For a Hindi romantic film, a talented-likeable lead pair and a melodious soundtrack are the two most important ingredients ensuring a successful venture. So it really hurts when an otherwise capable director-duo chooses to waste both these difficult to acquire, precious elements in their film offering nothing fresh in either the storyline or the treatment throughout its tiresome 155 minutes of duration, unfortunately.
In clear words, it would have been great if directors Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru had adapted a different novel script with the same perfect cast and melodious score giving us much more to praise wholeheartedly. Because after watching their latest project SANAM TERI KASAM one seriously wises to know that what they exactly found great in this kind of stereotyped, lifeless and heavily borrowed plotline for their major venture ruining a potential lead pair and more than four good songs in the soundtrack.
Focusing on all realistic characters living in a society building, the film honestly doesn’t disappoint in its opening 45 minutes in spite of everything predictable reminding you of the American television series UGLY BETTY, its most famous desi TV version JASSI JAISI KOI NAHIN and many more cinematic adaptations in the past. Till this moment it’s the sweet performance of the fresh pair (especially the girl), two melodious tracks, a soothing background score, fine cinematography and all decent supporting acts that keep you engrossed without any big complains as such.
But as soon as Vijay Raaz appears on screen playing a makeover specialist, abruptly singing a peppy number with girls dancing at the back in a highly absurd manner, you start looking around to see how others are reacting to this foolishness happening on-screen. And it’s from here onwards that the film starts delivering all monotonous, seen before stuff introducing a twist repeatedly witnessed in films such as ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE (inspired from English flick LOVE STORY) and the most recent KATTI BATTI. The overstretched length continues to annoy severely and by the time it reaches the climax, one starts wondering that how they all keep agreeing & making films on the same subjects again & again displaying so uncaring & irresponsible attitude towards the viewers.
Further a highly flawed execution of the sub-plots like the bizarre father-son relationship, shifting into a big deserted house without any reference of an owner, a silly grown-up girl more worried about her own marriage than the elder sister being through out of the home, a cowardly fearful mother and a father executing the final rites of his still alive daughter further pulls down the film to much lower levels. Still it’s the lead performances, their strong emotional moments and the enjoyable soundtrack that doesn’t let it sink till the last and one genuinely feels bad for these two noticeable merits being wasted in such a clichéd subject.
Inthe acting department, apart from flaunting his perfectly toned body (remaining mostly topless in the film), Harshvardhan delivers a fine controlled performance with a subtle charm in his silently expressed love and anger. But it’s the strangely named Mawra Hocane from Pakistan, who remains the clear winner in the film with an immensely lovable & innocent act that doesn’t let you forget her soon after moving out of the theater. The girl is a sheer treat to watch in the first half and is nothing less than a big asset for a director deserving a much better film soon exploring an intense subject.
Having said that, I personally also found huge similarities between the lead pair and actors Ali Faizal-Shruti Hassan throughout the film so strongly, wherein even the voice-tone of Mawra sounded so close to that of Shruti. In the supporting cast Manish Choudhary and Murli Sharma stand out prominently in their respective scenes, whereas Vijay Raaz remains an unnecessary addition in his sequence conceived idiotically.
Providing the biggest support to the film is its soundtrack composed by Himesh Reshammiya, proving the fact that the man still has got a lot in him in musical terms without any doubt. Here the finest song of them all ‘Haal-e-Dil’ (especially in the female version) was interestingly a track chosen by Salman Khan for his TERE NAAM which couldn’t be a part of that film somehow (as tweeted by Salman). ‘Kheech Meri Photo’ remains the second song winning over the listener completely and then we have the title track ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’, 'Tera Chehra', ‘Rehnuma’ and the weirdly peppy ‘Ek Number’ too with a melody that works as an individual item number (unrelated to the film). In short, SANAM TERI KASAM has a great romantic soundtrack with more than 4 melodious songs, strangely not promoted well by the makers for their own undisclosed reasons hurting the film a lot.
Lastly mentioning the director duo Radhika Rao & Vinay Sapru, its really sad that since last many years they have been trying hard but still unable to deliver a hit despite being competent enough in terms of emotional as well as technical handling of a project. So here we have a team that has been a victim of wrong choice of subjects and the game of destiny which undoubtedly remains a major influential factor in the show-business. In all SANAM TERI KASAM can surely be seen once but just for Mawra and the songs alone without expecting anything novel or path-breaking.
Rating : 2.5 / 5 (Including a big one for Mawra’s sincere act and the enjoyable soundtrack)
[Note : A dialogue in the film saying, "Apne Mann Ka Ho To Achha, Na Ho to Aur Bhi Achha, Kyunki ................" is originally supposed to be a thought expressed by Sh. Harivansh Rai Bachchan, that is often quoted by Amitabh Bachchan in his interviews and TV appearances (like in KBC). But the film uses it without any mention or acknowledgement.]