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29 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

And the award for the best movie for the year 2011 goes to 7 Khoon maaf !!! (hands down)

10/10
Author: Karun Kumar from India
18 February 2011

Just came back after seeing the first day first show of the movie and boy was I lucky !!!

At this moment, just 2 incidents I can recall. First was the unforgettable expression on Priyanka Chopra's face when the film started; and the second was when the end credits rolled and I was sitting in my seat thinking "This is marvelous and intelligent filmmaking at its best !!"

Blow out the bugles for the greatest director India has been blessed with – Vishal Bhardwaj Sir.

I have just one sentence to speak "When I watched Kaminey in 2009, I never thought Vishal Sir could reach that standard; but after seeing 7 Khoon Maaf; I'm just like oh my God !! what is this ?? Not only did Vishal Sir reach those expectations, he has surpassed them and according to me has matured tremendously; it can be seen throughout the movie;

whether it is the very minute and intricate details in the movie which one must pay full attention to in order to understand the movie;

or it is the mesmerizing songs with beautiful music

or it is the superbly choreographed songs (The songs which deserve a special mention are "Oh Mama" , "Darling" n the last song "Yeshu" which has great symbolic significance).

The dialogues are witty; the characterisations are excellent and humor has been nicely interwoven into the screenplay. The script is flawless and the very fine nuances associated with each character (specific character traits) has been depicted perfectly.

It is a very good adaptation of a short story by Ruskin Bond and the best part is we even get to see Ruskin Sir in the movie.

Now coming on to the performances !! Priyanka Chopra is getting all awards of best actress next year for sure. She has matured tremendously in her acting skills. Just seeing her in scenes with Naseerudin Shah in which she just about is as good as Naseer Sir is speaks volumes about the actress.

Among the male leads, I found the acting of Annu Kapoor and Naseerudin Shah to be exceptional. In supporting actors, Usha Uthup deserves special mention; she is a surprise discovery by Vishal Sir as was Amole Gupte in Kaminey.

The music, needless to say, like every Vishal Bhardwaj movie is spellbinding. The editing is very tight and the cinematography is also good.

Last but not the least, I would really like to applaud Vishal Bhardwaj sir for taking courage to swim against the tide and in the process making a movie which shatters the stereotypical image of a traditional Indian woman. There are a very few directors out there who really can make such daring attempts.

P.S. – In the end I would like to mention that this film will not find universal acceptance among all Indians because it is a little off-beat.

I am also feeling that Vishal Bhardwaj Sir is not getting the much deserved recognition he deserves because in 2009, 3 Idiots took all the awards ;

Let's hope this year Vishal Sir gets awards for this movie because frankly speaking, the amount of effort he has put in this movie can be seen in each and every single frame.

Waiting eagerly for Vishal Bhardwaj Sir's next movie !!

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Mesmerising!!

8/10
Author: Shashiishere from India
19 February 2011

Who says its difficult to find a good script these days!Direct those people to Vishal Bhardwaj who again shows us as he has done many times before that you just have to know where to look!

Agreed you know most of the story on the papers and TV, but is there anything else that could draw you attention to one of the most artistic yet satisfying movies of the year.

All the 6 husbands and the mysterious 7th one are played impressively and effectively by all the actors that you genuinely feel the difference in the characters. Everyone makes a lasting impression probably depicting various nuances of the male psyche and end up in the coffin just for doing so!

Having said that its far from a feminist movie, the director doesn't really want to elicit sympathy for Suzanna nor does he make a point that all the killings are justified.Therein lies the shrewd wickedness of the director who also manages to insert real life events of the past 2 decades into the script which are discreet yet unmissable.

Yes the narration is linear and simplistic, doesn't hold back any surprises, but after you sit down to watch the movie draws you in completely and gets satirical, black and comical at times as the story smoothly sails along.

Music and background score add to the artistry and Priyanka Chopra breaks new ground playing the difficult role of Suzzana with a daring elan.

Watch it for her and for the filmmakers who are taking Bollywood to a new level.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A Dark Comedy

8/10
Author: Plum Penguin from India
19 February 2011

Firstly, I would like to applaud Vishal Bhardwaj for pulling off this caper. Adapting books into movies is hard enough but to adapt such literary dark comedy into Indian cinema is even harder. He has made everyone in this film act, and not just deliver their lines as seen in most Hindi movies these days.

