I'm NOT a fan of Bollywood. I hate hindi movies mainly because they're nothing but immature cacaphonic expressions of the (random person who wishes to call himself) director. But on that rare occasion, when you've lost all hope of Indian cinema ever growing up, a film comes along. A film so magical, so profound and so beautifully created, it leaves you spellbound and pensive for days after. That is exactly what happened after I watched Guzaarish. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the Balzac of Indian Cinema and he's outdone himself again. Like Balzac, Bhansali creates stunning visuals and pays painstaking attention to every detail. He has taken the theme of death and created an dazzling opera that embraces life and all the emotions that come with it!
Two of Indian cinema's most beautiful and excellent actors are cast in the film. The stunning Aishwarya Rai plays the role of Sophie De Souza, a nurse and Hritik Roshan plays the role of Ethan Mascarenhas, a once famous magician who was paralysed in a fatal spinal cord accident while performing one of his levitation tricks. For me, the best part of the film is that it has been shot entirely in Goa, my lovely hometown. The film exposes the finesse and flamboyance of a real Goan home. For the first time in Bollywood history, Goa has not been portrayed as a place overfilled with brothels, drunkards, junkies and nudists. The backdrop comprises of a magnificent colonial house, vintage cars, conservatively dressed women, especially Aishwarya who is nothing but a personification of elegance and beauty. I love what she wears throughout the film specially the scarlet flower in her hair and the flowing spanish style skirts and scarves.
Ethan Mascarenhas has been paralysed for nearly twelve years and his faithful nurse Sophie has been by his side all along. She's given up her entire life to take care of Ethan. Ethan is tired of being a "vegetable" and decides to make a Guzaarish (a request) to the court for Euthanasia or mercy killing. This is of course illegal in Indian courts, it's considered a sin by the Church and strongly opposed by Ethan's friends, especially Sophie. There exists an unspoken passionate love between the two. She's the only person who understands his afflictions but she won't accept his decision to kill himself. I believe this is the first time in Indian cinema that the Hero is fighting to die and we should applaud Sanjay Leela Bhansali for bringing Euthanasia to the forefront. Leave it to the Master to shed light on a social cause through the medium of love, resplendent images, seduction, grace and songs. If you're contemplating watching an Indian film, take a chance on this one. This is a sheer celebration of life and worth every penny and second of your time!