Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf – Packed with so much, yet offers so little

Posted: February 18, 2011 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, movie reviews, reviews
Tags: , , , ,

The day I got to know that Vishal Bhardwaj was adapting another Ruskin Bond short story for the big screen, I went to all the possible book stores, searched desperately for the book with the story Sussana’s Seven Husbands, found it, bought it, read it and then heaved a sigh of relief. How else can you claim to be a Bhardwaj Fanboy!

The short story (just 5 or 6 pages) by Bond is a mood piece, sets an atmosphere where you don’t feel comfortable and there is an eerie feeling that something is lurking around the corner. Things are not explained, deaths are without any reasons and everything else is left to your imagination. Once I and other B-fanboys finished reading it, we all wondered endlessly about how Vishal is going to adapt it for the big screen. Knowing Bond, it should have been easy to predict. Rewind to Rusty days.

But what will compensate for the lack of central drama ? Add to that, our cinema habit of enjoying a “destination film” more than a “journey film”. If the last 20 minutes doesn’t satisfy us, nothing can compensate for the price of the ticket, no matter how brillant the rest of the film is.

And every fear came true with 7 Khoon Maaf. In CBSE curriculum, we had a short story in school titled “Curiosity Killed The Crow”. In case of 7 Khoon Maaf, I was the Crow. Not sure how different my reaction would have been had I not known about all the spoilers. Since the announcement of the film, have been following every bit of news, forcing every possible source to spill out the beans and I even knew about the spoiler in the film. The film’s official synopsis made matters worse where it gave out every detail about the plot. The only thing left to know was – How ?

The film opens with a scene where Priyanka is holding a gun close to her head. And the first thing I noticed was the patchy make-up on her face. You don’t expect to see such a face in a film directed by one of the country’s top five filmmakers. And things got worse from there. Not sure on whom the blame should be put but you can almost feel the layercake of make-up put on Priyanka’s face in many scenes.

If you follow the blog, am guessing you know more than enough about the story. Sussana. Six Marriages. Husbands. Dead. Neil’s character had so much potential but if only fake moustaches could save the day, we all would have been roaming around with those. John, well, I don’t have too many adjectives for wooden blocks. More or less, he remains the same. Naseeruddin Shah doesn’t have much to do, Russian actor Aleksandr Dyachenko has a charming presence and as always,  Annu Kapoor is effortless. Irrfan Khan – benign by day, beast by night and he can go no wrong. But the one who gets to be the dude is Shah Junior – Vivaan. Not conventional good looking but confident and how! An assured debut. Unlike other first timers, not self-conscious of his body language at all. Blame it on the Shah-DNA. But to imagine him as Konkona’s husband, and again with that layer-cake make-up, that was the toughest part. Priyanka is spot-on, whatever she is expected to deliver, she does it well. If only she could get rid of that school-girl giggle, she would be more likeable.

If I ever murder someone, I’ll put the blame on Coen Brothers. Because they make killing look so cool. Wish I could share the blame with Bhardwaj too. But he goes for the emotional baggage. Justifiying every killing of the “dukhi-bechari-badkismat” Maidyum. Looking for love. Settling for blood. Killing just for the sake of killing, what a delicious dish it is! Like that war of whip-lashes (Neil Nitin Mukesh) in an open muddy ground.

And what’s the big picture ? 1,2,3,4,5,6 and then go for the sublime sufi swirls. Count that 7 and bingo!

The brillance of Bhardwaj is there, but too little, the way scenes are set and lit ( Double woot for Ranjan Palit).  The master who has penned some of the best dialogues in the last few years, also drops few few lines here and there. Shaadi jaldi jaldi aur pachtao araam se. But it all boils down to nothing. It’s packed with so much stuff and yet offers so little.

The worst – even the song Tere Liye is not there in the film. At least that would have compensated for some of the pain of seeing one of your favourite filmmakers falter this way.

  1. Filmi Girl says:

    Thank you for pointing out Priyanka’s make-up! I put the blame squarely on VB himself for letting PC get away with wearing layers of lightening foundation. She wears ridiculously heavy make-up in all of her films. It’s fine in something already very glossy like “Pyaar Impossible” but is unacceptable in a film that is supposed to be more immediate like “Kaminey.”

  2. Fatema says:

    @MFC – I think for the first time in history we agree cent percent about a film, hehehehe. Right down to describing the male leads and their err, performances 🙂

    Yes, it packed so much, was even so rich textually and inter-textually, VB-style, but why was the screenplay so messed up? What was the need to go so conventional in the narrative, showing each and every relationship as a set-piece? Then they hurry up each but go reallllllyyyyy slow to build ‘moments. Mess, I say. It could have remained a ‘journey’ film even if it had messed up the linear-ity a bit…mixed it all up…anyways that silly V/O was there as a bail-out. So lame! Not expected of VB.

    And ‘tere liye’ WAS edited out right? I thought it was only my gaon…

    But the make-up yeah well it sucked, but then I’d go lighter there as it was deliberate to make her look aged. I know bad job anyways, but it wasn’t a good attempt gone wrong types.

    And what was with Usha Uthup and paltan?

    There was so much scope to play her character totally enigmatic dark or plain enigmatic…why the unnecessary ‘reasons’ and that too each one had to be ‘said’ and explained by the V/O.

    But the worst of it all was the ‘Anna Karenina is my favourite book’ moment. I mean here’s this fellow going, ‘I’m Vronsky’ and she impulsively says, ‘So I’m Anna’ and bang, their moment is made! (And so is VB’s) and he has to go put gobar on it with the-say-it-again-after-you-say-it-once way! Whoa! I think that was my biggest let-down in the film.

    But brilliant mood creation by the production design and lighting although, of course the excessive low angles and hand-helds became a pain and quite laughable after a point.

  3. @pvijay says:

    “I think for the once more in history we agree mostly about a film, hehehehe” 😀

    After watching first day first show (taking half day leave from office), I know why VB is going to adapt “2 States” with SRK. He wants us to show how low he can go. This looks like his first step downward 😦

    1) “And the first thing I noticed was the patchy make-up on her face”- Me too! Felt too bad. How real was Makdee’s witch compared to this!

