Cut to, suddenly, 1999, Scotland. Huh? Aayat at the Royal Academy of Dance. Harry is a moustached pilot visiting on a pilot exchange program. The lovers meet and just can't act like lovers. In one jarring scene, in which, we are subjected to a telepathic conversation, to another where a cigarrate lighter is excuse for a forced retro take on the classic Hum Dono song Abhi na jao... In rising exasperation of the story's disregard for time lines and redundancies, Harry misses a marriage-possible meeting because he is summoned for the Kargil war. He doesn't inform Aayat for dramatic effect rather than logic. Thus is the period until INTERMISSION survived.
Part two. Harry calls up Aayat, but the forced turn of circumstances, wouldn't let the lovers communicate. Aayat is a travel freak now, moving from Scotland to Punjab to Ahmedabad to Scotland and back again to Ahmedabad with a sore face. The air force objected bombing scene is a sitting duck. Like the hand video games of the nineties. By the time Harry's left arm is paralysed, I have to leave the theatre. I never thought I would walk out of a cinema theatre midway, ever. It is easier if you are at Westend. Not so, when you are sinking in thousand-buck tickets, 100-buck pop corns, and 50-buck coffee. Of course, you don't get a movie as flawed each time. Only a bad movie made with confidence, nowadays, and an occasional gem.
Mausam is slayed by a first-time director's ambition, that the story had to cover so many geographical settings and event references. That every historical event from 1992 to present had to adversely affect the lovers' lives is just too sad to be true. That James Cameron kept it spectacularly simple in Titanic (1997) - A ship, two lovers and an iceberg. Also the absence, of any hint of fire and passion between Shahid and Sonam only adds to the misery.
If all the venom is well-deserved, Pankaj Kapur (An amazing actor, no doubt, Director? Ahhh?), ironically, does have the promise of telling a good, simple tale. He shows his stuff especially in the village scenes. We say, try again. Something simpler please.
Pritam's music and Irshad Kamil's lyrics are a saving grace, an odd contrast to the cracked proceedings. Some arresting moments when the Hans Raj Hans rendered Ik tu hi tu hi tu hits the screen.