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GUZAARISH - Movie Review : With some earnest performances, the film fails on the emotional level and is repeatedly all inspired stuff from Bhansali, nothing original. (Review By Bobby Sing)

19 Nov, 2010 | Movie Reviews / 2010 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / G

With GUZAARISH, Bhansali returns with his own colourful world painted on the celluloid which sadly never rises above mere being a beautiful painting throughout. Though supported by some earnest performances by the cast, it’s once again an all inspired show from the famous & reputed director who continues with his more than a decade old habit of making movies on all borrowed concepts. Yes, there are few appreciable scenes in GUZAARISH in the name of originality, but as a film it fails to move you emotionally and leaves a very feeble kind of impact in the end with a very gutless climax.

Firstly I would like to discuss it as an inspired movie, which doesn’t allow me to write about its director with a great amount of praise. Right from the year 1996 each and every film of Sanjay Leela Bhansali (from KHAMOSHI to SAAWARIYA) has been based on inspired subjects. But still the reason why the director has been able to achieve such cult status in Bollywood undoubtedly remains his unique style of treatment, artistic sense of colours and his keen musical ear. Evidently GUZAARISH also has got all the above mentioned qualities as expected from Bhansali. It is well shot, beautifully designed and brilliantly crafted. But somehow it doesn’t have a lovable and soothing soul which can make you feel the things happening on the screen (as you can feel in its ORIGINAL Source movies)

This time the gifted director makes up a story mixing more than one movie from the West. A man suffering from a complete Paralysis of the body other than his face, asking for merci death is taken from two movies. One is the Spanish Award Winning movie MAR ADENTRO or THE SEA INSIDE (2004) and the other is WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY (1981). The idea of magic and the plot of rivalry between two famous magicians leading to a serious conspiracy is taken from THE PRESTIGE (2006). Here I would like to add that inspiration is acceptable if used in a fine way putting many things of your own in the end product. But what’s the use of copying entire sequences from a movie and then trying to present it as your own without any kind of acknowledgement or courtesy.

For instance the accident scene of Hrithik leading to the life changing injury is striking similar to the one in THE SEA INSIDE. The only difference is that in the Original the person unknowingly jumps into a less deep river and in GUZAARISH, Hrithik falls in a water pit while displaying his magic act. And they both severely break their neck on their fall. Further, the whistling act done by Hrithik to call a help, a female lawyer friend of the deceased, the scene where the court verdict is announced on the TV and Aishwarya’s final offer to help Hrihtik in the end………everything is as it is taken from the same film.   

Moreover, moving on a completely different path from the ORIGINALS, Bhansali very unacceptably tries to glamorize the subject of MERCI DEATH with all that magic and love angles thrown in which fail miserably running along the emotional subject of the film. It’s in fact very funny to see Hrithik giving a Big book to the kid with all the secrets in it and teaching his magic trick to him (just like that), without any kind of detailed scene and explanation. It was a clear indication that Bhansali had used this topic of Magic in his script only to add some fun element in the otherwise serious plot and nothing else.

In addition to the above, very amateurishly, the director shies away from showing the real death of the main character in the end and just decides to fade away into the dark with his smiling face on the screen. In my opinion, if you have decided to make a film on the subject of Wishful DEATH, then you should at least have the guts to depict the ACTUAL DEATH of the character on the wide screen. But Bhansali decides not to show a dying Hrithik in the end and tries to give a happy ending to his viewers, which is not all effective as it should have been. So, as an inspired movie it is not upto the mark since it keeps deviating from its main topic and is not able to generate any similar kind of impact like its Original Sources.

Now secondly I would like to discuss it as an audience, who is not aware of its inspirational angles at all. Unfortunately from this viewpoint too, I didn’t find GUZAARISH a very emotional or touching movie not to be missed. You may watch it as a piece of art with very fine colourful sets made with complete detailing, good costume designing or for a soothing background score. You may watch it for some well directed sequences dealing with a leaking roof or caressing nurse. And you may watch it if you are die-hard fan of Hrithik Roshan. But don’t expect anything great which will make you think about DEATH or about the people who wish to die willfully against the law.

As I see it, the movie is not an exceptional thought provoking venture from Bhansali since it lacks the much required emotional depth and feel. It starts off brilliantly but is not able to impress a lot till its intermission. In the second half too, the characters never sinks deep inside your soul and make you cry. In other words, you keep watching their sufferings and pain but still don’t feel moved enough to cry along with them. There are several sub plots in the script which are not utilized to their full potential and remain questionable. For example, the Radio Jockey angle (inspired from LAGEY RAHO MUNNABHAI) had great potential in it but falls flat, the people protest against the court is very poorly directed, looking childish and Rajit Kapoor as the public prosecutor is made to overact in his few scenes.

Besides this I really couldn’t understand the MOTHER angle in the script which was completely unbelievable. Even if the son strongly insists, still how can a mother live far away from her young son suffering from an almost full body paralysis being looked after by a paid nurse for 12 long years. In fact this motherly expression of the director raised many questions in my mind since I simply couldn’t accept that a mother can ever think of living away from his deceased son in the given circumstances.

