Film: Awarapan (India, 2007)
Seen: 9th September 2008 on DVD (Tina magazine’s Bollywood collection, Polish subtitles)
Runtime: 126′
Release Date: 29th June 2007 in India, no cinema release in Poland - I think the DVD came out this year
Polish Distributor: Mediaway
Director: Mohit Suri
Cast: Emraan Hashmi
Production House: Vishesh Films
Plot: There’s a guy called Shivan who is a criminal with morals (well sort of) and he is changed for the better by (surprise, surprise) love - perhaps not in the way you’d think though.


Random thoughts about the film
This was my first look at Emraan Hashmi. He’s not exactly an A-list star in India, but he’s received quite a lot of publicity because er… well lets just say he’s known as the serial kisser of Bollywood… Ironically, my first Emraan Hashmi film is amongst the few in which he doesn’t kiss anyone ;)
Kissing aside, Emraan Hashmi is totally not my cup of tea ;-P I liked the supporting cast much better.
IMO one of the best and at the same time worst things about Bollywood is how direct they are about feelings. If they want to convey a particular feeling or atmosphere they go the whole way, hardly ever is there any restraint. In the worst case scenario this may mean the film is so cliché and sentimental it’s impossible to get through. A good Bollywood film, however, will often be packed with a rawness and emotional intenseness that Western films very rarely achieve.
Awarapan is neither of these, but it somehow got me thinking about this. In particular there was one scene in this film which got me very confused - I couldn’t make up my mind whether I like it or whether I think it’s over the top. It was a night scene in a cemetery. A man just recently lost his lover. He’s gone totally berserk after her death, so he’s there at her grave during the night and he seems to be trying to dig her up with his hands. He makes good progress too. By the time the guards get him he seems to be pretty close to having dug deep enough to get to the coffin.
The images behind the scene are very strong, but of course the whole scene is done Bollywood style - high drama, sentimentality and all (somewhat naturalistic though - Awarapan is more of a naturalistic kind of film than a colourful spectacle). Does that make for a good or bad scene? ;)

I think Awarapan is neither Bollywood at its best or Bollywood at its worst. I kind of wish it had a lead I liked better, Emran Hashmi left me cold. I quite liked the naturalistic aspects of the film and some of the supporting cast was pretty good.
If you’re not into Bollywood already stay away, otherwise consider, but no need to rush ;)

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