Happy birthday Hrithik Roshan: Reminiscing 'Guzaarish' on his 49th birthday
Hrithik Roshan is a bonafide superstar for more than two decades now and has donned multiple characters of varied shades and fans have loved him thoroughly. From Rohit in Koi... Mil Gaya to Dhoom and from Super 30 to Vikram Vedha, he has proved his mettle in Bollywood. On his 49th birthday, let's look back at Guzaarish—his most underrated performance.
Story of the film
Guzaarish is a romantic drama revolving around a magician named Ethan Mascarenhas (Roshan) who has become quadriplegic after an accident. He seeks euthanasia to end his life and his friend fights the case for him to see him die with dignity. Sofia (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is the caretaker of Mascarenhas and both fall in love with each other.
Critics take and mounting of the film
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's films are a visual treat for viewers. The film is mounted at a scale that it feels like dream and is visual poetry at its best. Even though Roshan delivered a brilliant performance, the film received mixed reviews from critics. They stated that the Hindi movie was more about melodrama and less about the story.
Last film of Bhansali's melancholia phase
Bhansali's filmmaking career has had three phases till Padmaavat and this 2010 directorial is his last film of the melancholia phase. Roshan's facial features complement the overall flavor of the film. As the film is set in Goa and the gothic flavor from the architecture to the costumes to Roshan's long hair and bearded look, everything fits perfectly.
Roshan's understanding of the character
Roshan has played a role of a differently abled man earlier, but here, he is confined to either a wheelchair or a bed. He uses his eye and lip movements to enact his feelings. The radiant smile even after battling for 12 years is a treat for viewers. That smile acts more like a hope to many others who are suffering just like him.
Ethan and Sofia: Searching for solace
The romantic plot is subtle and it ages like fine wine. Sofia is Ethan's caretaker for 12 years. She comes from a troubled background as her husband is a drunkard and a wife beater. She finds solace around Ethan. Even though, Ethan cannot move and he is totally dependent on Sofia, he forms a sense of connection with her.
Bhansali's music and visual poetry
Bhansali is an auteur who uses music as a major tool for his storytelling. This film is no exception. The romance brews between Ethan and Sofia as they go to a restaurant and Sofia performs to Udi. Even the lyrics speak about the newly found love, butterflies in the stomach from Sofia's perspective, and how she is over the moon.
Roshan's take on Ethan's past
Roshan's past as a magician is also shown with music. In the film where he spent 95% of his screen time in a wheelchair, he aces it with his performance in Tera Zikr. He is as fluid as water and his vision is as strong as a rock and performs the magic trick with utmost poise and panache.
Roshan understanding of Bhansali's visual grammar
Roshan complimented Sudeep Chatterjee's cinematography, especially in the scene where he was on his bed and the ceiling was full of Ethan's photos from his life before the accident, except for a mirror which was just above his head. He wanted to break free from the memories that surrounded that mirror. He opted for euthanasia to die with dignity.
Raging against the dying light
Bhansali showed his magic in one of the scenes where Ethan was on his bed and the ceiling was leaking. His frailing house symbolized him and his trying to fight with those raindrops was Ethan's actual struggle for 12 years. Roshan added more perspective to the character. On his 49th birthday, our Guzaarish to you is to watch this gem of a movie.