Saru, full name Saraswati, is an obedient daddy’s girl. Inder is a broody, massively-tattooed loner. And ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ , not to be confused with the ’82 film of the same name, is a manual of how Not to make a contemporary romantic film.
Picture this: a heavy-handed father who thunders, flinging out instructions on how wife and daughters ought to behave. Falling in love with an unsuitable boy, ‘aiyyo rama’. Acting on your own will, ‘parmeshwara’. Doing what your heart tells you to, ‘aaj se thum mere liye marr gayi’.
Which leaves Saru (Mawra Hocane) to smile, simper, weep. Hesitate. Propitiate. And to look at her stony-faced father (Chowdhary, trying very hard to be a credible South Indian patriarch and failing) who’d rather conduct a wake than understand his daughter’s desires, and wait for his ‘permission’ before she can take a step forward. (Read: Ghayal Once Again, Sanam Teri Kasam to clash at box-office today)
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Inder (Harshwardhan Rane, armed with impressive bod, limited expression), who has daddy issues of his own, scowls and growls. The deep hurt caused by his dad is revealed much too late, and much too cursorily. The rest is filled by these two unlikely characters—Inder and Saru—developing feelings, over a brain tumour, impending tragedy, and more tears. Read Ghayal Once Again review here
Just why is it so hard for Bollywood to make a romance that feels real, that is emotionally fulfilling without taking recourse to faux melodrama and loud background music? Why does the plot feel so moth-balled, stuffed with outlandish strands– a Dharavi-based, skull-capped make-over artist ( Raaz, kicking up his feels with painted-faced extras), a sentimental cop ( Sharma) spouting lines about ‘love’ and ‘second chances’, a screeching banshee who appears momentarily and vanishes, and more. (Also read: Salman Khan was a little upset about using his song in Sanam Teri Kasam: Director)
The one to watch is fresh import from Pakistan, the interestingly-named Mawra Hocane. Her role requires her to be the kind of submissive, spectacles-swaddled ‘good’ girl who has difficulty in snaffling IIT-IIM types (which, according to this film, are the only ones to go for), who needs to be made over prettily to rescue her from permanent behenji-dom oblivion, and the kind who has to look for approving nods from the nearest male before taking a decision, and so on.
But the fresh-faced, unaffected Hocane rises above it all, and shows us how effervescence can light up the screen. Someone give her another movie, quick.
Star Cast of Sanam Teri Kasam: Harshwardhan Rane, Mawra Hocane, Manish Chowdhary, Murli Sharma, Vijay Raaz
Directors : Radhika Rao, Vinay Sapru