Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Aditi Sharma, Supriya Pathak
Directed by Pankaj Kapoor
Mausam can have many taglines. Mausam- 'a season to snooze'. Mausam- 'come fall asleep (with or without recliner seats)'. But the original one sticks best, 'Mausam: a timeless love story…' The ellipses only reinforce that this film might just never end. A tip: carry a day pack comprising essentials when you go to watch it.
A disclaimer at the beginning says that the film doesn't depict true Indian Air Force procedures and tactics. So, dare you roll your eyes when a fighter pilot in the film prepares for an aerial raid by locking and loading his pistol into his holster (in case the missiles get jammed?).
The film opens to a charming village in Punjab called Mallukot, home to our hero, Harry/Harinder Singh (Shahid Kapoor) who is somewhere between Top Cat and village idiot. In true Punjabi spirit, every dialogue begins with 'Dekh oye!' and everyone loves saying 'Haan bhayee'. After many silly digs at the negligible collective IQ of Mallukot, our Kashmiri heroine, Aaayat (Sonam Kapoor) surfaces, seeking refuge at her Bua's (Supriya Pathak). Harry meets Aayat, romantic music plays and the two are in love.
But no Bollywood love story worth its extras is complete without separation. So, Aayat shifts base overnight to Mumbai (just in time for the 1993 riots). Then she moves to Scotland with dad, Bua and a family friend called Maharaj Krishna (Anupam Kher), fondly called Machchu.
The story takes a time leap of 7 years (which actually feels like 14 years in runtime) and the two lovers meet again. Harry, now an Indian Air Force pilot, is on an exchange program in Scotland (for real?). Twirling from ballet to ballroom, the two are inseparable until Harry is called away for the Kargil war.
The rest of the film has about 20 respective separations and unions. The grand finale is in Ahmedabad. Yes, you guessed it, during the Godhra riots. This time, Harry takes home the cake, the bakery and the baker. He saves Aayat from a mob and a howling baby from falling off a giant wheel with his paralysed hand (his fighter plane crashed during the war). Harry also rescues an impressive white stallion trapped behind flames. "Kuch tumne khoya, kuch maine khoya, kuch iss masoom ne khoya," says Harry and they start afresh by walking towards a giant wheel with the stallion in tow.
Racial profiling is no joke but can a family be affected by terrorists attacks in Kashmir, '93 Mumbai riots, September 11 attacks in the US and the Godhra riots, all in one film?
Shahid and Sonam are both committed to their roles but their dialogues and lack of chemistry can easily make you hate this love story. The music is hummable and the cinematography is divine. But in all, they don't add up to tell a story that can keep your eyes peeled to the screen.
This film offers a one-stop disaster tour, listing most major global and local setbacks. In hindsight, if these tragedies didn't occur, our duo would never be separated. But then again, they wouldn't have met either.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Facebook