examples of bad scripting. No wonder we experience a strange pleasure and calming of nerves as we see the end credits and thankfully the end of the film.
All in all we now understand the hesitation by IAF in giving the NOC certificate to the film. They had a very valid point-objecting to the boredom in the movie! The air fighter jet's flying scenes are elaborate but also makes us wonder if there was really any need for them. I mean Shahid's character could well have been a truck driver and the story would have run the same course.
The film is like a long distance train journey. Board it if you must but whatever be your motivation you are bound to end up with a strained neck, yawning and tired after a very very long journey. Overall, this is an average affair and certainly not worth going to the theatre for.
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