    2) “Shaadi jaldi jaldi aur pachtao araam se”- My friend says it’s just the translation of the famous English saying, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure”. It must have come from Mr.Bond. So, need to take back your marks for that too 😦

    Except for the makeup, in the technical front it’s the same old Vishal magic. Everything perfect! What surprises me always is his choice of cinematographers- Less-heard names who do wonders. Remember watching Omkara and thinking, “God! How can you shoot in such low lights!” 😀

  4. Fatema says:

    Oh btw, dialogues were bad!!! Un-doing. So that becomes 99% agreement! 😛

  5. bksingh2009 says:

    One of most idiotic films that I have ever seen. You and all other critics or fanboys are far too generous and calling the movie as just disappointing. Do you seriously believe that PC did a good job. I could never feel her pain or anguish or frustration or shock or any other emotion that it was supposed to generate. Most of the times I used to just laugh at her idiocy. And who wrote the dialogues of the movie?? Did those work for you at any point in the movie? It never worked for me. People are going gaga over the supporting cast’s performance, but dont you think that the butler or the rest were caricatures and they were not helped with any any kind of dialogue either. And I felt sad for the actors when they were forced to explain everything at also dialogues like “bow bow, thian thain”. Those kind of things worked for Michael and Tope Bhau, but here it looked horrible, at least to me.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing worked for me in the movie. Heck, I love the songs a lot but just look at the way they were used in the movie. Tere liye was dropped, Yeshu was just there for a couple of seconds!! VB, the director needs to apologise to VB, the music director. Didn’t feel a thing for anything in the movie. Disappointing is too mild a word for this movie. Even AAG had its share of brilliance but that didn’t stop critics from throwing eggs at RGV, why spare VB then??

    P.S. – I am a huge fan of Omkara and Maqbool and liked Kaminey a lot.

    • SK says:

      MFC is a fanboy of Priyanka so obviously he’ll like her.

      Priyanka is a strictly mediocre actress and she’s best with her Aitraaz kinda the in-your-face bitch types.

      Someone like Vidya or Ash or Konkona would’ve been a much better choice, but still couldn’t have saved this ship from sinking. The film is so messed up.

  6. girish says:

    The worst part was priyanka chopra.she was putting so much effort and all those effort was clearly visible on screen.Whether dialog delivery or that irksome laugh (giggle) everything was looking so pretentious , nothing was looking natural on her.Clearly it was miscasting.

    I don’t know why vishal has fallen into the trap of casting stars for his films.He worked with konkana in omkara, he gave her a small role but she still stood out from rest.Still we don’t see vishal casting her in any of his films.The same goes with tabu.

    I feel at present there are only 3 actresses who could have done complete justice to the character played by priyanka a)tabu b)Konkona c)Chitrangada singh

    Casting tabu would have been wrong due to age mismatch between character and her.Konkona could have been a good casting but when your are creating a woman character who have to woo several men then looks plays such an important role.I don’t want to sound rude but Konkona lack that kind of beauty.So I guess Chitrangada would have been the perfect casting for the role played by priyanka.She has got both looks and talent.Had Chitrangada done the role it would have been something else.

    I hope vishal returns to his basic again.We don’t want vishal to be another Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

  7. girish says:

    Btw by casting konkana I mean vishal writing full fledged role for her not the bit and pieces kind of character.

  8. varun says:

    ******DHER SAAREY SPOILERS*************

    Ok. Didn’t see this thread earlier. I was consciously avoiding ANY links/talks related to the film for the last 2 months, just the opposite of what MFC did. And lo! It worked! I totally loved the film…each and every moment in spite of a few glitches like honorable ‘actors’ Neil and John, and Ms. Chopra’s inconsistent make-up.

    I would, throwing myself to the hungry dogs, say that I loved it more than Omkara and Kaminey. Yes. I just said that. This one, for me, had more magical moments, more genuine writing, less wannabe affectations, and a return to VB’s Maqbool themes of death, guilt, and deformity. (Neil has a chopped leg, Irfan a sadistic love-maker, and Keemat like Pankaj kapoor in Omkara, plain detached in bed.)

    I went in with zero expectations, all the talk was so negative from day 1 (which is a wednesday now-a-days, thanks to twitter) that I was sure am going to watch the worst of VB. And still, I had high hopes too. Of being proven wrong. ANd luckily, expectations got whiplashed by hopes as the film progressed into the third story in kashmir.

    I didn’t care much for Major…Neil was so bad that I was waiting for him to die. John’s story, for me, was the weakest and had too many influences from american cinema about excesses of rock-stars. Not at all fitting well with indian context (in spite of a smart t-series joke.) But as soon as VB shifted the story to kashmir…the film grabbed me. Never to lose the grip again.

    Uske baad toh sab jaadu tha….raat ke andhere mein sufi-dance karte Susanna aur Wasiullah…Vronsky’s massage….Keemat’s silent seduction by Susanna….Sugar’s meeting with her…and right up to the climax. Nothing was even remotely uninteresting.

    I had a similar dicussion after kaminey too with some people who disliked it wildly, saying ‘we didn’t expect a fluffy film from VB’…and now, it’s the same rant again, with a different label. I’d say why EXPECT AT ALL? Let a maker tell you what to expect…and he will tell you what to expect only when you are inside the theatre. Expect only after watching first 15 minutes…and then rate a film according to those expectations.

    So rich in language, so wide-spread in canvas, so detailed in settings and design, (make-up ko chhodke sab top-class tha), and a list of quirks to die for (man-friday named Ghalib, Mir’s ghazal playing in the background while she leads Wasiullah to his death, Keemat going ‘bhainchod’ while fucking her for the 1st time, and Vivaan’s disdainful VO) – I don’t think this film should be dismissed so easily by calling it plain, linear, or over-explanatory.

    For me, it’s a winner all the way. (Omkara aur Kaminey par jhagda karna ho toh kabhi saamney baith ke karengey…abhi issi film pe baat karte hain.)

  9. […] Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf – Packed with so much, yet offers so little […]

  10. varun says:

    *Ouch…meant “Pankaj kapoor in Maqbool” in the last comment. Galti. Maafi.

  11. DPac says:

    what bakwaaaas…
    its a bloody brilliant movie!!! layer cakes apart

  12. Anurag Kashyap says:

    samasya unki hai jo pahle se decide kar lete hain ki kya film kisi ko banani chahiye ya banayi hogi..
    abey kabhi to khule mann se film dekho..

  13. Jahan says:


  14. kartik says:

    Just came back form the morning show
    bad make up, neil nitin mukesh, and what else yeah – vivaan shah – kept reminding me of some U-25s. A kid. Didnt like him. And his urdu was forced. Quite some quibbles.

    BUT its a trippy film. Vishal bhardwaj’s no smoking. He is full on gone to do exactly what one wouldn’t expect him to do after Kaminey. Maa ki aankh conventions ki.

    All King’s Speech fans should watch this film also for cinematography.

    And i agree with varun on not just to AVOID digging all info for a film which you know you will watch, but also with a lot of points he made.

    And for a change – agree with Anurag 😛

    Yesu 🙂

  15. kartik says:

    Do need an ‘open mind’ for this film

  16. Fatema says:

    Hmmm…there is something like keeping an ‘open mind’ and something like too much of it to the risk of giving credit where it does not deserve 🙂

    VB is a master craftsman, there is no doubt about it. My main grouse with 7KM is this craftsmanship does nothing for the film. The bad writing takes over like plague bringing all the brilliant inter-textuality, brilliance of the visual narrative, references and so on to a complete naught…In my books it is unforgivable…

    A film is nothing if not a good screenplay. It doesn’t need lights, cinematography, film grammar, rich colours, great production value, setting, even a story actually. Only two things, screenplay and good performances. 7KM had somewhat good performances but the let-down that the screenplay was appalling…so elements ke leke kya karenge when in the final analysis it just doesn’t add up?

