Guzaarish- A Paraplegic Film

November 21, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Cinema, Media, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Light beam enters through the large windows, when glamorous curtains are drawn. The light illuminates the royal looking furnitures placed on spotless floor of the palatial hose where Ethan, the protagonist of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest film Guzaarish, lives. Ethan has met with an accident 14 years ago, while performing a magical trick and turned paraplegic. After being confined to his room for 14 years Ethan demands for euthanasia and filed a petition in the court.

As the case is fought in the court we get to know that the palatial property of Ethan is pledged. Now this is interesting! Because if the protagonist has so much of property, in the film, it doesn’t support his case in the court and if he lived in a small house (because he is under financial crisis) Bhansali couldn’t lit up the screen the way he wants to. So he takes this path of making his protagonist live in a palatial house under debt with the palatial house being a security. (What an idea Sir ji!!!)

Isn’t that interesting? So finally there you get to know that Bhansali is more concerned only with illuminating the frame and not adding depth to the story, adding flesh and blood to his characters or giving them a proper ground to stand on. His first preference is to make the film visually appealing (note: i say appealing and not rich or good) adn he would do any kind of compromise with the story for that!

Anyone would demand for euthanasia because (s)he is suffering, is in pain, is struggling with life. Common sense. And it is only the intensity of this suffering, this pain and struggle which will justify their demand for euthanasia. But in Guzaarish the suffering, pain and struggling of Ethan doesn’t come across at all. In the court Ethan, saying he wants to perform a magic show, makes the prosecutor suffocate within a box and says, “This is how i have lived all the 14 years.” When Ethan says so it  appears like a big lie for nowhere has the director shown such an intense suffering of Ethan.

Of the 14 years Ethan 12 years he has been taken care of by Sophia who is against the decision of Ethan for euthanasia. His decision is also opposed by his lawyer Devayani and his doctor. Their love and objection becomes justified but not the demand of Ethan for mercy killing. Could a film have a bigger hole in its script? Was Bhansali blind like Michelle of ‘Black’?

To give that extra sugar to the character of Ethan he is made to host a radio show where he speaks of life and the beauty of life. Probably Bhansali thought it would be “cool” to make this man demanding for death speak about life and colours. May be he thought it is also “cooll” to make the protagonist pass on his knowledge to a young boy even when he know that the young boy is the son of the man who is responsible for his condition. These all look like lame attempts by Bhansali to add that extra sugar to his character and gain the sympathy of the audience towards Ethan. But all these attempts fail because what he fails to do is justify the demand for euthanasia.

People like David Dhawan are at least honest to the subjects that they chose (how much ever pathetic the subjects they chose are, which in itself is a dishonesty towards art and life. But they are honest to what they chose as their subject and makes it obvious that their films are stupid) but Bhansali is so dishonest to the very subject he choses. He selling his cheap sentimental saga diluting the seriousness of the subject he choses…

In Bhansali’s films only his protagonist and people associated with the protagonist are in focus (technically on the screen also) and his film characters live like there is no world outside, which justifies the technic that he uses of keeping the rest of the world out of focus. In total the world that he creates has no gravitation…

The most disgusting part of the film is the part where Ethan decides to marry Sofia soon after he is promised by her to assist him in killing himself.  Sofiya, a nurse, whose appearance is more of a model modeling for some dress, than a nurse, has a broken marital life and manages to liberate herself, at the end, through divorce, only to come marry the man who wants die within the next 24 hours! Did Bhansali think it was romantic to marry at the threshold of death? How idiotic! How chauvinistic! Bhansali said that his mother loved the film. Wonder what she thought about the treatment given to the character Sofiya!!!

Bhansali also said that his mother loving the film is more than enough for him and would take all other opinions with a pinch of salt. Fine then Mr. Bhansali, why did you have to release the film in the theaters? We also would have loved it if you had not released such a film, which is so confused that it doesnt know what is it celebrating, life or death!

The film Guzaarish draws greatly from the oscar winning film The Sea Inside. I don’t want to compare Guzaarish with The Sea Inside, not because it is a bad attempt in re-creating The Sea Inside, but because i think drawing inspiration is perfectly fine. (I don’t want to get into ethical debates, here, whether stealing the idea of some other films in the name of inspiration is right or wrong. I also dont know what to call it, stealing or inspiration.) My problem with Guzaarish is not when placed it with The Sea Inside but looking at only Guzaarish without comparing it with The Sea Inside also doesn’t give a good experience. It fails to impress even when not compared with The Sea Inside.

My prayer, now is this: Like Ethan teaches his art to Omar Siddiqui, let not Mr. Bhansali teach his art to anyone!!!


  1. arron said,

    watch The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 2007…..

  2. Guzaarish « Ritu’s Weblog said,

    […] Guzaarish- A Paraplegic Film ( […]

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