I don't think the Indian audiences have seen something like this before. How many dark comedies are made here anyways? Coupled with concepts that most people would not relate to.

Priyanka Chopra has shown her acting prowess before. But in this movie she has really pushed herself. I think there are movies that show a person's acting talent and this movie really explores Priyanka's acting skills and does her justice. I think only she could have carried a role such as this. I would not like to pick apart her work, but the only thing in her acting that bothered me - was as she aged, even though the makeup did a great job of depicting her age, her mannerisms, speech showed no changed. She could get up easily even when she played a much older woman. But besides that Priyanka's work is definitely a 10/10.

Vivaan Shah who is a central character in the movie is fresh faced and fun to watch on screen. I really like the scene in which he laughs nervously at a funeral.

All the actors who played Susanna's husbands did a great job. The one that surprised me the most was Neil Nitin Mukesh. He outdid not only his contemporaries but also some of the senior actors in the movie. John Abraham has also played his role of a cocaine addicted, hedonistic, musician of a husband to his best. In an industry were most young established actors would consider such roles as career suicide, these two actors (John & Neil) have ventured out of their comfort zones to play such complex roles. So special kudos to them.

The other actors (Naseeruddin Shah, Annu Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Aleksandr Dyachenko) have all played their part well, some have more smaller parts than the others. Some of their exits not entirely justified by the plot. Among them one of the most challenging roles maybe the poet/pervert husband played by Irfan Khan, but then again few actors can do justice to a role like Irfan does.

I don't see this movie being a blockbuster but definitely a movie that will be talked about for a while. It may not bring in the big bucks but its definitely brought out the talent in this cast. The cinematography is superb especially the scenes captured in Kashmir, the ones through the carved wooden frames bringing in the right feel and atmosphere to the movie.

I think this movie will be for Vishal Bhardwaj what The Village was to M Night Shyamalan. Not everybody will get it but those who do will most certainly enjoy it!

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A Magical Dark Tale- Priyanka Chopra Deserves Best Actress Academy Awards

10/10
Author: ana curus from Hong Kong
21 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Vishal Bhardwaj does it again. The maverick filmmaker who has some of the most acclaimed movies to his name has once again woven magic with his latest blockbuster Saat Khoon Maaf. This time round the director shifts from his favourite Shakespeare (Omkara and Maqbool were based on Othello and Macbeth respectively) to India's veteran story teller Ruskin Bond. Based on a seven-page story called 'Susana's Seven Husbands' Saat Khoon Maaf presents Priyanka Chopra in a never before character.

Susanna (Priyanka Chopra) is a depressed woman. All she wants is love. But all she ends up with is weirdness, wickedness and bestiality in the form of her sundry husbands. Naturally then, there is only one option left for her to end her bitter ordeal. The very first shot, which explodes with a grimacing Priyanka pulling the trigger, the director draws you into this tale of passion and crime. All the death play takes place in semi-darkness: an almost outward pouring of an evil soul.

Vishal sticks to his style in almost all the frames. The entire film unfolds in shadows and silhoutes and sets the tone of the film. If you aren't looking for good old entertainment here, you are going to love this gripping story of crime and punishment which lays bare the innermost recesses of a tortured soul. Vishal never once slips and lets go of his hold on this intense study of grief and grime.

Priyanka may be a murderer, but is she evil? Like all good and realistic crime and passion plays, this one too showcases the protagonist as a woman with a purpose. She may have used poisonous snakes and mushrooms and loaded guns to do away with her husbands, but you don't really blame her.

Because Susanna carries the pain of every woman wronged: either by a two-timing husband, a wife-beating husband, a junkie husband, a murderous husband, a dictatorial husband, a sadistic husband, a husband who treats his wife as a sex object. And she simply does what she does to end her own anguish.

Priyanka Chopra gives a stellar performance. She essays the troubled Susanna with élan and almost manages to gain sympathy from the viewers each time she kills one of her husbands. You just can't help but feel bad for her. Amongst her husbands, it is Neil Nitin Mukesh who excels as the brutes. The music score (Gulzar and Vishal) is riveting too and boasts of the mesmerizing Darrrling number, amongst other tuneful songs.

