Bollywood Review: Guzaarish (गुज़ारिश)

I shouldn't, but I will:  "Three thumbs up for Guzaarish!"  Another stunningly beautiful film by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.  Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) is a famous magician that becomes a quadriplegic after a mysterious accident onstage.  After fourteen years of best-selling books and a successful radio show (Radio Zindagi) extolling the power of positive thinking, Ethan is facing major medical complications (liver and kidney shutdown).  In response, he launches a controversial public campaign for euthanasia (or Ethanasia, as he calls it).  The film doesn't cover a lot of new ground in the euthanasia debate, but the story is an interesting exploration of what it means to live while actively preparing for death.

But really I watched the movie for the sets and the costuming... sumptuous.  Rich greens and golds in the flashback scenes where Ethan is a magician (it makes one think that if Hrithik wasn't a Bollywood star he should have be a magician), and Ethan's mansion is truly atmospheric- stormy blues and blacks, walls dripping with mirrors and old black and white photos.  But it's Sofia D'Souza's (Aishwarya Rai) costuming that deserves its own award.  Layers upon layers of gorgeous fabrics, with increasing hints of red as the movie progresses.  It's a whole lotta material but wearing any of those costumes... what a treat!  The plot had a few week points- I wanted to know more about what drove Ethan to become a renowned magician, and would have liked a bit more back story about some of the tangled relationships that haunted him throughout the movie.  Although technically a love story, the film is really a romance between Bhansali and the visual world.  As a viewer, I'm always happy to watch what his visual passion produces.

So you can see some costuming, here's "Udi Udi."  Persevere through the initial scene at the table and you'll see what I mean...