The 90s saw the rise and rise of music videos. Many of today's stars have, at some point of time, been a part of such music videos. One of the pioneers of such music videos were the impeccable director duo of Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru. They stepped into directing Bollywood films with the Salman Khan-Sneha Ullal starrer LUCKY...NO TIME FOR LOVE. The duo's latest offering at the Box-Office is in the form of this week's release SANAM TERI KASAM. Will this film hold 'promise' at the box-office or will it fizzle out, let's analyse.
The film starts off with everybody congratulating the leading lawyer Inder Lal Parihar aka Inder (Harshvardhan Rane) because he has won an important case. Steering away from everyone and all the congratulatory messages, Inder stands in front of a huge tree, which leads the viewers to a series of flashback incidents that connects Inder's yesterday with his today. The flashback events start off with Inder's 'I-care-a-damn-about-the world' attitude that makes Saraswati Parthasarthi aka Saru's (Mawra Hocane) extremely righteous and religious father Jayaram Parthasarthi (Manish Choudhary) hate him from the bottom of his heart. Even though he is a strict father, he wants nothing but the best (a bridegroom who is loaded with IIT-IIM degrees) for his dutiful and beautiful daughter Saru, who works as a librarian. The problem with Saru is that, despite being extremely cultured, self respecting and intellectual, she gets rejected by prospective grooms because she is a self-confessed 'vibhuti aunty'. The delay in Saru's marriage also results in her younger sister Kaveri Parthasarthi's (Divyetta) marriage getting delayed. This results in Saru being at the receiving end of Kaveri's constant bickering. Seeing an article of 'complete makeover' in a magazine, Saru decides to undergo the same, so that the prospective bridegrooms do not reject her. Amidst her transformation, a series of events takes place that turns not just Saru's but also her entire family's world upside down, so much so that her father Jayaram declares her dead for him and his family. He even performs the pooja for the dead in front of Saru's garlanded photograph. So, what exactly goes haywire in Saru's life, does she ultimately get an IIT-IIM man as her life partner, what ultimately happens to Inder and does Kaveri Parthasarthi's marriage get further delayed is what forms the rest of the film.
Even though there is nothing outstanding about the film's script, the film's premise still holds promise due to its unusual story (Radhika Rao & Vinay Sapru) and simplicity. The years of experience that the film's directors (Radhika Rao & Vinay Sapru) have in terms of technicalities and other aspects clearly shows in the film. Even though the film makes for a decent watch, one just cannot help but draw (immediate) parallels between SANAM TERI KASAM and 'like-minded' films ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE and the more recent KATTI BATTI. While many scenes in the film leave a strong impact on the audience and make the film look realistic and emotional, there are a handful of scenes (like that of Murli Sharma's inspector act) that dilutes the seriousness of the film. While the film scores extremely well in the first half, the pace, the momentum and the excitement that was built by the first half totally gets lost in the film's second half. In simple words, the film's second half does nothing but dilute the impact of the first half to a large extent. And it is the director duo who have to be blamed for this. Despite the flaws and the melodrama, the emotional moments that are woven in the simple and sweet film work extremely well in favour of the film.
As for the performances, SANAM TERI KASAM marks the debut of the film's lead pair. While Harshvardhan Rane is a well-known name down south, Mawra Hocane is a Pakistani actress who is a well-established VJ, model and actress. Harshvardhan Rane puts up an above average act (his miniscule struggles with a couple of scenes notwithstanding). On the other hand, Mawra Hocane shines and excels in the film with her extremely believable and superlative performance. There are places where she overtakes Harshvardhan in terms of performance. It won't be wrong to term her as a 'scene stealer'. Given the right choice of films, she just could be the find of Bollywood this year. Other actors like Manish Choudhary, Murli Sharma, Pyumori Mehta, Divyetta and Rushad Rana deliver convincing performances. On the other hand, the cameos by Vijay Raaz and Sudesh Berry are interesting.
The film's music (Himesh Reshammiya) is extremely fresh and scores superlatively with the listeners and is a delight to listen to. Be it the melodious title track or 'Tera Chehra', 'Kheech Meri Photo', 'Rahnuma' the music is a clean winner and is definitely one of the USPs of the film. Had the film's music been promoted a bit more aggressively, it just could have worked wonders for the film. The film's background score (Sanjoy Chowdhary) only adds glitters to the film's progress and doesn't lag in anyway. While the film's cinematography (Chirantan Das) is top-notch, the film's editing (Deven Murdeshwar) could have been a bit more crisper, which could have helped the film's second half from being dragged endlessly.
On the whole, SANAM TERI KASAM is a decent assortment of good performances and superb music. However, the excessive length of the film will act as a biggest single drawback at the box-office.