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After the passing of his Pondicherry-born mentor, Susanna, Mumbai-based Dr. Arun Kumar Singh narrates his story to his wife, Nalini. With photographs from an old album that he has never shared with anyone, he informs her as to how Susanna caught him stealing; got him to quit his job & enrolled in a Panchgani school, as well as arranged for further education in St. Petersburg. While Susanna herself searched for true love and her marriages with six deceased men - including the abusive Major Edwin Rodrigies; drug-addicted and womanizer guitarist-singer Jamshed Singh Rathore; impotent and abusive Mohammad Wasiullah Khan; bigamist/spy Nicolai Vronski; Inspector Keemat Lal; and Dr. Modhusodon Tarafdar - men who influenced her life, broke her heart - and met with sudden and mysterious deaths. Written by
The Panther in the film is fully computer generated and created through computer graphics. A white cat which was real and snakes were used in the film. No animals were injured while filming, as stated in the end credits. See more »
The negative reviews this movie was given upon release did not discourage me from watching it, and I'm very happy for that, because I really enjoyed it. Okay, 7 Khoon Maaf is not the best movie of the year, nor is it Vishal Bhardwaj's best, but it is just good enough to make for an interesting watch. I was fascinated by the concept of a black widow who kills all the many of her husbands. The fact that it was directed by Bhardwaj, one of the finest directors in the Indian film industry made it more promising for me. This is the story of Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes and her constant search for happiness. She is beautiful, attractive, and she badly wants to be a wife to the ideal husband, but alas, in each of her husbands she finds major flaws which make them quite impossible to live with. The first is possessive, crippled, insecure and jealous; the second is a singer whose growing fame makes him start cheating on her and using drugs; the third is a sadomasochist; the fourth is a Russian spy who turns out to be leading a double life, having another family abroad; the fourth is a police inspector who Susanna reluctantly marries because he knows her secrets; and the sixth is a doctor who saves her life at first, but later tries to kill her in order to inherit her property. Well, six husbands there are and one may wonder who the seventh husband is... well, this is a secret that will be uncovered when you see the film.
With every husband, Susanna tried hard to handle the situation and believed she could change something, but when she realised she could not, she chose the easiest option of killing them. Each time, she was assisted by her faithful servants who loved her unconditionally. 7 Khoon Maaf is one very ironic and entertaining story which is very well executed. Bhardwaj's direction is excellent, and the film is dark and humorous. The cinematography is fantastic and the music also fits the film's mood to the max. I did not find the pace problematic at all, and according to me the movie flowed well. Of course, everything in the film depends on the character of Susanna, and it is a great, nuanced role which is written and presented very well. I badly tried not to sympathise with Susanna's character, but I failed. It's simply because despite everything, she is not presented as a villain but more as a victim. Of course nothing can justify what she did, but the thing is that she herself is actually portrayed as a caring, dedicated person who is just not ready to live in pain and wants to be happy. Additionally, each one of her husbands is a negative character and a semi-monster of sorts, more or less, so it was easy to dislike them. Not even once did I feel for any of them. More than anything, however, it is the film's darkly comic tone which makes the audience take everything easily and never worry too much.
Priyanka Chopra plays the film's main protagonist, and this modern femme-fatale is probably the best role of her career. Chopra really tries her best, but while she does well enough within the parameters of the film and is quite effective throughout, one thing is sure: she is not the best choice for the part and one can easily imagine this role played with much more conviction by a more competent actress. In all fairness to her, at times she is so good that she manages to outdo herself, but in most parts you just want more, or actually less. Chopra is a very sexy young lady, but something is missing there, and maybe it's just because she is not a mature enough actress and does not know when she has to push the right button. She does not really register the complexity of Susanna and her mysterious nature. It's a role that requires an actress who has the correct mix of beauty, sensuality and talent. Someone like Rekha in her younger days would have been a perfect choice for this part, because she had the ability to create a deeply troubled and at the same time cryptic and enigmatic persona. Having said that, it is Chopra's film and the guys are there only to support her. All of them do very well, but those who impressed me the most are Annu Kapoor as her fifth husband, and Vivaan Shah, who is the film's narrator. I recommend you to watch 7 Khoon Maaf, it's an impressive picture and an altogether worthy effort.
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