  17. kartik says:

    Fatema – Bad screenplay ? Please elaborate. And dont worry abt spoilers. People who are following the comment sections have all seen the film.

  18. Fatema says:

    Abhi uske liye essay likhna padega 🙂 Its all over the film. Watch it again 😛

  19. kartik says:

    Havent re watched the film but re-read your review here

    Filhaal isis se kaam chala lene ki koshish karoonga 🙂

    “Susannah turns murderous but not before we are compelled to ask as ‘Sugar’ (Vivaan Shah) the principal narrator of the film wonders, ‘what was the need to kill?’
    We never know. Except when her butler enacts in a rather overdone scene of how that is her inherent nature. The explanation and the justification, neither convince.”

    For me it didnt need any more convincing beyond that. there is more than enough convincing anyways as to why each husband is a kameena. By the time the 4th marriage-breakup happens (with Vronsky) she has already begun to lose it.

    The character for me was like one of those sexy hot aunties in our society (Rupa ganguli, Smriti Mishra, Manisha koirala types) who are super sexy (or used to be) and u wonder – what went wrong ? When they were soooo desirable and could have almost any guy eating out of their hands, then why to such a degenrate state have they fallen ?

    “But somehow that fails to bring the viewer to love her and this is more a failure of the craft of the film than its art”
    This might be a valid point considering I didnt exactly love her, but i felt for her. I new she was a fucked up woman from the trailers, little synopsis etc. And right from the opening sequence – a woman commiting suicide – either she must be mad or mad things would have happened to her.

    “There is a certain hurry and mis-match of pace in the entire narrative that is its major un-doing. Even as political references are woven in subtly to establish time-frames, the film uses the banal voice-over tactic to create an experience. Over-used and redundant a tool, it typically takes the place of harder-to-build relationships, establish motives and condense journeys. As is wont, it explains away and dilutes Susannah’s mystery and morbidity. Like the explanation of the Anna Karenina connection dilutes Gulzar’s evocation of ‘Pushkin’ (the 18th century Russian royal poet) in Darling…”

    That very hurry and mis match pace (may i call it slightly fast and transitional-fleeting) is also another thing which may not lead to you falling in love with the characters but still you feel for the woman. 6 Husbands and obviously the director cannot show the whole 7 stages of love can he ? The friends-fallingforeachother-love-marriage-euphoria-discontent-frustration-violentshowdon-breakup. Then it would have become an ASHUTOSH GOWARIKER film. And I doubt whether even me and varun and rest who liked the film would have liked it.
    Banal VO – hmmmm VO didnt work for me either in a sense of the misplaced urdu creeping into a russian educated young doctor named Arun Kumar. But not sure if I get the ‘banality’ of it.

    VO for “harder-to-build relationships, establish motives and condense journeys” – Yes yes yes. It is. I think it’s a time thing. It provides a fable like narration to the whole story. It doesn’t stare out in your face.

    “Structured with an almost clinical attention to screen-time and pace, every husband and relationship of Susannah becomes a vignette of the story rather than an integral part of it. In an almost embarrassing emphasis on pace, the film presents the love, passion and disenchantments in a fashion that seem like racing to a finishing line.”

    Racing to finishing line yes. But not sure if it is an embarassing emphasis. As i said – the emphasis was on the fable nature, the demystification of this pristine beauty. The fall from divine grace to depths of human depravity. It is intended as a vignette of the story and I dont reckon as a story. Becos there really is no story. No story in 7 Khoon Maaf. No story in Shawshank redemption. None in Apocalypse Now. None in Oye Lucky. But yeah you can always turn around and say – not every college dropout is a Bill gates. Fair enough.

    “The cinematography, over-zealous about stirring drama and morbidity, over-uses low angles and hand-held frames to make the pedestrian sinister. ”

    I personally LOVED the cinematography. Not the normal OTS, Two shot – not the weird Ramu angles either. But somewhere in the middle. Lends a whole new level of eerieness in the proceedings. And that is not a liability or a tool to hide behind, but a layer. Miller’s crossing can be shot in guerilla hand held camera work for sure and 4 months 3 weeks 2 days can be done in jimmy jibs also. But that would loose the appeal. Here it complements/enhances the drama rather than substituting it.

  20. pratim says:

    dil mein tarantino, dimaag mein kieslowski… film mein woh dichotomy dikhta hai jee…

  21. Jahan says:

    Woot, woot! 😀

  22. moifightclub says:

    @Anurag – sirji, sab kuch khol ke hi dekh raha tha.

    @kartik, @dpac, @jahan, @varun – – Since we are going line by line, how do you explain that ROFLOL moment of Jejus doing the sufi swirl! kya physical aur kya metaphysical! Hadn’t written about that in the post because spoiler ho jaata. Plus, thinking that VB’s cliam deserves a separate post – Kaminey, Ishqiya, 7 Khoon Maaf..jhol hai sab!

    And that Vivaan – how can you accept him as Konkona’s husband ? Can’t accept such stuff from VB! Also, Sussana is such bechari aurat, every murder is justified. Abey maar rahi hai maar na, justify karna zaroori hai. And if it was going in surreal zone without any trace of police and any public outside her world, what was all the news links ?

  23. Jahan says:

    Pratim Da, I personally feel you are unnecessarily analysing the filmmaker instead of the film. I know Vishal Bhardwaj loves Tarantino, He aspires to reach the heights of Kielowski, etc etc.

    I know your logic of seeing ‘where the filmmaker is coming from.’ But after a point, I think these things tend to color your judgement in an unfair fashion. Just enjoy the film yaar. When you watch the film with these (to an extent, preconceived) thoughts, it automatically hampers your viewing experience. Just my opinion, which you’ll prolly dismiss anyway (see, now even I’m assuming- though not completely without reason).

    That, in my ‘individualistic’ opinion, is what has ruined 7KM for a lot of people. Film ke 5 minute hue nahi, ki apne conclusions nikaalna chaalu kar diya. (Not talking about you, but people in general.) Yaar, film ko chalne to do, rooh mein thoda dhalne to do. Phir baat karo.

  24. pratim says:

    bhai jahan, film toh chaar din pehle dekh liya, enjoy bhi nahin kiya, review bhi likh diya jis mein filmmaker ke aspirations ke baarein mein na kuch socha na kuch likha… aaj monday hai aur yahaan pe debate aur discussion bahut dur tak aa gaya hai… ab toh thoda deep jao bhai… kab tak chhat pe khade rahoge? :p

    p.s. any improv on the hindi, KK?

