What makes it more incongruous is that there is a TV in the house which shows that it is part of the modern world. When you see a normal looking TV news reader you are almost shaken out of the daze you are enveloped in. The lawyer and the doctor are the only two normally dressed people in this saga and the courthouse the only evidence that this is modern day Goa and there are cars and not horses on the road.
The script gives Ethan an ironic sense of humour that you appreciate and you would like to root for him. Unfortunately, his get up gets in the way. How I longed to spend time with the saner looking paraplegics from the hospital who were just getting on with it. Why should a paraplegic who needs round the clock care, have hair that needs to be washed while being strung up in a hammock? Given the absence of servants in the house, who puts him in it? Ash? This sort of look interferes with the character. Its the same grouse I had with the movie Anjali that gave the little mentally retarded girl wild hair that emphasized her condition and not in a good way.
Onto performances. Hrithik nods his head maniacally, has unfocussed eyes and except for the court scene generally acts more like its his head that is not in his control more than his body. Ash is tightly pursed red lips and a stern ward sister expression (aided by the long braid). We get no peep into her motivations, her feelings. Well, I told you, its all about the look. Shernaz Patel as the lawyer friend is fantastic and Aditya Roy Kapur whom I liked in Action Replayy repeats the same eager beaver expressions here. I am still cheering for him but one more movie with the same goofy grin and I may have to rethink my opinion.
I wish there were more flashbacks of Ethans magician days. Hrithik dances like a dream-a study in fluidity in the one flashback that I wanted to see endlessly. The other magic trick flashbacks are not that astonishing-a man sawing a woman in half. Come on! P.C Sorcar can show us better. Showing us some more of his glory days would have built up more sympathy and understanding for his decision to die.
The songs (composed by Bahnsali) are a drag except for the smoky flamenco-ish number at a nightclub (no rest for you dear viewer, the nightclub has not redecorated since 1950).
The movie has a good, engrossing story. My advice is, if you want to enjoy this, get into bizarre country, think its normal(it is after all a Bhansali movie) and then see it. Otherwise your sensory dislocation may just end up paralyzing your mind.