Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

September 24, 2011

Stormy weather

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 1:47 am

September 23, 2011

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Supriya Pathak Kapur, Anupam Kher, Manoj Pahwa

Director: Pankaj Kapur

Pankaj Kapur’s Mausam is an unfortunate mess of a movie about a pair of young lovers who spend more time apart than together, because they don’t know how or where to reach one another when they’re repeatedly separated. The film opens in 1992 and spans roughly 10 years. In the age of email, answering machines, and mobile phones, these dim-witted lovers never leave forwarding addresses or contact numbers. To think Bhagyashree had better luck getting a love letter across to Salman Khan using a pigeon!

The romance in Mausam unfurls in a small town in Punjab where a cocky drifter, Harry (Shahid Kapoor), and Kashmiri girl, Aayat (Sonam Kapoor), find themselves falling for each other over quietly exchanged notes, and hushed whispers on a rain-soaked terrace. These early establishing scenes are the film’s best portions; a believable portrait of youth, in which lazy afternoons are spent chewing sugarcane with friends after sneaking off with an uncle’s impala, or stealing furtive glances at one’s crush during a noisy wedding.

Director Pankaj Kapur infuses his story and his characters with a delicate, old-fashioned charm that is pleasing and quaint at first, but gets progressively exhausting when logic goes out of the window. The romance is first interrupted by the events surrounding the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and then repeatedly by such tragedies as the Kargil War, 9/11 in America, and finally the riots in Gujarat in the wake of the Godhra massacre. Far from giving Mausam a sweeping feel, these interruptions in their romance — and the harebrained suggestion that the helpless lovers have no means to communicate when separated — make a case for how passive these characters are.

At some point, Harry has grown into a proud, mustachioed Indian Air Force pilot, and Aayat into a graceful ballet student in Edinburgh. Harry postures like a Ray Ban model each time he’s standing against his jets, and Aayat only seems to speak in whispers. The problem with Mausam is that it’s shrouded in a cloak of self-importance; everyone from the actors to the writer-director appears to be taking himself too seriously, as if determined to deliver nothing short of an epic.

Plodding along for close to three hours, Mausam loses steam early on. By the time the film hobbles to its end at a riot-stricken Ahmedabad fair, all you can do is gasp. Gasp in complete shock at the inconceivably embarrassing climax that involves a Ferris wheel, a crying child, and a horse. This one scene alone hints at just how desperately this script was begging for a rewrite!

To be entirely fair, Mausam isn’t without its moments. The film’s first 30 minutes are fresh and enjoyable; and while he doesn’t quite cut it as a convincing IAF pilot, Shahid Kapoor is terrific as the small-town brat. Sonam Kapoor has a grace about her that’s charming, although she’s saddled with the kind of corny lines that would make even a thespian lose his nerve. But what both actors lack together, unfortunately, is sizzle — they have the chemistry of a pair of strangers.

I’m going with two out of five for director Pankaj Kapur’s Mausam. As you leave the hall exhausted from the sheer length of this misguided enterprise, you cannot help but note that despite its many flaws, this is a noble failure. The film doesn’t work, but not for lack of trying.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Oh BOY. You didn’t enjoy it :/ Ok I am watching it on Sunday because I haven` seen a movie since ZNMD. I’m in a desperate need of Vitamin M (ovies)

    Comment by Dip — September 24, 2011 @ 12:31 am

  2. Phew , I am kinda relieved this movie has come out so bad,
    these days it rather gets risky when Bollywood movies get good reviews
    Bhai agar achhi nikalti hai toh , zindagi ke teen ghante daav pe lagane padte hain!

    Well it all looks a lil gloomy for Mausam..

    Comment by Durgesh Sirwani — September 24, 2011 @ 12:36 am

  3. For the first time i am thoroughly disappointed with your review on this movie. It definitely deserves 1 out of 5. And for a movie goer like me who never steps into a theater without having read your review this one was a bouncer. . . its sheer torture.

    Comment by Jocat — September 24, 2011 @ 1:55 am

  4. Absolutely agreed wid Rajeev.. I was expecting so much from a talent like Pankaj Kapoor but ended up disappointing..

    Comment by Nishkarsh Singh Chauhan — September 24, 2011 @ 2:14 am

  5. Very rarely do your and my views on a movie matches. This is one such rare occasion. Each line is so agreeable.

    Comment by Jagrat — September 24, 2011 @ 2:32 am

  6. Bull’s eye. As i came out of theatre, i called my friend nd told the same points that u hav listed here. Haha. We think same way Rajiv. BTW in the climax evryone ws cracking into laughter in our theatre.

    Comment by BenJodh — September 24, 2011 @ 3:12 am

  7. The movie is excruciating to say the least. I have not laughed during a movie so much since say Andaz Apna Apna.
    Rajeev has been rather kind in giving it 2 stars. So are the other reviewers. Doesnt even deserve half a star out of 5. The movie is a complete mess. Pankaj Kapur should stick to acting, this is definitely not his cup of tea.

    Comment by Vinay — September 24, 2011 @ 8:11 am

  8. A 2 β˜… rating is too high for this movie…… its another dose of horrible torture after Bodyguard…… It can give audiences a terrible headache…… most horrible part is its 3 hour stretch of length…….. Mausum is an ultimate artistic way of boring the audiences.

    Comment by Jay Jani — September 24, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  9. perfect rating sir…2/5.we got bored after 40 minutes.everyone are commenting becoz of the years they dragged.Its a disaster.

