Mausam has aspirations of being epic, make no mistake about it. It does begin with a bang, but in an effort to make something so seriously overwhelming that you cannot help but be awed, it ends up being anything but serious in bits and pieces. Mausam veers dangerously towards the self indulgent as it hurtles towards its conclusion, and then it just stays stuck there.
Picture this; as the stiff upper lipped Air Force officer, Harry (Shahid Kapoor) sits not too far from the woman of his dreams, Aayat (Sonam Kapoor) with a face that is stony and expressionless. Then, bafflingly, he lets out an utterance that is totally out of character with Harry’s persona; the simple “yeah baby” that is meant to be cool, badass and memorable all at once. Now if Tom Cruise’s character mouthed those words, it wouldn’t be out of place at all because as a maverick, Cruise’s character would have fit it like a glove. Shahid’s character is no maverick, rest assured.
Any good film must be able to push the envelope in some way, and in that regard Mausam goes a long, long way. The problem is that first time director Pankaj Kapur doesn’t know when to draw the line. The movie begins with real verve, drawing you in and promising good times ahead. Unfortunately, Mausam begins with a bang but then starts to fizzle out towards the end. That’s a shame because the story holds so much promise and the cast too was well selected. Shahid and Sonam Kapoor are just perfect for the film with their fluid grace and vibrancy.
Set in Punjab, the story follows a mildly predictable arc. Harry will only ever fall for someone truly special, and Aayat is that someone. Harry and Aayat both have skeletons in their closet and so when Aayat leaves the village hurriedly, it seems that their blossoming romance is cut short. But they meet one another seven years later, and the feel of the story is taut and exciting. What lets it down are the subplots, which drag down Mausam and put a dampener on any aspirations Pankaj Kapur might have had of a blockbuster on his debut. Mausam is by no means a bad film, but it most certainly isn’t the film it could have been, which is a shame.