  25. Jahan says:

    I had problem with Konkana’s casting rather than Vivaan. Could easily have kept someone younger, and it wouldn’t have been odd.

    Jejus, I can’t argue. But wouldn’t have minded the scene if only Jejus hadn’t actually come zameen par. Plus Jejus couldn’t dance saala.

    About the news links. Don’t know. In a way, it gave me a sense of Sussanna’s world being hermetically sealed from the rest of the world, yet not being a la-la-land a la Saawariya. Also perhaps he wanted to give a sense of time. Or maybe it was some obscure metaphor. Yeah, seemed a little gimmicky. But I don’t have such a major issue with it.

    BTW loved that dialogue of Vivaan’s: Pokhran mein nuclear test ho raha tha, aur mera dil Hiroshima ban gaya tha. 😀

  26. Jahan says:

    Haha. Point taken. Ab toh chhat se neeche aa jaa, Shankar :). Like I said, I’m assuming a little. But a lot of people have clearly done what I am talking about. Film apne dimaag mein pehle hi bana li.

    Do explain further on your point though. Ek sentence se satisfatory debate nahi ho sakta. And yes, Hindi has improved. 😀

  27. DPac says:

    Bad Screenplay fatema? im all ears

  28. DPac says:

    @MoiFL… jesus doing sufi was the besttesht!! saatvan khoooon!!! aur kya chiahiye

  29. kartik says:

    Vivaan is a miscast. Reminded me of a certain U-25 friends of mine ;0. Too bachkana. And thats not the only reason I hated him. Did he look like he was konkana’s husband and the father of a child ? Doodh ke daant bhi nahi tootey hongey uskey. At least ek farzi stubble hi chipka detey yaar uskey moonh pe – wtf !!!

    And his urdu usage ? Why ?

    News links – yes – not needed IMO. The dir trying to connect the surreal and the real.

    ROFL moment of Jejus doing sufi isnt actually an ROFL moment. At least for me. Yes I agree that this ‘surreal imagery’ bothered me in Kaminey too. But I can live with it. Possibly going slightly commercial. The haunting Yesu song and the brilliant twist in the tale before that more than compensated for this ‘ROFL moment’

    @jahan “When you watch the film with these (to an extent, preconceived) thoughts, it automatically hampers your viewing experience.”

    Kya baat hai 🙂

    @pratim – ehehehehhe

    @fatema – bad screenplay pe aapke vichaar pls

    • darkndusky says:

      Vivaan was terrible choice. Ek to Naseer ki nakal all that deliberate pausing in dialoguebaazi. Naseer pe jamti hai baba…kuch apna khud ka technique invent karo.

      Ek karara thappad maarne ko man kar raha tha. Konkona ka chota bhai lag raha tha.

  30. Manu Warrier says:

    Dear MFC,

    Great going I am quiet enjoying this fight when reading all the comments. Although I wish I had commented much earlier, some of them do share similar notes, that came into my mind while watching the film. A day back, I made some rash comments on twitter and finally realized when pointed out by KanoonkaBaap, that I am giving too much importance to myself and my views because I trusted the reviews, without watching it. I also gave it a Ravan angle, which I’ll explain my reasons below.

    I think it’s very important to know as film buffs why certain reviews need to be trusted. As a film buff there are only limited movies I can afford to watch in a multiplex, not every Friday or every film maker. I hate risking my money on something and come out feeling cheated, it’s my hard earned money you conned me off,for the film maker 100 bucks is nothing for me it’s a lot. Hence there are certain reviews and critics I trust on their opinions there are similarities on sensibilities. so if they recommend a movie a lot of times I expect not to be cheated, while they haven’t been always successful, but 90% of them are spot on similar views.But as a film buff I choose to draw my own judgments, while watching the movie. The reviews have only compelled me and help me filter out the many products made in the market in the name of cinema. if there are contrasting views among the critics I trust, I choose to check out the film myself, at least the film merited a theater viewing.

    When I walk inside a theater I submit myself and my brain to the film maker, I make sure none of the reviews should colour me when watching it. I am literally a layman who does not understand any form of great cinema or film makers while watching a film. I have not read any great books, literature etc that qualifies me to watch a film. So obviously as a lay person, not a film buff, who paid money to watch a film, I look for some form of engagement by the film maker to draw me into the story, and eventually take me on a trip leaving me feeling elated or sometimes negative can happen and I walk out with a bad taste or headache. I personally feel that is the most important aspect and talent of a film maker, are you able to draw the audience into their characters and their world, that too convincingly? For me great technique, style, scene composition, language, music,lighting etc nothing matters if the story is not holding me, that definitely is not cinema in my opinion.

    With that said, here is what I felt watching Saat Khoon Maaf (Might accidentally mention spoilers in the process)

    The mysterious opening began to engage me, I was hooked on the plot till John’s death, post which the film started failing. Towards the end of Irfan’s death I did the gravest crime as an audience you can commit, I yawned. Post the interval I was completely disconnected from the plot, I yawned a lot more, I picked up my cell phone to check the time. I now wanted this to end, but then was still trying to focus. Immediately after the interval I saw through part of the ending, I predicted she is alive. When it finally came to Jesus. I felt really cheated, yeah right that’s how you offer redemption to Sussanna? I walked out feeling cold and like a stone with no feelings for anything, I just sat through an abstract visual collage. Hence I feel film makers should ought to make some point in the story or his voice should shine through the film. Nothing of that sort of happened.

    Now some points as a film buff, post watching the film, the ending was an easy way out as a writer or like they say a pure cop out. it the refusal of the director to push himself to think “will it how Sussanna find her redemption?”. Forget the fact, he had remotely not bothered to connect his audience with Sussana nor the husbands. Plainly a case of film maker sleeping through the script, most of film maker’s visual and technical craft is at his back of his mind. The script is the only portion where the film maker really needs to put all his hard work on, working the script itself is a skilled craft which few film makers can grasp. Some have enough potential but they choose the easy way out, mind you I am not talking about happy or sad ending, I want to see an ending that is inevitable. This is exactly the reason why some of the film makers make great first films, and fail as they make further films. Their first films is put through acid test by rejections and feedbacks, they choose to go back and make ithe story better so that somehow he can get his funding. Thats pure passion to tell a story, which fades out when things become easier in life as time goes by.

    The references to Black widow spider, the literature books, Anna Karenina was all pure gimmicks. They can be seen as tributes, but they mean nothing if they remotely don;t even contribute to the story. Does VB expect his audience to know all this literature to understand Sussanna ? Then I am sorry I don’t belong to that audience.

    @Fatema I agree with you the screenplay is bad. Ruskin’s Bond’s story idea is executed in a very half baked manner on a screenplay level. There was only enough meat to make a half an hour short film or an episodic series of shorts of murder. A film goes beyond reading a short story, you are presenting it visually with a narrative. There are major plot holes and conveniently moving the plot ahead, like MFC editor has pointed out. Addressing all that and surprising them with the answers is part of making a great screenplay. I don’t even agree the ending as writing master stroke as one review pointed out.