Musically, GUZAARISH has few good numbers with some meaningful lyrics. But the tracks are not catchy enough to bowl you over in only one listening as you may have felt previously in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie. The best one is the title track which is melodiously composed and sung. But considering the fact that Bhansali has himself given the music for this film, I would only like to say that having a keen sense of music and musical ear is quite different to being a music director having immense knowledge of music and musical arrangements. Shot beautifully GUZAARISH is as usual a visual treat for the audience. But the director seems to be pretty confident in the indoors more than the outdoors. Apart from its brilliant cinematography, the other winners in the film are its soothing background score and sensitive dialogues, which keep you engrossed in an otherwise offbeat kind of subject revolving around merci killing.

Performance wise, I may have a different opinion than many. Hrithik no doubt has worked hard with his utmost sincerity. But frankly I was not moved emotionally by his pure act. He surely looked and behaved like the painful character on the screen but I didn’t feel his pain as I did along with him in KOI MIL GAYA. At times I even felt his smile, laugh and dialogue delivery style as seen before somewhere (may be in KOI MIL GAYA only). Aishwarya too for me was just fine with a far better performance in the second half than the first. Particularly I found her doing a little overacting in the air drumming scene before the song sequence in the club. But both Hrithik and Aishwarya are at their best towards the climax. Here Hrithik indeed deserves a praise to accept such kind of role which had nothing for his millions of children fans. His KITES had nothing for them either so he really needs to seriously think about that while choosing his future projects. Aditya Roy Kapur is even better than his previous films and has got a great talent to look for. Shernaz Patel impresses as always in a Bhansali movie. Suhel Seth and Nafisa Ali are fine in their small roles. But Moni Kangana Dutta shows no sparks as publicized in the press before the release of the movie.

In all, for me GUZAARISH is just an above average movie with some good performances but weak treatment of a serious subject. It may work for many but truly speaking I have seen much better movies from this so am not impressed.

Rating : 2.5 / 5

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19 Nov 2010 / Comments ( 8 )

Thanks for giving a detailed analysis of the movie sir, truly admire your reviews!

Bobby Sing

Thanks Nihin for your kind words.....Would try my best to keep on giving my impartial reviews. Cheers!

Sanchit Goyal

It is after quite some time that I am writing a comment on your blog mainly because of the fact that it has happened after a fairly long time that I watched the movie on the 1st day itself and your review was also posted by then.

Anyways I agree with many points in the review while have a different opinion on some of them.
 I had no major plans to see Guzaarish initially. I only went to see the visual beauty of the film which is trademark of almost every Bansali film and didn\'t expect much from the story itself! So when I also found the story good it was a bonus and thus the high rating- 9/10.

Here I have to say that I havent watched any of the movies from which this one is inspired! If I had watched those earlier the rating would have been less as watching the same lifted scene again in a movie is a disappointment for a viewer and it is strange and even shameful that Bansali choose to do that again and again.

 The movie sure doesn\'t talk about the actual matter very strongly and isnt path breaking. But in a sense I found it good as I didnt want to see an emotional movie.

Hrithik\'s acting wasn\'t anything extraordinary considering the potential of the role. Though I was pleasantly surprised to see the performance of Aishwarya Rai.

I also found that jokes related to sex were used too often to make people laugh which was unnecessary and even wrong considering it is a family movie. Apart from that I wonder why there was a hype about Moni Kangana dutta when her role in the movie is of at max 5 min! Also the sequence where the enemy of Hrithik is mentioned and the actual tragedy is shown is unconvincing and seems forced maybe.

Its clear that the director has not shown the issue very seriously but has just included it. The tagline of the movie says " A plea that shocked the world" yet in the movie not much is shown about the plea or its impact on the world!
 Finally the movie is like a middle path taken byu Bansali. Not too serious and not too funny. A little bit of everything with a bit more stress on the serious side.

Bobby Sing

Thanks Sanchit, I guess if you had seen all the Original Movies mentioned here then it surely would have been a completely different case.

But I really cant appreciate any kind of beautiful direction of visual delight which is in reality based on all borrowed concept and scenes. Whenever I see this kind of film and people getting appreciated for it, I feel like somebody readily sitting on the dining table eating the delicious food kept in front to him shamelessly, which was actually placed and prepared for somebody else.

But was nice to see your comment after a long while and do keep writing in.....Cheers!


Sanchit Goyal
Exactly as I said had I seen all the movies earlier from which Bansali has lifted scenes than the rating would have surely been very less!


Hi! All,
I always feel that Hrihtik is an extremely talented person & he deserves to be in Hollywood more than Bollywood. In this film they hv not made use of his talent, they hv not showcased Hrihtik\'s talent even 50%...... The topic of the movie was fine but it was total disaster. Infact me & my friends were willing to walk out of the movie after 30 mints of the movie started..... it is such a slow drag movie with not much use of Hrihtik\'s talent in it.....
Take care!


This one is definitely inspired from SEA INSIDE. But i think SLB treated the script right. I\'d give 3.5
I don\'t think there is a less emotional problem here. The problem is subplots. Roy kapoor character doesn\'t need in the film. It\'s a plot device to convince audience that Ethan is a good man even forgiving enemies.

I think the open end is really good. This movie is not about the rightness of mercy killing. It\'s the hardship of a disable person (like BLACK) and how they bear the pain within themselves to fight the life. Mercy killing thing is just driving the plot for audience.

I think Hrithik did exceptionally well. Tell me an actor who can play this role. (only Amithabh in 70\'s). It\'s a shame that Salman winning best actor for DABAANG. People have to understand the difference between aura and acting.

Bobby Sing

Thanks Dinuth87 for writing your honest views......

Keep Writing.....Cheers!

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