Scream and Shout: Guzaarish

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Warning and Disclaimer: This article, though unintended, may contain a few spoilers of the film. Do not read on if you don’t wish to encounter them. Keep in mind, the editors of BollySpice Magazine do not endorse the views of any of our ‘Scream and Shout’ articles; they are merely a way for our writers to express their own opinions.

Guzaarish is out and while the film hasn’t met expectations, Sanjay Leela Bhansali can take solace in the fact that the Guzaarish cannot be ignored. The film depicts the life of a paraplegic who feels the need to end his life after many years of being confined to a wheelchair. His decision causes mayhem and debate in his local society especially since he was once a renowned magician with innate zest for life. You either loved it, or hated it; Guzaarish is one of those films. And of course, amidst the number of writers we house at BollySpice, three of us felt the need to display our opinions towards the film. While we all stand firm as SLB admirers, we all couldn’t help but pinpoint issues, problems and reasons for liking and disliking Guzaarish.

Though it stars one of my all time favorite actors and though I had an incredibly inspiring interview with Hrithik Roshan, I have to admit I have not seen Guzaarish and I do not plan too. For me, the story of Ethan and how his life went from one of magic, dance and so much life, to one of being confined to a wheelchair would have been too much, but I would have seen it. However, when I heard the story had him going to court to request the right to end his life I knew that this is a film I could not handle. I do not understand why the director had to take it that one step too far. The story would have been enough if it just told the story of Ethan and his struggles and how he overcame them with smiles and acceptance. But to have him go and want to die, does that not cancel all he was trying to portray with Ethan’s attitude and Radio Zindagi. Also, what was the point it was never going to be granted, Euthanasia is illegal in India. Another point is what sort of message does it send to all those who are in the same situation as Ethan. I applaud Hrithik’s passion for this role and for his outstanding performance I just wish I would be able to watch it. For me, the movie would have been all and more if it had concentrated more on Ethan’s life before and then his triumph over what happened, his attitude and his love. That was the story he should have told in full instead of going for the extra shock value of such a controversial topic. That is a movie I would have wanted to see. – Stacey Yount

It’s interesting how two people can watch the same film and walk away with completely opposing views. My mother walked out feeling a renewed appreciation for life while I came out trying to understand what exactly Sanjay Leela Bhansali was trying to tell me. Was it that people in wheelchairs are oppressed people? Or that it takes a man fourteen years to realize that he has had enough and needs to end it? My main problem with the film is that I could not for the life of me, feel the pain that the character of Ethan was undergoing. While Guzaarish can easily be deemed Hrithik Roshan’s most honest performance, the problem was clearly in the scripting. The film shows him playing a Radio Jockey who encouraged people to live and love life. And then, he goes on to realize, “Oh yeah, I don’t love my life!” It made absolutely zero sense to me. The idea of Euthanasia was clearly misunderstood and taken for a ride in Guzaarish. Such a sensitive issue needed to handled much more honestly by such a renowned filmmaker like Bhansali. Such shame; Guzaarish could have been a film about love, life and hope. – Roshni Mulchandani

While the rest of the world was rejoicing the first look of Guzaarish and fully confident that it would be everything they’d hope for it to be, and so much, I was sulking in a corner for yet another Bhansali film that would be in my face for a long time to come! Yes, I can boldly say I am not a fan of the filmmaker who is regarded as one of the most talented filmmakers of the country. So was there any question as to whether the ego-driven director, who now more than ever after the disaster that was Saawariya needed to prove his talent, would be able to handle a film based on the issue of euthanasia? No! Its simply an issue that he obviously took up to deliver shock value and possibly garner all the attention he can. Which explains one of the most poorest scripts in recent times with characters who showed no true emotion of the issue at hand. However, at the end of the day my problem is not with the fact that Bhansali made a less than mediocre film that people seem to be blinded by, but by the fact that he took on board one of the most sensitive issues in modern society, to fuel his ego. In addition he tries to glam the whole issue up by making it yet another overly-done costume drama where the sets and costumes don’t have the slightest glimpse of reality. So for that I beg Mr Bhansali, you can make all the films in the world, but next time just have a heart, that is all I ask! – Prathna Tiwari

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