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Musician Syed Waris Shah (Gurdas Maan; 'Long Da Lishkara' (1986), 'Des Hoyaa Pardes' (2004)) soon takes refuge within the small mosque grounds of the remote town Malka Hans during the mid-18th Century, heeding the last wishes of his recently executed spiritual master Baba Makhdoom (Mukesh Rishi; 'Baazi' (1995), 'Koi... Mil Gaya' (2003)), by writing Heer (1766) - Waris' acclaimed tragic version of the ancient folkloric romance between Ranjha Dheedo (also played by Maan) and his love Heer Saleti (Juhi Chawla; 'Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke' (1993), 'Dosti: Friends Forever' (2005)) betrothed to another - in this vaguely enjoyable yet meagerly imaginative subtitled South Asian Period feature from director Manoj Punj ('Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai' (2002), 'Des Hoyaa Pardes' (2004)), that sees Waris' not-so secretly amorous correspondence with young goat shepherdess Bhagpari (also played by Chawla) quickly rile his shunned fan Saabo (Divya Dutta; 'Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai' (2002), 'Veer-Zaara' (2004)) towards desperate blackmail for his affections, while Bhagpari's heart aches in dilemma as her long time fiancÚ returns to fulfill their arranged marriage. I suppose the first thing that strikes a paying audience about 'Waris Shah - Ishq Da Waris' (its complete title) is that cinematographer R.A. Krishna sure loves those crazy swooping dolly shots here. Bring sea sick pills if you're prone to motion sickness. The production value of this hundred and forty-minute effort is fairly bare bones, clearly pouring most of the available funds into some truly luxurious on-screen traditional costuming and a whole lot of off-screen midnight oil to burn while figuring out how to make every scene count on a limited budget. From a technical standpoint, this one definitely has quite a few impressive location shots - once Krishna's camera finally settles down - with Saabo's deliciously flirtatious attempts at blackmailing/seducing Waris in a candle lit cave being one of the more notably memorable visual and musical delights. 15 Oct 2006 06:37
However, 'Waris Shah' does suffer greatly from its flaws. For one thing, it's a slightly bizarre movie at times. Seeing Baba Makhdoom gleefully dance and sing his way to the gallows for his own public hanging is tough to take seriously, as are some of the translated words in soundtrack duo Jaidev Kumar and Gurdas Maan's handful of otherwise toe tapping songs. For instance, "Your teeth are like jasmine buds," might have been an irresistible Punjabi pick up line three hundred years ago, but when Waris sings it and other equally head tilting lines during his crest swelling love at first sight greeting to Bhagpari here, well, he's lucky she doesn't make him kiss that goat in her arms. Omkar Bhakri's editing style also feels rather clunky, particularly during this movie's plodding and somewhat unnecessary historical preamble regarding those who made song or dance being sentenced to death long after their banning by militaristic ruler Abu Muzaffar Muhiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir (1618-1707). That context isn't really applied to what plays out afterwards, so it's unclear why you're forced to sit through it. I would have much preferred it if writer Suraj Sanim's screenplay had used that introduction as an opportunity to more clearly define who the real Syed Waris Shah (1722-1798) was during his lifetime, before he began mesmerizing his followers with daily p***ages from Heer. 'Waris Shah' tends to take for granted that everyone knows the basic story of this poet and his work, essentially creating a wall of confusion for moviegoers sitting in the dark and outside the info loop. Sure, it's an interesting film when it eventually picks up the pace approximately halfway through, but this somewhat rough cast really isn't given much to work with towards pulling you in deeper than what happens on the surface within their individual vignettes. Unfortunately, Maan is the worst perpetrator, obviously too enamored with his stage presence throughout most of what transpires to properly depict Shah as being the inspired man of insight and humility that you're vaguely led to believe he actually was. The acting over-all feels too staged, lacking truckloads of badly needed nuance, almost as though it actually was produced during early Indian Cinema's now desperately cheesy era of giant moustaches and shrill playback vocals......CONTD 15 Oct 2006 06:39
I keep going back to Dutta, but the supporting work from her and Sushant Singh ('The Legend of Bhagat Singh' (2002), 'Sehar' (2005)) as Bhagpari's tormented groom are likely the only continually captivating performances worth citing, possibly because the antagonistic nature of their characters gives you something fresh to watch amongst the familiarly lazy girlish smiles and unconvincingly serious stock theatrics. This movie was obviously inspired by Maan's recent musical release entitled Heer, but 'Waris Shah' seems far too ambitious a story for most of this cast and crew to capably tackle with any believable depth, making it a third choice rental curiosity at best. 15 Oct 2006 06:40
I think u need help mate!!! 15 Oct 2006 06:58
harmeet sidhu
bai ranjit aa ki aa.. enne awards.. sacchi sacchi d*** kitho paste keete aa...

yaar mainu taan kujh samaj nee aa rahi ki tu ki kehna chauna..

ikk chotoi jehi post kar k d***..