    Comment by vara prasad — September 24, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  10. Looking at the dimwitted lovers in the movie I too forgot that one can follow Rajeev on twitter and know the review, instead of cutting pockets and watching this “Season”…Although there was no seasoning on this Mausam. I am out in the interval and find no hopes for such cinema.
    Thanks for all the enlightenment

    Comment by Pavan Matai — September 24, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  11. Its a torture, those who liked this endless torture needs their heads examined…how come all the focus on gujarat riots, i think they should have also seen Godhra train torching…got tired of the events and touching sensitive issues without any sensitivity, how can they USE such unfortunate events to make a star out of shahid kapoor…no creativity, all fake and disgusting, sonam’s family kept rushing to one scene of event to another, fro kashmir to mumbai to america to ahmedabad!! they had nothing else to do in their life or what…..pankaj kapur should return our money for the mental torture of 3 hrs!

    Comment by Kiran — September 24, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  12. the correct rating of this film should be 0/5 worst movie ever seen in my life

    Comment by sahil — September 24, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  13. its a disaster, (though im shahid fan) this is shahid’s worst movie,. Thanks for your reviews sir

    Comment by chaitanya — September 24, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  14. its a disaster, (though im shahid fan) this is shahid’s worst movie,. Thanks for your reviews sir.

    Comment by chaitanya — September 24, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  15. Are tweets of Javed Akhtar talking about a different movie –
    Javedakhtarjadu Javed Akhtar >>
    Saw Mausam last night. Hats off to Pankaj kapur who with his depth and dignity reminded me of Mehboob and Guru Dutt at the same time.

    Comment by nr — September 24, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  16. poor movie

    Comment by san — September 24, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  17. This movie should have been called Mauth, not mausam.. because there seemed to be tragedy everywhere and everybody seems to be dying where ever these two were going and by the time the movie ends, you feel like killing yourself! This movie would rate 5 star on a bad movie contest.

    Comment by Varun Achar — September 24, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  18. Masand, i really feel for you man … Now i understand why its so difficult being a movie critic … You have to watch all this mess and since you gives your honest opinions will have to hear complaints from fans as well … Am really proud of you, if you were’nt there choosing movies would have been impossible … CHEERS to the BEST INDIAN critic …

    Comment by Rahul — September 24, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  19. How did you managed to give it 2 stars … Just can’t imagine any scene in movie that deserves more than half star

    Comment by Suhani — September 24, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  20. Its really a mess… Came out before interval… bad story, poor plot, and pathetic acting by lead artists… Shahid and Sonam were awful… It was more of an overact….

    Comment by gaurav sharma — September 25, 2011 @ 12:47 am

  21. its should be given negative rating for torturing the audience for three long horrible hours..
    it’s a silent killer movie ..

    Comment by ankur — September 25, 2011 @ 1:33 am

  22. Spot on Rajeev, this was exactly I felt after watching it. Too pretentious and long lacking soul and passion with no chemistry between pair.

    Comment by Neelu — September 25, 2011 @ 4:27 am

  23. backwass do not watching save time as well as money tooooo

    Comment by amit shah — September 25, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  24. OMG! you ripped it off rajeev..I was so pumped up to watch this movie all because of the nice songs spanning from punjabi to sufi also the much awaited aviator looks ,but i think im no longer interested…rather i’d stick to enjoying the songs alone as i don’t want to take the fun out of them by watching this disastrous attempt

    Comment by NIkita Mutreja — September 25, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  25. film z too lenghty n illogical…..fiest 30 mins r gud..watchng rest of d movie z a herculean task…

    Comment by ashish — September 25, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  26. Sorry Rajeev, but I’m with the people who think you’ve been to kind to this. Agree the early scenes in Punjab are good, but the constant presentation of real events which were devastating to real people, such as those at Ayodhya and the Kargil War as mere inconveniences to the Sonam/Shahid story started to become offensive as well as repetitive. And by the thousandth shot of an unanswered phone or an undelivered letter I was really ready to yell at the characters to get mobile phones and Hotmail.

    Comment by Andy Bent — September 25, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  27. Hats off to d best movie critic ever for Indian as well as overseas’ movies. Its jst so difficult to explain about any movie wid such finesse and unbiased mind. We actualy get enlightened by d very perfect thoughts f judgemnt bt movie dt u giv. This i believ helps us to be neutral in thinkin. Again perfect words fr d movie but slightly overrated as pointd out by others…

    Comment by Axay — September 25, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  28. Mausam = Mental Torture
    Poor script writing, No chemistry between the actors, Bdw..I like Shahid but this was his worst movie ever…Sonam Kapoor should focus more on her acting skills rather than Fashion…She is cute but sorry to say She can’t act..Bdw was just wondering what was that white horse doing in the movie? Lol

    Comment by Richa — September 26, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  29. Mausam bahut kharab hai…no no nt d weather..d muvie πŸ˜›
    incase u stil wnt 2 wtch d muvie..hv sum burgers wid xtra cheese n sum coke wid it..acchi neend aayegi πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Comment by tush — September 26, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  30. OH MY GAAAWD… what a disaster Mausam is… It has no building blocks what so ever. Nothing adds up… And the climax just takes the cake man. The whole theater had a good laugh though…

    Comment by Chanda — September 27, 2011 @ 9:57 am

  31. I don’t think that Mausam is a disaster.
    I don’t like those scenes with horse and little girl (took a drop too much),
    but in tote I found satisfaction in viewing – and it’s more-more better than Ready and Bodyguard, maybe It’s because I’m not a fan of comedies like that.

    Comment by Lena — September 27, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

  32. […] have engaged in a Twitter war. Well, that was logical. Right Mr. Adarsh? Just the way you want it.Rajeev Masand’s review I liked. It was balanced. Mausam does have a slight drag towards the end. I loved the film because […]

    Pingback by It’s cinema, not a logic quest — October 3, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  33. i had headache for 3 days after watching this movie…. wonder how u gave it a 2 star… its a very irritating movie

    Comment by kunwar siddharth — May 8, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

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