    @Varun I also don’t agree with Varun saying you cannot enjoy Ghazals songs or cold weather, if you did not like this film. I went to watch a film, more importantly to be part of a story, not to a poetry recitation, ghazal concert or a walk in the cold weather. While I agree there is some interesting use of language, they did not sum up as a whole or at least I haven’t reached the understanding of cinema that you have or most VB supporters have.

    @Anurag I like the comment “abey kabhi to khule mann se film dekho..” the same logic applies to VB supporters, don’t walk in a VB film and expect him to make a masterpiece every time he makes a film, and when he disappointed just nitpick some good things and encourage the film, like some reviews have done. Maybe those reading this right now could feel the same since I don;t hold VB too high as a film maker, (which is a separate discussion as to why) so i have only nitpicked the bad things to write here. For me the whole experience matters good or bad, hence my reaction. so i agree with Fatema “there is nothing like an open mind”

    @Jahan and Kartik I feel this discussion will never end, eventually lot of our cinema knowledge, life experiences and tastes dictate whether we will like a particular film. Priyanka plainly did not have the life experience to bring into that role, hence most scenes had very run of the mill performances in my opinion. The greatest surprise to me was John and Neil, the most forced husband was Naseerudin Shah and the Russian.

    @MFC editor – Vishal is a great musician, but songs remotely contributed to the narrative. Agree with you Vivaan is a great find.
    Why I said this is a Ravaan experience before watching it, all the reviews screamed that Vishal had great actors, technicians and writers for this film, yet it was a let down. So while we are ruthless at Mani Ratnam, the reviews seems to take a stand with Bhardwaj Is it because there is more intellectual fodder, for people who have read a lot, seen a lot of cinema etc, all done here without engagement for story?
    Now after watching it, both films left me cold.Both films did not engage me. Both films have film makers sleeping through their craft of story telling. Both film makers have some great visual design. Both films have their cinematic experiences in their own way, which is not necessarily ones particular tastes, so just curious does that mean there is a better bad among filmmakers for movie critics ? Is there a sub conscious judgement somewhere or lack of objectivity in most reviews when dealing with VB or some other alternative film makers ? Does movie critiquing need to accompany a baggage of cinema knowledge ?

    Final thought, don’t be surprised 10 years from now, Raavan, RGV ki AAG and Saat Khoon maaf are debated with the same intensity as masterpieces.

    Peace out.

    • Jahan says:

      I had the opposite experience Manu. It was post the John episode that the film really began to suck me in. And I was quite moved towards the end. Anyway, different stokes for different folks.

      Having said that, even if this film didn’t work for some, to mention it in the same breath as Raavan and Aag(ony) is something I find weird and hard to swallow. And certainly VB has been indulgent, but he doesn’t display the haughty self possessed arrogance or disregard for audience, IMO.

      Vis a vis your response to Varun: I consider myself least cinema literate or well-read in general- but I can enjoy a film like a poetry or ghazal. Poetry aur ghazal toh ehsaas hai- aur ehsaas ko appreciate karne ke liye you needn’t always ‘understand/analyse’ it, do you? You just need your senses and instinct. I think that is what Varun was saying.

    • moifightclub says:

      Manu – don’t that that logic of “i don’t know anything, haven’t read anything, not seen anything-audience” works. We all are products of what we have been consuming over the years..reading,watching,eating,sleeping,shitting. don’t think you can separate yourself from all that and in this kind of discussion you can go with the funda of “i am audience” or represents so. Unique flake! Aah, the reaction will be all different. Nobody is audience and nobody is that blank.

  31. Manu Warrier says:

    @Jahan maybe I must have interpreted Varun’s comment wrongly, but like you said “ehsaas ko appreciate karne ke liye you needn’t always ‘understand/analyse’ it, do you? You just need your senses and instinct.”
    To sense and be instinctive I need to connect,feel and move with at least one character or the story, which did not happen in my case, else I would have appreciated it like poetry. Guess different stokes for different folks 🙂 For example Kartik has mentioned Miller Crossing,which I enjoyed like poetry

  32. Fatema says:

    @ Kartik (and the rest of the public demand people 😉 ) – I will begin with Kartik’s disagreement with my review.

    Sussanna’s murderous streak being convincing – Two things here. You were convinced about the explanations. I was appalled at the fact of them needed to be explained in the first place. Show don’t tell, remember? (I am not going by theory but the very fact it was told to me and that too in a bad scene killed it) And even if u got to tell (which I understand due to a number of constraints one’s got to resort to) then give something that is cohesive. The butler gives an ‘A’ explanation but it doesn’t fit in with her motives anywhere. Each one of her murders are explained away differently and rather ‘conventionally’. Sometimes in words, sometimes in actions. I am still ok with the conventionality of the reasons, but the fact that it needed a tangible reason to begin with dampened the whole experience. And hence the butler’s story jarred even more. It seemed even more pointless given the context. In trying to show Sussanna’s complexity her character got completely lost. She was neither a woman scorned, nor a neurotic, nor a degenerate nor someone who once given into her dark side was loving it now. She needn’t have been any of these and yet she could be all of these and I can’t say what was VB’s intention but it clearly did not cut it. She was not even an enigma because of the pains the screenplay goes to explain and justify and rationalise each motive and action of hers.

    The mis-match of pace – You will agree the first and second half in the larger sense were mis-matched. Within each story even the narrative was extremely patchy. Sometimes VB is zooming into the minutest detail and emotion and suddenly he finishes reams in one shot / scene. The haste and the slow-ness in itself did not bother (I have no problem watching ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ films) but both did not gel together. Even the individual stories did not explore what they could. Neil, John and Annu Kapoor’s stories were given max screentime and the rest were shorter. I am not saying all had to be of the same length. Its just that on the whole it did not add up. It seemed patchy, did not flow and in the larger picture of Susanna’s unexplained yet over-explained character seemed tedious. (Btw, I am sorry but I got bored from the word go, Neil’s story itself. Actually even before she appeared 🙂 Feel free with the brick-bats but V/Os are the tools of lazy writers. Period. Unless required or really needed.)

    Coming to the banality of the V/O – I am divided if Vivaan did a good job or no. In some, his restraint was admirable but in some he was uncomfortable but then I don’t know if I attributed the banality of the V/O needlessly to him. Why is it banal? Because it is full of cliches, asks questions we as audience ask in our minds, becomes the mouthpiece of the audience at times, and tells us what to anticipate, even plot points. Case in points, ‘Maarne ki kya zaroorat thi?’ and ‘Jab main Roos se vapas aaya tab tak Saaheb ek mareez ban chuki thi.’ And ya btw, what happened to her degenration after that one incident? Sorry, this is yet another butler’s explanation incident trying hard to force fit her into a ‘mentally dysfunctional’ category but just doesn’t add up. It is not about shades. Shades blend. Here, her different characteristics stood out independently. The love-searching Susanna was not an alter-ego of the degenerate Susanna nor was the pained Susanna an extension of one whose innocence was shorn from her by the disillusionments of love. They all were meant to be shades of her but they just ended up being patchy characteristics. Like the husbands stories remained vignettes and not integral parts of the narrative.