15 Oct 2006 10:19
silly review
ranjit your review does not make sense,r u tryin to be funny. WARIS SHAH is a masterpiece in punjabi films,compere to other punjabi films, gurdas maan is best acter in punjabi films, 15 Oct 2006 12:59
your review is a joke, what kind of movies do you like anyway regional films have limited budgets sai prod hav done thier best for punjabies,gurdas maan rocks 15 Oct 2006 13:06
Hi Ranjit,
I totally respect your viewpoints here, and you've even apologised on another post, there's no need for that, you seem an honest chap... BUt you also seem to be one who merely reiterates reviews...

Now don't get me wrong, if you haven't written this review yourself, it seems that you are showing us one by a very ignorant Punjabi or frankly, a non-indian (and naive) critic.

Actually I have studied films myself academically (even though films SHOULDN'T be made academic) and in my experience, people like me, tend to start flexing our 'filmic' knowledge muscles, and make things sound complicated..Remember people, a critic or reviewer, is simply a person who gives hi/her OPINION, not fact...we must be our own judges..now enough preaching,,,,this is why I thinnk this review is by an ignorant or non-Punjabi,,,and even though Waris Shah may be flawed,so is this review...
15 Oct 2006 23:32
In the first part he (***uming it's a he) says that WS's budget was rather low and that hindered the production values? Well firstly, it's aregional film, which almost works on independednt film budgets, and had this person realised that WS actually spent nearly 15 crores and is the most costliest ever (REMEMBER A WHOLE CONSTRUCTED SET HERE!!), then he probs would not have written this....and we're talking 18th century, apart from the royals, and elite people, NOTHING looked costly, we''re talking pre-electricisty times,,,(why didn't WS save one copy of his ruined Heer on floppy??!!Well, remember 18th century!!)

Also criticised Baba Makhdooms 'dance' to his death!!Ridiculous and pure ignorance! Baba Makhdoom was a Saint, not a normal human being, he does not fear his death and it was an act of proving a point (REMEMBER NO DANCING WAS ALLOWED)..and why is that so "hard to take", as he writes....Baghat Singh was only human,,,and he ACTUALLY smiled to his death too...so I think that was rather nit-picky!

And then he says its hard to take:
"some of the translated words in soundtrack duo Jaidev Kumar and Gurdas Maan's handful of otherwise toe tapping songs. For instance, "Your teeth are like jasmine buds," might have been an irresistible Punjabi pick up line three hundred years ago, but when Waris sings it and other equally head tilting lines during his crest swelling love at first sight greeting to Bhagpari here, well, he's lucky she doesn't make him kiss that goat in her arms"

Well firstly, OF COURSE GURDAS MAAN WASN'T GONNA WRITE OR PRODUCE TOE-TAPPING SONGS YOU BANDHAR( I mean the reviewer) Had Waris come out with 'Apna Punjab Hove' in reply to Saabo's flirting, I would have walked out!..The songs are flawless...maybe one needs to understand the culture before criticising.
Secondly, he contradicts himself by saying that WS's first meeting with Baghpari was silly as it would have maybe worked 300 years ago! Hello, it was set 300 years agos!So maybe it did work!And besides, even if he never really did that way, this is what you call a musical and dramatisation. Remember Waris was a 'musician' himself and a poet.So everything so far is feasible! And kissing the goat nonsense is inappropraiate now anyway since the rest of that preceeeding paragraph is wrong....
15 Oct 2006 23:49

And about him saying that the context of the ban on music was not applied afterwards is also false...what we learn from the end is that Waris had an affect on the people in a good way through his music and he also proved that dancing and music could also get people closer to God (REMEMBER 'ALLAH HOO' SONG) Clearly this critic missed that too,,,the dancing wasn't banned for dancing sake, but it was because the rulers believed it distanced one from God.

I do agree though that Waris was not perhaps fully 'taught' as aperson through the film,,,but there was little to go on,,,we do realise at the end the type og man he was though...also if this persumptuous reviewer had bothered listening to (or shall i say 'read the subtitles to) the first meeting of Baba makhdoom and Waris, he would ahve heard,or read, that Waris was kicked out of his house by his family for the reasons they discussed...he was clearly a chosen individual..

And yes the pace does pick up second half...simply because now things are made more attractive for the 'lazy' viewer,,we see a conflict between two lovers etc.
And if he thinks WS was too staged (acting wise), wait till he watches Manmohan Singh's Jeey Ayan Nu etc. where everyone stands in aline....or perhaps Jatt Da Gandasa and Jatt Da....Manja, or something like that you normally would find in Punjabi cinema way back when.

And what it summed it up for me was this reviewer talking about WS being inspired by GM's RECENT release, Heer!!Bloody LOL! Good old Nostradamus must have reviewed the film in 2004.
And 'Heer' had only one song precisely about Heer in it anyway...

Yes Waris Shah, is not a TOTALLY FLAWLESS film, but its not the film being reviewed here anyway!

Basically, reviews and critics only try and give their opinion but even opinions can be wrong. This review was awful apart from one good point maybe,,,,and if he thinks WS is flawed so heavily, he should read his own review......
only my opinion.

Rab Rakha....
16 Oct 2006 00:05


16 Oct 2006 03:28
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