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Producer: Suneel Darshan
Director: Suneel Darshan
Starring: Bobby Deol, Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra
Music: Nadeem-Shravan
Lyrics: Sameer

Genre: Emotional Drama
Recommended Audience: General
Released on: August 19, 2005
Reviewed by: Ekanshu Khera
Reviewer's Rating: 5 out of 10
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Barsaat - A Sublime Love Story’ is about Arav (Bobby Deol) from a small town in Northern India who goes to America (but really shot in South Africa) with the determination of hitting the big time as a car designer. We are then introduced to Anna (Bipasha Basu) who is love-struck by Arav. As it so suitably happens, Anna helps Arav achieve his dream with the help of her grandfather (Shakti Kapoor), an executive at BMW. A few songs later and the two fall in love to be engaged.

However Arav has a past in India, in the form of his childhood sweetheart, Kajal (Priyanka Chopra). Circumstances cause him to go back to India and he must now face the prospect of breaking his relationship with Kajal. Will Kajal agree to let go of her long lost love? Does Arav really love Anna?

The answers to all these questions can be found in Suneel Darshan’s latest offering ‘Barsaat - A Sublime Love Story’. Suneel Darshan, who previously presented us with mediocre dramatic films like Andaaz, Ek Rishta and Jaanwar (all Akshay Kumar starrers), divulges into familiar territory but with new casting in Barsaat.

So is Suneel Darshan successful in delivering an entertainer? Sadly the answer is only to a small extent.

The film is a classic example of an interesting concept (indianized from Sweet Home Alabama) being thrashed by a weak script, also penned by Suneel Darshan himself. There was great potential to experiment with the script but the film resorts to clichés that infuriate your senses. The karva chauth rituals, parents dying wishes, pardesi songs, the wedding ceremonies and the repetitive references to destiny are unoriginal and remind you of the overflow of recent Johar and Chopra films.

At a time when Hindi cinema is experimenting with new concepts, Suneel Darshan seems to take a step back to the 1970’s when melodramatic sagas dominated the box office.

Some of the pre-interval portions of the film are interesting and decently scripted. But the plot goes haywire in the second half and the film completely loses control. As a result the film looks like a haphazard product.

Nevertheless some scenes standout owing to strong dialogue and performances, such as:

  •  Bipasha’s first meeting with Priyanka clarifying her relationship with Bobby;
  •  Priyanka’s agreeing to a divorce with Bobby.

Technically the film is competent. Cinematography by W.B. Rao and the locales of South Africa and outback Northern India are picturesque.

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is suitable to the tone of this melodrama. But the music leaves much to be desired. After composing soulful tunes for Suneel Darshan’s last venture, Andaaz, Nadeem-Shravan try to repeat their act in Barsaat. However barring Barsaat ke din and Shaadi Jo Kiya, the songs are mediocre and do not develop the narrative. In fact their placement every 15 minutes or so hinders the pace of an already weak screenplay. Pyaar Aaya and Yeh Jo Dil hai should be edited out immediately.

The performances are perhaps the only saving grace.

Bobby Deol as the confused Arav makes all effort to bring about life to his rather underdeveloped character. Bobby shares a good chemistry with both his co-stars. Although Arav is the central character, his emotions are underdeveloped and as a result his character remains unlikeable. Arav’s periodic change of heart over his feelings for Kajal is perplexing and unnatural.

Priyanka Chopra has perhaps the meatiest role with her vulnerable character undergoing a range of emotions - from gleeful to helpless - but she hams at times. Her amateurism is evident in the scenes when she attempts to convince Bobby to not annul their relationship.

However it is Bipasha Basu as the progressive Anna that steals the limelight. Ranging away from her bold image to playing softer characters, Bipasha proves to be a stunner yet again. Her role doesn’t require her to display histrionics and she remains subdued right through. Her new toned persona is also sure to create a rage!

Bobby recently admitted in an interview that he severely needs a hit to revive his already sagging career - well films like Barsaat aren’t exactly going to get you there, Bobby!

Perhaps you need a few tips from bade bhaiya Sunny! Incidently Bobby’s debut film was also the forgettable ‘Barsaat’ with Twinkle Khanna which met with a disastrous fate.

At the box office, Barsaat may take a good initial opening due to the curiosity surrounding the two damsels, but a long run is implausible.