Sanam Teri Kasam was released in 2009, and if you're wondering why Saif Ali Khan looks so much younger, it's because this Bollywood film was actually completed back in 1994. That it then languished in limbo for the next fifteen years is due to a long-standing legal battle. The film underwent several name changes, originally titled Sambandh and then Yeh Pyaar Hi To Hai. One gets the sense that Sanam Teri Kasam was released primarily to cash in on Saif's 2009 box office hit Love Aaj Kal.
Having seen both films, I can't help but observe how Saif's acting has gotten even better over the intervening years. He's more polished now. But even back in the day, Saif demonstrated natural charisma. It almost rescues this movie. Saif plays the sort of role I've come to associate with him, that of a good-natured playboy. Vijay Verma is young and affluent and carefree, a womanizer who casually breaks hearts with no thought to consequences. His terminally serious best friend Gopal (Atul Agnihotri) often takes him to task over his behavior, but this has all the impact of water off a duck's back on Vijay. But then vijay meets a lovely tourist named Seema (Pooja Bhatt) and becomes smitten.
The film's first half chronicles Vijay's exuberant courtship of Seema, and if you haven't ever seen a Bollywood film before, you may assume that this is a breezy romantic comedy. But then comes the second half and that eventual plot twist. The light tone is dispensed with. Seema returns home to Mumbai, leaving Vijay pining and hoping for a letter from her. Seema finally writes him, informing him of her father's consent to their getting married and that her father would come to visit him.
This is when the narrative introduces a shocking heel turn. Seema's father arrives at the airport and is greeted by his future son-in-law, and, shortly after, Seema's marriage ceremony takes place. And yet, during all this, the besotted Vijay is still waiting for word from his Seema, quite in the dark that she had married someone else. There's nothing like foulest betrayal to suck the energy out of an erstwhile romantic comedy.
But things take an excessively melodramatic turn once the film clocks in at the 70-minute mark. Seema and her unexpected new spouse turn up at Vijay's home, and it's frustrating then to see Vijay quietly take the abuse doled out by the two-faced husband. Lots of yearning glances exchanged between Vijay and Seema, lots of smirking by the husband. It's a revenge tale, of course. There's a reason Seema got tricked into wedlock. But I sort of resented the film's attempts to redeem the husband late in the game. By that time, I'd also gotten fed up with the self-sacrificing Vijay who seemed to weep at the drop of a hat. I rolled my eyes when, during the final scene, one dying dude tells his pal : "I want to die in your arms." Even in the most innocent bro-mance, that's got to break some kind of code. SANAM TERI KASAM earns a respectable and average 2.5 out of 5 stars. It's a well-acted movie. But while I liked the easy-breezy first half, the ensuing histrionics were too over-the-top and ridiculous even for a romantic fool like me.
About the director :
Lawrence D'Souza is a cinematographer and director, known for Saajan (1991), Aarzoo(1999) and Dil Tera Aashiq (1993). His knowledge of artistic renditions through his photography and skills help him create beautiful frames that encapsulate the story in every image. Though he has a limited filmography, Lawrence is a pioneer in the vision of life and love. Histales share the stories of everyday with the exuberance we call Bollywood cinema today. The over enthusiastic life of character with exaggerated actions is his way of sharing the beauy of cinema wit his audiences.
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