    About the embarrassing emphasis on pace, it showed in the elimination of husbands, how her moving onto the next is explained by the V/O and these when u know would have been better off if shown than just told. I know it was a HUGE challenge to fit all of that story in 2 hours but the challenge wasn’t well-taken up.

    Cinematography – Yes, brilliant, totally agree with you. But as I have said earlier, in comparison to the elements if the screenplay doesn’t deliver it is pointless. Similarly, the cinematography was brilliant in itself but it did not create the mood it wanted to successfully. If it had, it wouldn’t have ended up becoming the pain it did after a point. What created the eeriness was really the mood lighting and setting not the camera angles alone. Mainly my cinematography grouse is only to do with the latter.

    There is tons I can say about the writing but is it really necessary? Dpac, Jahan? Am not out to convince any of you because I realise apart from the experience we had, we are giving different level of importance to what we felt were disappointments or otherwise. So does this suffice to justify the ‘bad’ screenplay according to me ya aur pakau sabko? 🙂

    @Manu – ‘Priyanka did not have the life experience…’ Brilliant insight. It takes a certain amount of ‘life’ to happen to you (whatever that may mean to each one of us) to really mature as artists. Yes, Priyanka lacked that depth and she was distinctly unconvincing in quite a few places one of them being the Tarafdar shooting sequence. It lacked the intensity as well as the ‘madness’ required for the scene to take off. Also the hurt she should have felt when she saw John with those girls in lingerie should have been a shattering moment. It is really the director’s choice how he plays it but the way VB decided to play it, it did not bring the necessary intensity / message. However, I think she has done a pretty decent job and willingly given up all her ‘heroine airs’ to ‘become’ Susanna but then she has always been a shallow performer so what I saw did not disappoint me.

    Thank you for the audience everyone! 🙂

    • Jahan says:

      Agree in parts. Portions are patchy, yes. Have a feeling it is editing ka jhol also. I didn’t have major issues with unevenness or change in pace. Anyway bahut ho gaya. Time to say KThanxbai. 🙂

  33. Anurag Kashyap says:

    when you were a little kid and went and saw films, when you were in awe of them, when you looked for anything that you hadn’t seen before.. those were the best days of film watching..
    abhi hum sab thodey thodey cinema expert manne lagey hain apne aapko..hamara awe khatam ho gaya hai… hamari aankhon mein se wonder chala gaya hai..
    All said and done.. flaws to har film mein hote hain, kahin chhotey, kahin badey..
    mujhe maza aata hai jab koi kuchh naya try karta hai.. kisi ne ek aisi kahani yahan mainstream main kehne ki himmat ki.. nahin to film banane ke desperation mein, har koi bina soche samjhe kuchh bhi karne ko ready ho jaata hai..
    jisse 7KM achchi nahi lagi yaar, bahut cinema ban raha hai duniya mein, woh dekho..
    kisi ko bhi do minute mein pahaad pe chadha dete ho phir ek second mein wahan se dhakka de dete ho..tumhare liye se zyaada usne yeh film banayi kyonki ussey kahani exciting lagi aur usne try kiya usse screen pe laaney ke liye..usko thankyou bolo ki usne kaminey 2 nahi banayi jo bazaar usse chahta tha..

    • moifightclub says:

      AK – nobody is denying him that respect. And that’s the reason we are still discussing him and his cinema. But come on, let’s also have the freedom for fair criticism when we don’t like something. Yes, worship too when someone delivers.

      And by your logic, we should also treat Mani Ratnam and Raavan in the same way – efforts for trying something new ? or even Tashan ? or Ramu should be life long worshiped for trying so many new things in one life ? Why should the rules differ then? Raavan was shit, so is Tashan, and so is Ramu’s films in the last 10 years or so. We worship but we are not blind worshipers. Give us some respect to criticise too.

      Aur doosre cinema world me, woh to dekh hi rahe hai jab bhi milta hai. They are still making their kaminey (Animal Kingdom) without any kind of gimmicks!

      • bksingh2009 says:

        Mere muh ki baat cheen li..
        And I want to know ki aisa kya naya dikh gaya logon ko 7KM jo pehle nahi dikha hai cinema main.. And if you are talking about things like “Russian speaking Hindi”, to yaar aisa naya ban main dekhna bhi nahi chahta..

  34. DPac says:

    @fatema, Agree to most of what you are saying. dont agree to stuff like this ‘In trying to show Sussanna’s complexity her character got completely lost.’ VB has shown no inclination to get you to feel for the character at all. he has treated everybody in the movie in the same vein. there are diff ways to do a sutradhaar inda story and keeping the viewers at a distance is one of them but why such a decision i dont know.

    dont presume that im making a lame attempt to prolong an argument :-). all i heard from ur articlae was ‘if only the structure of the screenplay was non linear.. if only …” all u had to say about the current screenplay was you didnt like it.
    it is patchy for sure but i kinda thgt it was patchy cuz of this 3rd party allienation of the viewer thingy. eheh
    @manu,Fatema.. it has nothing to do with priyanka having a life insight. its VB’s decision to the core. why he did it the way he did it is something only the man can answer.

    i keep hearing the same thing from most ppl , ‘mood create nahin kiya’ ‘it offers so little’ arre.. who da fuck asked u to go xpecting somehting and then cry hoarse when u didnt get it. ehhee

  35. pratim says:

    AK no arguments there… kudos to him for being adventurous! But why that cast? Why PC, not Tabu? Isn’t VB a name big enough by now to get the cast he wants from UTV? And ok, you got PC, you got your BO, why Neil and John then? Despite pushing the envelope, he is trying to toe two worlds. And oil and water never mix, as you would know best!

