The magic works only in parts

Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Guzaarish.

First things first. Guzaarish is only for those who buy the Bhansali brand of cinema. It’s all dark and melancholic with the quadriplegic hero (Hrithik Roshan) confined to his dimly lit, dilapidated abode. The sets are restricted to a crumbling mansion where its sparse population, including nurse Aishwarya Rai, moves around in a Victorian style. But then Bhansali is an art-lover. So every structure becomes a piece of jaw-dropping beauty. The vases, the curtains, the bedsheets... everything competes with the charm of Aishwarya (who strangely sports ruby lips and outfits from a bygone era whereas the movie is set in present-day Goa).

Now, our Lady with the Lamp hasn’t taken leave for 12 years — caring for her patient all day, brushing his teeth, cleaning him and sometimes scratching his nose. Meanwhile, Roshan — a magician paralysed neck down after one of his tricks was sabotaged by a rival — keeps rewinding to his old abracadabra glory where he used to cut his assistant into pieces and make her float above a stunned audience. Today, he is fighting for his right to die along with his fiery lawyer (a spirited Shernaz Patel). His only wish before he is granted euthanasia is to see the sexy legs of Sofia (Aishwarya).The performances stand out. Hrithik Roshan does brings some tears to your eyes and even Aishwarya comes up with an “original” act. But, as said, the blacks and greys of Guzaarish might appeal only to Bhansali viewers.

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