Sunday, November 18, 2007


Now all of my geeky readers, please do not get salivating. RoR doesn’t mean Ruby on Rails here. AOE enthusiasts also hold on, this is no Rise of Rome either. This is a term I coined on the lines of FoF (Fund of Funds), an investment fund that uses the strategy of holding over other funds rather than investing directly in shares, bonds or other securities, and stands for Review of Reviews.

The motivation behind writing an RoR comes from three most prolific bloggers on my Google Reader coming up with their versions of reviews of a common object—what else could it be other than the most talked about movie these days—Saawariya. And interestingly enough, they published their reviews of the 9th Nov-released-flick on the same date, the 15th of Nov, when the Recent blogposts I read widget on my blog looked too replete with Saawariya and I had to increase the number of items it displays by 50%.

I generally prefer reviews of non-professional critics rather than the likes of Taran Adarsh and Nikhat Kazmi; you can relate to views of people you know than to those of people who are paid to review, even if you know them only by regularly reading their frequent blogposts. The professionals are always biased anyways.

The review I liked the most was Washington based Great Bong’s, a disgruntled movie fanatic on the prowl for mind bending experiences, who, in his usual wit and humor, and sentences as long as half a page, puts Saawariya as the worst of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali lot: “a big plastic bag of hot air where dreamy sets, hued lighting and forgettable music is used to divert attention from the fact that there is absolutely nothing in this venture”. He mocks SLB on his belief about his direction and his interviews and his “merger of raga-based melodies with a Brodway style play”, calls Ranbir a “little tinker-bell of a man”, innocent and poor, and describes Sonal as demure and virginal and giving us more than a few glimpses of her back, “devoid of abundant and luxuriant fur”, unlike her dad Anil Kapoor’s. Salman Khan looks confused—he took off his top, but Ranbir went one step ahead and took off his bottom. Great Bong doesn’t even spare Rani: “Rani Mukherjee’s golden-hearted ‘lady of commerce’ performance completes a hat-trick of prostitute acts (which film historians refer to as her ‘blue period’)”.

A Bangalorean blogger, LongBlackVeil, deeply interested in deeply interesting things, especially nonsense, did not regret watching the movie. She finds the aesthetics stunning, likes the black-blue-green ambience, and loves the music. Although she likes Ranbir’s hairless chest and Neetu Singh smile, she doesn’t like his and Sonam’s characters, and the lack of chemistry between the two. She does like Rani’s role, but expresses afsos over SLB’s weak screenplay, mediocre dialogue and absolutely minimal character development. But she likes the movie as a whole anyways and thinks “it’s just a victim of those horrible old beasts: Great Expectations, and What Could Have Been”.

Cuckoo from Bombay terms the movie as an outright flop. She did not see any trailers, didn’t read about it anywhere, and did not even let anybody talk about it in front of her. She wanted a surprise and she admits the movie “indeed surprised her by nose diving in the theatres”. I can see her state of shock—unlike her other posts, this one was quite laconic, filled with a lot of oversized, black ant-like emoticons.

Anadi, a regular reader and commenter on my blog from Tampa, Florida presents his review on a comment on my RoR. He finds the movie can be watched once despite the criticism, because of its freshness. He believes SLB tried to stretch a half-hour movie to over two hours with filler material that just does not fill up. Like LongBlackVeil, he also senses a lack of chemistry between the debuts, who are otherwise impressive. He says Bhansali's fairytale viewpoint cannot be considered an excuse to a lack of script and pathetic dialogues.

Nova, Bangalore-based crazy, eccentric, conceited, independent, emotionally detached and a near fanatic for things she believes in, is the only blogger I read who is all praises for Saawariya. She feels the movie was two hours of pure bliss, a visual delight and music to ears sore of cacophony people sell in the name of music. She believes the new kid has met all tremendous expectations he had set. Now, Ms Nova, he would definitely have met all expectations and made it a visual delight with his towel sequences. She finds Sonam to be ordinary, just like you would expect a debutante to be. So she also met expectations! All tremendous ones! But alas, the poor thing did not get a chance to have a sequence in a towel, let alone drop one. Anyways, Nova warns her readers not to watch it for mindless jokes and dumb action but to watch it if you want to watch a poetry in motion on celluloid! She goes on to quote a phew! comments from people on before ending.

