‘Mausam, a film by Pankaj Kapur’ - raised a lot of hopes and expectations. A film by one of the finest actors of Indian film industry, coupled with the fact that his directorial debut stars one of today’s most talented hearthrobs. Add to that the fact that it is a father son duo, makes it even more interesting. Is it worth the wait?
Spanning two decades, Mausam is the story of Harry (Shahid Kapur) and Aayat (Sonam Kapoor). The two star crossed lovers pine for each other throughout the film, being separated and reunited repeatedly by incidents which have shaken our country and the world. Starting with Kashmiri militancy, followed by the Babri Masjid episode, the Mumbai blasts, Kargil War, 9/11 and finally the Godhra riots of 2002.
The film is a very sincere effort by Kapur senior. But in today’s times, just sincerity is not good enough. The film is long, long, long, too long! It is nearly 160 minutes! The editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is outright criminal. Had the film’s length been kept at two hours, you wouldn’t feel so drained by the end.
Adding to the frustration, at times the writing leaves you flustered. Why does Aayat not catch Harry when she sees him in Scotland? Why does Aayat keep calling the village when she has Harry’s sister’s number with her? The ‘mind reading’ cafe scene in Scotland again, though would have been romantic while conceptualizing, but does not have the same effect on screen though. Ayaat’s transformation from village belle to Mozart concert seller in Scotland was the least convincing part in this film. And there are quite a few such sequences in the film.
Shahid’s performance is top rate. He puts in an earnest effort and it shows. After Kaminey, this is another strong act by him. Sonam irritates yet again. She should take fellow co-star Anupam Kher’s acting class. Unfortunately, his talent is wasted in an inconsequential role. Supriya Pathak is decent. Aditi Sharma is the only saving grace amongst the rest of the cast.
Music by Pritam is decent, with Rabba and Tashan being the catchy numbers. But in a film which is just a love story and not meant to be a romantic comedy, all the songs have to be good. Not just one or two. The background music is effective though.
The star of the film is Binod Pradhan. As the DOP, he creates magic on screen. Visually the film scores 100%.
The problem with Mausam is that everyone comes across as if they are making an epic love story. Had they just stuck to making a simple love story, the result might have been more effective. I wish Pankaj Kapur had paid equal attention to the scripting and editing, then this would have been a romance for the audiences too. As of now, it’s a heartbreak!
YusuF Poonawala, is an independent writer, who authors The Y Factor . Explore his passion for movies with reviews and everything around them.