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Jaanisaar is the cinematic equivalent of a plan gone very awry. Directed by Muzzafar Ali , who gave us Umrao Jaan , Jaanisaar is richly mounted and beautifully made but has no soul or story.
A beautiful courtesan , perina quereshi, also a revolutionary in mughal India falls for a prince Imraan who is raised by an English lady. It is love at first sight followed by slow courting and glances exchanged as love lorn poerty and elaborate kathak pieces ensue. Leading to the two elope and join the fight against independence. The mutiny of 1857 to be precise.
The biggest flaw of the film, a lacklustre story apart, is that neither of the lead pair can conjure up either screen presence or chemistry. Perina is lovely to look at but her beauty is shallow and she does not at any point come across as anything more than a new age model in a period ramp walk show. Imraan is wasted saddled with a sad lazily written piece. Attempts to bring alive the lucknowi tehzeeb and nazakat too fall flat as actors like dalip tahil et al ruin any credibility remaining.
And then there are songs. Unpleasant and never ending that just prolong the torture. Not one number can fit into the times either then or today. A train wreck of epic proportions this film deserves to not be seen. Stay clear.