SAAWARIYA (D: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 150 min) Rating: NNNNN
updated November 12th 4 pm
SAAWARIYA marks the first-ever Hollywood studio production of a Bollywood film,but that's where the innovation stops. Sony's foray into India's hugely popular swooning-romance industry plays it by the numbers.
Newcomers Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor (no relation) star as a singer and his virginal love object, kept apart by familiar contrivances. It all takes place in a fairy-tale version of a red-light district that, weirdly, looks borrowed from Moulin Rouge, which itself stole from Bollywood.
The lovely and reliable Rani Mukherjee lends much-needed ballast to the story as a prostitute narrator, but this is mostly a triumph of sets and costumes. For Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director of high-end entertainments like Black and Devdas, this marks a retreat to safer ground - lovely to look at but disappointing. Subtitled.
Dir. By Sanjay Leela Bhansali, runs 142 minutes
- C. Bailey