So, will I go and watch the movie? Don’t know. If I get company I might. Am not too keen; might watch the grandeur on my beloved laptop. I shall, however, continue adding RoRs to this post as other feeds on my reader show up Saawariya. But one way SLB disappointed me was by naming it ‘Saawariya’, which is not a word. The correct word is ‘Saanwariya’ (साँवरिया)— one of Lord Krishna’s names, derived from ‘Saanwla’—and I thought SLB was quite meticulous and sort of perfectionist. Maybe kyunkii he is quite superstitious too and some numerologist advised him otherwise, who could anyways not spare him from the wrath of critics and reviewers, and of course ashes’ also for spelling it incorrectly in Hindi too!


Anadi Misra said...

Abey kitni blogging karega...har din ek naya post!

Regarding the movies, here is my two pence. OSO is definitely the paisa vasool kind, friday night fun movie...while Saanwariya is perhaps a one time watch only

Both movies have things in common, besides the hype. Both have precious little in terms of storylines (OSO has more story I guess), linear characters with little layering and character development.While OSO fills up the loopholes well (mostly with masala and intelligent comedy), Saanwariya doesn't. It shouldn't have been pitted against OSO in the 1st place because it is more experimental than mainstream.

Saanwariya, is still a one time watch, despite the criticism, it has its moments and is very watchable just because of its freshness...I believe the trouble with this one is, that they tried to stretch a 30 min. story for over two hours and the filler material just doesn't fill up. Songs are fine, but the side characters are inconsequential and you wish there were more scenes between the lead duo to bring out the chemistry better.
I do see Bhansali's viewpoint, the fairytale, the lyrical musical feel, the slow pace, the various references...but that can't be used as an excuse for what the movie lacks in terms of script and dialogue (BTW, dialogues are pathetic!)

BTW, the debuts are impressive...Amongst the movies I have seen, I believe Neil Mukesh and Ranbir qualify for the newcomer of the year award! Would love to see them together, in a more mainstream, masala movie...I guess same can be said of Sonam & Deepika (she reminds me of Aish)

ashes said...


Abey nazar lag gayi lagta hai teri, last poore week ek bhi post nahi kar paaya :)

Haven't watched OSO either. And did not find many people (bloggers) writing many reviews about it, but I believe it would be better than Saawariya, even though I loved almost all of SLB's earlier ventures.

Thanks for the review. Have included yours too in my RoR above :).

kAy said...

okay- sorry- but i i have totally avoided reading this post of yours simply because i havent seen saawariya yet and it might give away something!
as for your comment on my blog, well, i use a sony H-9 these days soon to be upgraded to an SLR.

Anadi Misra said...

Yaar, actually chemistry lacking nahi hai...par it isn't brought out that well...situations nahi create kiye hain utne....

ashes said...


Thanks for dropping by. You could safely read the RoR--it does not have any spoilers.

Thats a great camera you have...but seeing its bulk, I would have directly gone for the SLR...

longblackveil said...

Thanks for the mention. Loved GreatBong's review.:)

longblackveil said...

Also, OSO is great fun. Cheesy, corny and entertaining as expected with the mad SRK-Farah Khan combination. Deepika is stunning in her debut. I was expecting a bad-over-hyped performance but she was actually good. SRK of course hams as much as possible but that is expected of him. Definitely worth a watch. And most definitely better than SaaNwariya, though they are completely diff films/genres and shouldn't be compared.

Cuckoo said...

I had read this post in my reader but couldn't come here to comment.
Thanks for the mention. Mine was not the review actually. :D

First, I agree with you on the spelling of Saawariya.

Well, the two movies should not be compared as they are completely different in every respect. OSO is light entertainment, a one time watch.

About Saawariya... I was traveling when I was told it being a flop, still have not seen it b'coz of lack of time and now the movie is removed from many of the theaters. But but but.. as I am a fan of SLB, I am definitely going to watch this one.. be it after a few months & then let you know how I found it. I think it won't be that bad. :)

ashes said...


Welcome to my blog. Yes, I agree, OSO and Saawariya are two entirely different genres and should not be compared. But I was suprised that not many people in my reader widget reviewed OSO.

And yes, you can use spell it without the N and pronounce it anasal too if SLB himself does that with his venture. In fact, I retained the spelling he's used just because it is his product, and he may choose to spell it incorrectly, and I should call his product by the name he gave.

Anyways, keep visiting....

ashes said...


Yeah right, you tried not to, but could not avoid reading and hearing reviews et cetera. I do not trust anyone on reviews, and hence it doesn't matter how many people criticize it. I'll watch this SLB flick just for the sake of completeness, and maybe I'd like it too.

Shall wait for a review when you see the movie.

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