  36. Manu Warrier says:

    @Anurag here is a blog that’s having a constructive criticism of cinema because all of us are cinema literate to a certain extent and passionate about the medium, so that most of us can learn from each other’s insight and POVs, most of the audience on the blog are not even 0.5 % of the audience that visit the theater. We ARE NOT THE ACTUAL AUDIENCE OF ANY CINEMA, the film maker is not catering to us. Most of them here are just a bunch of film buffs sharing their thoughts and feelings on films they liked or disliked. From your comments it appears all blogs and forums on cinema should either like or dislike a film and move on, and we should just be happy that the film maker did not make Kaminay 2 . I don’t know about others but surely that will be my stance on your further films. No more discussion on why one liked or disliked a particular film made by you, and yes by passing a statement “kisi ko bhi do minute mein pahaad pe chadha dete ho phir ek second mein wahan se dhakka de dete ho.” it appears you too are very concerned about what is being talked about your cinema and always expect a thank you from your audience when you try something different, even if it did not live up to their expectations. Anything different is not always cool for me, to each his own. I remember a famous film maker telling me, he never intended a particular film to be dissected by those who watched it. They had dissected it and given multiple interpretations, when the film maker in the first place had no such thoughts attached to the film, he outright confessed today he enjoyed the dissecting part by his fans. Like him, just remember, probably VB is having the last laugh. A few discussions cannot stop VB or other film makers from making further films, he’ll continue making films and there will be always film buffs dissecting it. Either one can learn from this or totally choose to ignore it, I don’t know about others but I don’t need to told as a film buff what should be discussed and how we should see a particular film maker and whether we should thank him. Let me draw my own conclusions and to each his own.

    @DPAC I want to know what you mean by “3rd party allienation of the viewer thingy” which other movies can you point out where the viewers are kept at a distance and why should a film maker do it, if that it is the case, then it’s indulgence, then it’s total disrespect for the viewers time and money, you just seem to say you don’t know why VB did it? not convincing as an answer
    Also regarding having Priyanka on the role, agreed is VB’s decision, what she can deliver is what comes from within her, hence an artist needs to have lived a little life, why was an Irfan or Naseer more convincing in a short role? It boils down to actor’s ability to interpret and deliver the role, if the director can only see a limited range or emotions, he is forced to choose from it. So by passing of everything as VB’s decision seems to be an easy answer to cover the directors flaws, the questions don’t have answers and maybe even the director does not have it, probably because he never thought about it. Ok he never thought about it because it’s VB ‘s decision not think about it and don’t know why. I got my answer.
    Also you should give a second thought why general audience are saying stuff like “mood create nahin kiya, offers so little” See the effective marketing, Vishal Bhardwaj making a thriller, Saat Khoon maaf, with Top actors and stars involved. Great music and promos pushed in your face almost in every TV channels etc. You are already expecting the world like Raavan . Why the fuck should anyone not expect something with this great marketing bombardment and projecting Vishal as this niche alternative film maker who delivers great meaningful cinema ? Then why not the same analogy on Raavan, don’t dissect why Raavan did or did not work, but I am sure you walked in to the theatre expecting to see a Mani Ratnam film, hell and I am sure you went into a Mani film with zero expectations. Your argument does not convince me.

    @jahan editing a film on editing table will only be effective if the screenplay is first edited in the right manner. So Fatema is right glaring issues on plot was not addressed, so how can editing save a film?

    Me too signing off from this fight forever.

  37. Fatema says:

    Arre Manu stay. Just when it is getting interesting.

    Dpac – Disagree that the 3rd party alienation thing was the intention or a tactic used. Susanna’s character would not have been evocative otherwise. It was structured for us to respond in some way and that is somewhat emotionally.

    Jahan – Nai re, it wasn’t just the editing. It was the fault of writing. Notice the scene constructions and their flow. Its not editing.

    Anurag – MFC has said what I came to say but I will take it one step further. Kya Sir, just because its VB? Nikhil Advani, Karan Johar, Anees Bazmee and Dharmesh Darshan are immensely passionate about the films they make. They too make what excites them. So then I should lie back and watch ‘Chandni Chowk’, ‘MNIK’, ‘No Problem’ and ‘Aapki Khaatir’ with the same child-like wonder and give them respect for the passion they had while making it? I know you disagree to that. Then isn’t the question of giving due where it deserves much more important in this case? Why should I not criticise VB for a 7KM just because he chose not to make a Kaminey? I respect him for that but I am sure even he, as an artist would want me to praise / criticise him for more than just the effort and its bravery. What else do we call and value films as an art for? Or am I missing something?

  38. DPac says:

    @Manu will get back to u on tht.
    @Fatema, really? susannas character was evocative?moi felt it was structured for us to not respond at all ehehe no empathy for her character at all.

  39. DPac says:

    @Manu.. i didnt say anythig about raavan. but i find reacting to a movie by way of ur expectatons thru its marketing to be totally foolish. general public kuch bhi feel karein. if the whole point of this discussion is academic then ‘expections cuz of marketing’ shouldnt b what we b talking about

  40. varun says:

    किसी पर भी किसी तरह का इलज़ाम लगाए बिना…बस कुछ सवालों के जवाब, अपनी समझ से: (अब तक खुल के नहीं कहा इसलिए यह एक और comment)

    1. विशाल ने एक अलग दुनिया दिखाने की कोशिश की. रस्किन बोंड की दुनिया कह लो…पहाड़ों में रहने वाले, रोटी-डाल की चिंता से परे अमीरों की दुनिया कह लो, या कोरे emotions में जी रहे hyper-sensitive लोगों की . (‘flawed’ is a word which is much-glorified and hence losing its meaning…so won’t use that. But 3 years back, flawed would have been a nice word to use. Anyway…) तो सबसे पहली चीज़ यही गजब ली कि फिल्म में किसी भी मौके पर ये नहीं सोचना है कि इस इंसान की बाकी जिंदगी कैसे चलती होगी….किस से interact करते होंगे ये लोग. In other words – it’s NOT a BIOPIC….just a documentation of Susanna’s 7 experiments in life. Much like the original short story. असली कहानी में भी सिर्फ एक आदमी बिना किसी इमोशन के सात खून की कहानी कह जाता है. कोई आगा-पीछा नहीं. बस एक औरत और उसके ७ मर्द.

    मेरे ख्याल से हम लोग यह बात ignore कर रहे हैं कि ये फिल्म एक adaptation है. (of course, it’s still cinema and cinema has to hold on its own….and related arguments still hold true. But I think the adaptation fact is not getting due credit.)

    2. सूसाना के redemption की बात तो मेरे ख्याल से उठती ही नहीं. उसके हर खून में हम उसके साथ ठे….पूरी फिल्म में एक बार ऐसा नहीं हुआ कि उसने किसी को मारा हो और हमने कहा हो ‘अरे इसको मार रही है?’ तो जिन्हें weak-redemption से problem है…जो कह रहे हैं ‘९०० चूहे खा के बिल्ली हज को चली’…वो पहले ये याद करे कि सुसाना बिल्ली थी या चूहा? (Ending पर अभी बाद में आता हूँ…पहले कुछ और बातें)

    ३. खुद को दोहरा रहा हूँ…लेकिन इतनी रूमानी भाषा बहुत वक्त से नहीं आई फिल्म में. वो realistic नहीं थी…सब कह रहे हैं. लेकिन फिल्म में और क्या realistic था जो भाषा भी होनी चाहिए थी? Fantasy बुनने का एक तरीका था मेरे ख्याल से उस तरह की शायराना ज़बान. जब पूरी फिल्म ही एक emotion की journey थी तो ज़बान में वो क्यों ना दिखे?

