BY SWATI DEOGIRE
When you look away from the picture-perfect frames and beautiful cinematography of Mausam (courtesy Binod Pradhan) you understand that not all the seasons of love in this film are suitable for you.
Mausam is veteran actor Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut with son Shahid and Sonam Kapoor in the lead, along with Supriya Pathak, Anupam Kher and Manoj Pahwa. Kapur Sr. has put forth commendable work in his debut film with respect to attention to detail. The art direction and cinematography makes the Punjab ka pind look very real and believable, with loud, noisy middle aged women, a tonga wala and sarsoon ke khet in the background. But with Pankaj Kapur at the helm of affairs, one expects something close to perfection. And sadly, the film disappoints with a dragging screenplay and unnecessary melodrama that it offers.
The film starts in the early 90s set in a small village in Punjab with Harry (Harvinder Singh), played by Shahid, and Aayat, played by Sonam, as the main characters. As Harry awaits his letter from the Indian Air Force, he falls in love with a Kashmiri refugee, Aayat. Love blossoms between the two and just before you think the two will soon bind together in matrimony, Babri Masjid is demolished and hence, Aayat relocates to an undisclosed location. The political undercurrent and terrorist activities in India and the West for over a decade set the tone of the film. They come together again only to be separated by another series of attacks. The longing and wait of the couple seems endless and highly annoying as in an era of cell phones and emails, the two of them depend on traditional sources of communication and as a result, the two finally meet after a decade, that too in the midst of the Gujarat riots.
Pritam Chakraborty’s music seems refreshing and adds more beauty to the film. Shahid’s restrained acting in the second half as an Air Force officer and his village boy act in the first part show his commendable growth as an actor. Sonam looks dignified and giggles her way through most of the first half of the film which is replaced only by her yearning and pining act till the end. A good script on paper gone awry on screen, the Mausam vibhaag here at Ink gives it a thumbs down!