Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Saawariya" is as much homage to his distinct style of filmmaking as it is to the bygone Raj Kapoor movies of yesteryear. The movie "Saawariya"is based on a short Russian story "White Nights"; "White Nights" is a story by Fyodor Dostoevsky which was originally published in 1848, early in the writer's career. It was adapted to films by Italian director Luchino Visconti, by French director Robert Bresson (as Four Nights of a Dreamer) and now Sanjay Lila Bhansali.
In the beginning a prostitute Gulabji [Rani Mukherjee] introduces the story as some fairy tale that once occurred some where in a far away land that looks mystical. It is a story about Raj [Ranbir Kapoor] a charming young man who has no one and no place to live. He is a lead singer of RK club and by his words and songs spreads happiness anywhere and everywhere he goes. One night he comes across a young beauty Sakina [Sonam Kapoor] and falls head on heels in love with her. On the second night of their friendship he decides to let her know of his love for her but instead comes to know of her love for Imaan [Salman Khan] who has deserted her with a promise to return back in a year's time exactly on the day of Id. This is all about the four nights.
Monty's music is another sore point. A few songs are well tuned, but the everlasting melody, associated with SLB's films, is missing. You hear them, savour them that moment, but forget all about them once the movie concludes.
Ranbir Kapoor is supremely talented, no two opinions on that. Yes, he looks handsome, and what you carry home is the sincerity in his performance. Sonam Kapoor is an average actress. However, her role doesn't give her the opportunity to display histrionics. She looks gorgeous at places, but plain ordinary at times. Rani Mukerji is first-rate. Zohra Segal is superb, while Begum Para is hardly there.
On the whole, Saawariya lacks soul. The film is a magical spectacle of visual and emotional delight.