Top positive review
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Arty, stagey piece with odd mix of old and new
on 31 December 2008
From the polarised reviews on this 2007 movie, I wasn't sure whether I'd like it. It is in fact something quite different for Bollywood. It is more a stage-like production. There are few characters focused on and the sets look like... sets (on stage that is). They have developed a fantasy old painted backdrop town with an overall blue tone to most scenes. The acting is also of the stage dialogue type too.
It looks late 18th century yet there is a mix of clothes styles and the hero looks quite modern. It has captured the mood of a Dostoevsky novel though I think. It isn't a bleak movie but a philosophical movie about love.
The songs for me weren't memorable (once the subtitles fade and the poetry of the lyrics vanished the tunes didn't remain for me).
The acting was good from all though. The main character has to carry a heavy weight of focus and the part is played well by relative newcomer Ranbir Kapoor (who did a good job with Bachna Ae Haseeno too) and he dances well. Rani doesn't get a lot to do and nor does Salman Khan. Zohra Sehgal as the old woman did a particularly fine job and always draws the eye.
It is well captured, acted, directed and cinematography well framed and often interesting, and creative in its approach but I'm not into arty stuff that much and the stylized nature of the movie had a claustrophobic feel with its limited number of actors and sets and the setting almost all at night with its dark blue hues predominant.
I am giving it 4 starts within its more art genre even though I don't think I got into it as much as some other reviewers did.