Saawariya is a 2007 Hindi romance film produced and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film is based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story "White Nights".Wikipedia
Like all of Bhansali’s previous pictures, Saawariya too is a visual spectacle. Few filmmakers’ can match his attention to detail, his magnificent use of lighting and colour, and his sharp ear for music. But in the end, it’s not about the sweeping scale or the lilting melodies, Saawariya fails to touch your heart, it’s an exercise in excess. I’m going with one out of five for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya, a fall from grace for the country’s most celebrated filmmaker.
Welcome to Bhansalipur. Here you can find the Arc de Triomphe of Paris, the gondolas of Venice, the haveli-like homes of Lucknow or Badlucknow, the carpet-dust alleys of Morocco, a bridge from Lucino Visconti’s Safed Raatein, a bordello from Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, and last but not the least, R K studio of Chembur. Saawariya, sad to say, is worthy of being sent off to the snowy scapes of Siberia...
The problem lies with their puppeteer, the all-conquering badshah of bluster. Sanjay Leela Bhansali [Images] takes Fyodor Dostoevsky's White Nights -- a stark, lovely story about romance born and rekindled over four nights -- and, picking out its barest heart, proceeds to smother it in mixed-up layers of trite melodrama. And money. And so this soft core, this tender tale, is hidden -- under several reams of indiscriminately wrapped silk and velvet, of loud noise and harsh light, of bewildering backdrops and the colour blue -- so deep beneath smug self-indulgence and a bizarre budget that you can't even hear the heartbeat anymore.
Saawariya is visually overpowering. This is a film meant purely for viewers who find cinema a synonym for aesthete. The allegorical settings and Dostovyskian love fable may not find favour with the aam junta . But for the cineaste, the film is a lyrical odyssey that works at the level of a fable.
Alas, SAAWARIYA is all style, no substance. When a director of the calibre of SLB attempts a love story, you expect to experience the various emotions that you generally associate with romance. Sadly, the emotions you experience while watching SAAWARIYA is sorrow and after the screening, anguish.
Saawariya is an Indian cinematic experience of rare brilliance. Either consciously, or unconsciously, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has let the influence of Baz Luhrmann's Award winning movie, Moulin Rouge take over his being. Like Rani Mukherjee keeps saying in the movie, 'I likes it'!
Bhansali carefully chose his leading couple from the mom-and-pop store movies in Mumbai get made from. The move made commercial sense. He gives them instead much less scope to prove any skills. Ranbir spends most of his screen-time a self-aware drama-king. Sonam remains forever a dimpled, grinning portrait of awkward reticence that’s passed off for feminine charm.The picture itself then is merely a post-card, where every passionate aspect draws attention to itself, but the protagonists, or their intimate story.
When an entire film is a homage, you wonder whether the limits of self-indulgence by a filmmaker have been challenged. When not making references to the Kapoor khandaan , and assaulting the audience with a song ever ten minutes, Bhansali outdoes himself. He also includes nods to his own films...You feel almost left out in this self-sufficient Bhansali-Kapoor family as they go about celebrating and acknowledging each other?s achievements through this film, making you feel like an intruder who?s crashing into their private party.
Audience Reviews for Saawariya
Based on the Fyodor Doestovsky short story, 'White Nights', the film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali recreates the atmosphere with visual spectacle and stunning music. Too bad that all of it is let down by a mostly convoluted script with down-graded performances by Ranbir and Sonam, who unfortunately, do seem to know how to act. What is more, the film has crass atmosphere and cringe-worthy dialogues which are too outdated.