Mausam- The Wait Ends

After a long wait and numerous delays in the release date, we finally have Mausam in the theatres near us.
Directed by debutante director and veteran actor Pankaj Kapur with the cast comprising of the likes of son Shahid Kapoor, wife Supriya Pathak Kapur, Sonam Kapoor and Anupam Kher among many others, it roused a great deal of anticipation among the audience.

The story begins in November 1992 in Mallukot, a small village in Punjab where the happy-go-lucky Harinder Singh or Harry (Shahid Kapoor), is awaiting an appointment letter from the Indian Air Force meets the displaced Muslim girl from Kashmir, Aayat (Sonam Kapoor), who comes to stay with her aunt played by the super talented Supriya Pathak. It is a love first sight for him and slowly this feeling is reciprocated by her.

The romance is too short and one fine day Harry finds Aayat gone along with her family. Years pass by and the story shifts to Scotland (1999), where after 7 long years the couple meet again. Harry is now Squadron leader Harrinder Singh and Aayat a ballerina. Their love propagates in the beautiful valleys of Scotland and a marriage is almost on the cards, when India gets racked by the Kargil War and Harry has to immediately report to the front. They are separated once again with no clue about each other’s whereabouts. Here begins a search for love disrupted by many national and international events. Will destiny reunite them or will it be an endless quest for love!

Mausam has a poetic rhythm in its narration. It depicts an old-fashioned style of romance where silence speaks a lot more than words. The villagery essence of innocence and vitality and the Punjabi wholeheartedness is beautifully expressed. As the location shifts to Scotland, the style, costumes and sets get a Victorian vigour. The locations over all are exquisite or the camera work makes them so. The script is however, repetitive and tremendously slow paced and thus gets boring by the mid second half.

The number of tragedies and coincidences is so high that the audience fails to sympathize with Harry and Aayat’s misfortunes. Being termed as a “timeless love story”, the love (romance) in the story is too less and the leads hardly ever meet in the second half except for the end. The change of events and locations is too fast and it’s hard to stay with the story. The length of the movie is long by almost 30 minutes, which could have been easily cut short.

The photography, music and acting are the domains in which the film scores. Binod Pradhan has done a highly credible job with his camera to bring out the intense emotions alive. The music by Pritam, a mix of sufi and folk tunes, is commendable, specially as it is not his typical style. The picturization of same is also eye-filling.

Coming to acting, it is probably the highest point of the movie. Shahid Kapoor portrays the role of both the juvenile village boy and the IAF pilot with supreme ease. His talent is far beyond what he has delivered till date and his dad has exploited quite a bit of that. He looks stunning and royal and sweeps you off your feet in his air-force apparel and otherwise. Sonam also depicts her role of the shy Kashmiri girl with equal ease and composure. A surprise element is Aditi Sharma who does a stupendous job as Rajjo, who has a major infatuation for Harry throughout the film. However, power packed actors like Supriya Pathak and Anupam Kher are wasted and have hardly any role to play.

Overall the film does not have the heart melting efficiency of a love story and fails expectations. It might work with the diehard Shahid fans, which are not less in number and also because of the lack of superstar movies in the theatre with RaOne and Rockstar still weeks away from release.

Amrita Sarkar