    अगला सवाल आएगा कि अगर fantasy थी तो उसमें real-life happenings का दखल दिखाना क्यों ज़रूरी था. (अयोध्या, IC-814 etc.) तो सीधा जवाब यही है कि pure fantasy नहीं थी…भंसाली की ‘सांवरिया’ वाली नहीं थी…वैसी थी जैसी सत्यजीत रे की बच्चों की कहानियों में होती है. (बल्कि नसीर-साब का किरदार बिलकुल रे की किसी कहानी जैसा था….) बाहर की दुनिया से जुडी हुई…लेकिन फिर भी सपने जैसी. Opening logic outer-world का, closing-logic (punch-line) जादुई दुनिया का.

    ४. और अंत में फिल्म का climax. कई सवाल उठ रहे हैं – ईशु कहाँ से आये? वो नाच क्यों रहे हैं? क्या बस इतना ही काफी है सारे खून माफ करने के लिए? मैंने यह सवाल फिल्म देखते हुए सोचे भी नहीं…बाद में पढ़ा तो पता चला कि दुनिया में इसपर भी बहस हो रही है. मेरे हिसाब से तो climax एकदम perfect था. वो शुरू से ही ईशू की दीवानी दिखाई गयी है. और in-general spiritual भी. तो अंत में उसको कौन नाचता हुआ दिखा…और किस तरह से, उससे क्या फर्क पड़ता है? और सूफी नाच कोई trademark थोड़े ही है. कथकली या भरतनाट्यम जैसा कि उसे करने से आदमी का प्रांत, जिला तय हो जाए? सिर्फ एक expression ही है न…तो काहे इतना सर फोड़ना कि वो क्यों किया? फिल्म के अंदर उसका reference तक है…वसीउल्लाह के साथ. तो बहुत logic लगाना है तो यही है कि Susanna को याद रह गया होगा…और कश्मीर वो गयी ही थी इशू को ढूँढने. तो जोड़ लो.

    दूसरी बात, जो MFC ने उठायी…climax कमज़ोर होने की. मुझे hurried, cop-out, convenient में से कुछ भी नहीं लगा. Mainly because I didn’t see it coming. और ये भी कि मेरे हिसाब से ये अच्छा summation था एक quest to find a right guy का….कि इस दुनिया में तो नहीं मिलेगा. A depressing note, given a spiritual twist with Rekha Bharadwaj’s song. और शायद वो गाना मुझे इतना ज्यादा पसंद था कि उसका hugeness of emotion मेरे लिए काम कर गया as a suitable, ending-on-a-high climax.

    बाकी यह कि कोई फिल्म किसे अच्छी और किसे बुरी लगे ये कौन कह सकता है. Bottomline यह कि मुझे बहुत पसंद आई और जिन्हें नहीं आई वो फिल्म के context में रहकर इसे बुरा कहें तो बहुत अच्छा. Context से बाहर निकलकर कहें तो….उनका भी भला.

    • moifightclub says:

      Varun – as far as films go, and may be life too, i don’t have any moral issue. or judgement. We are capable of doing every shit! i wasn’t even looking for her redemption. and when there is no guilt, where does the funda of redemption come from ?

      mera issue yeh hai ki use itni “bechari-badkismat ki maari” kyun bana diya that every murder is justified. Kill Thrill makes things so cool sometimes! But VB gave her so many reasons. Plus, even in the short story i don’t think there is any hint/line of justification. That’s beauty!

      Aur agar pyaar ke khoj me itne khoon kar rahi hai, toh badi hi bewakoof maiduym hai. She knows to kill them so well, she just doesn’t know how to judge them, for once!

      About the climax – kuch toh saath le jaane ke liye chor diya hota! Jejus ko zameen par utarna was pure bachkana…am guessing unhe laga hoga ki audience ko samjh nahi aayegi.

    • Jahan says:

      I think I concur most with your reading of the film. Agree with MFC that ‘showing’ Jejus wasn’t prudent, but it was so high on emotion by then that I couldn’t complain much.

      I think the bechari maidyum argument doesn’t hold too much water- mainly because it again comes to what *you* wanted the film to be. Honestly, even I was looking for cool, wicked, fun killing- Sweeney Todd style, but I didn’t mind this that much.

      @PratimDa: Obviously Tabu is a infinitely superior actress. But with all her limitations, I don’t see a better casting choice than Priyanka, among well known actors. No way I can see Tabu playing this. Besides, UTV would bankroll this with Tabu in lead? Really? Neil, John could’ve been avoided, yes. Then again, casting issues, one never knows.

      • moifightclub says:

        How is *you* thinking doesn’t hold too much water – you are thinking because something is not working. And you have skipped all the previous lines – smart to kill, dumb to judge – that doesn’t work out! and so the *you* factor came into play!

        • Jahan says:

          Why can’t someone be smart to kill, yet dumb to judge, a fool in love?

          • moifightclub says:

            how many times? and how big fool? and what love? just VO – didn’t work!

            • darkndusky says:

              Vivaan’s VO didnt work . Actually Vivaan didnt work at all. VO works like a song to relish story movement and in this case VB’s language but Vivaan ne waat laga di.
              Uski awaaz me na to jaan hai..ek glaring boring deliberate flatness which really cannot substitute a quieter voice . And to posess that he was ekdum phudakiya…didnt suit at all.
              That guy needs to find himself warna Naseer jr kehlaana reh jayega uski taqdeer me.

  41. Fatema says:

    I”ve read all the 50+ comments. Why do I get the feeling that those who did not like it have given reasons after valid reasons for every grouse but those who loved it (except Varun somewhat)are still just going, ‘waah waah’ and ‘keep an open mind’ and ‘watch without expectations?’ Were these the only reasons the film worked for you? If yes then, I am sorry it proves yet again, its not the merit of the film but it was some film *you* were watching inside your head…point to be noted m’lord?

    • Jahan says:

      Not true Fatema. I think Varun and Kartik have given reasons as to why they liked/loved it. The rest are just defending it against some accusations that are being perceived as unfair by them, yes. As for me, I think Varun has summed up only too well what I liked about the film.

    • @5thdoppelganger says:

      @Fatema iss comment ke liye aapko saat khoon maaf!! Couldn’t have summed up (hopefully
      !) the discussion in a better way!

  42. […] Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf – Packed with so much, yet offers so little […]

  43. Faridoon says:

    I think the best part was, Ruskin Bond was the 7th husband and not Vivaan Shah

  44. Yashpal says:

    @AnuragK you are going somewhere else. Just bcoz VB didnt make kaminey2, one should like 7KM? eh?

    @MFC the film is completely surreal, those news links were not to connect it to reality but for audience to know Susanna’s age and time gap between two ‘chapters’

  45. […] Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf – Packed with so much, yet offers so little […]

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