A big thumbs up to Priyanka Chopra for taking the risk to portray such a dark character who is almost unapologetic about killing her husbands. The film has to be one of the biggest gamble that Priyanka played which has surely paid off!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A Dark Beautiful Eperience,A Gem

10/10
Author: prashant singh from India
21 February 2011

First things first. 7 Khoon Maaf is an intensely dark film which unfolds in shadows and silhouettes. So, if you aren't mistakenly looking for entertainment here, you are going to love this half-lit canvas of crime and punishment which lays bare the innermost recesses of a tortured soul. Vishal never once slips and lets go of his hold on this intense study of grief and grime. From the very first shot, which explodes with a grimacing Priyanka pulling the trigger on God-knows-who, the director inexorably draws you into this welter of passion and crime. All the death play takes place in semi-darkness: an almost outward pouring of an evil soul.

And this brings us to the second stirring note of 7 Khoon Maaf. The film is based on a seven-page story by Ruskin Bond. Vishal not only fleshes out the characters and adds immense details to the plot and the narration, he also balances the moral fulcrum at an interesting point. Priyanka may be a murderer, but is she evil? Never. Like all good and realistic crime and passion plays, this one too showcases the protagonist as a woman with a purpose. She may have used poisonous snakes and mushrooms and loaded guns to do away with her husbands, but you don't really blame her. Because somewhere through her dark and devious journey, Susanna carries the pain of every woman wronged: either by a two-timing husband, a wife-beating husband, a junkie husband, a murderous husband, a dictatorial husband, a sadistic husband, a husband who treats his wife as a sex object. The poor soul has no option but to end her anguish, any which way.

In terms of performances, 7 Khoon Maaf would undoubtedly end up as a milestone in Priyanka Chopra's career graph. The actor displays exquisite command over a complex character that is definitely a first in Indian cinema. She renders a subtle and restrained portrayal of a lonely and wronged woman who wanted love and only love from life. Amongst her husbands, it is Neil and Irrfan who excel as the brutes, even though it is hard to find fault with any of the characters in a Vishal Bhardwaj film. The music score (Gulzar and Vishal) is riveting too and boasts of the mesmerizing Darrrling number, amongst other tuneful songs. A word about the length: a bit of editing and tightening would make the experience more compelling.

Serious, sensitive and stirring, 7 Khoon Maaf is a whole new cinematic experience. Watch how Indian cinema is metamorphosing into something more substantial and glocal.

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Great movie if you crack it,and find the reason behind it being titled "Saat Khoon Maaf"!!!

9/10
Author: Vishal Mashelkar from Mumbai, India
18 February 2011

Its a great movie for mature audience!!!Vishal bharadwaj has done so much study into all the different stories,that every murder seems acceptable!!!Most of the audience, did'nt even get who the 7th khoon was!!And thats the best part,the answer is quiet easy,but yet it compels u to think who was it,at the end?She newer got love from her first 6 husbands,but the 7th was the last option she could turn to!!!Wait till the end to find the answer yourself!!Great direction and awesome cinematography!!!Something Different in Bollywood!!Keep it up Vishal Bharadwaj,looking forward for more such intense movies!!!Go for it!!!

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Susanna's tireless search for perfect happiness

8/10
Author: Peter Young from Earth
13 March 2011

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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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Priyanka great. Movie as a whole not so bad

7/10
Author: Anurag Kumar from India
19 February 2011

I went to watch 7 Khoon Maaf today. I had been waiting for this movie for quite some time. Based on the short-story by Ruskin Bond's short story "Susanna's Seven Husbands", starring Priyanka Chopra (as Susanna) was enough to get me excited. Susanna, who leaves behind a trail of dead husbands.

Movie was good, not great. But since it is not a clichéd overdone love stories it was fun to watch something different for a change. Before I go and tell you about what I didn't like about the movie, Priyanka Chopa has indeed done an amazing job as Susanna and that it premiered in 61st Berlin International Film Festival, which I think is a big deal.

First half hour of the movie, I was wondering if it was a bad joke. The nightmare of sitting through another "Whats your Rashee" was daunting. But as the movie progresses, it did turn into something amazing. Though I was never too engrossed in the movie or brooded for Susanna or her husbands, it was a good watch. Oh! And now I know what a black comedy is.

For all the moviegoers, I would say go watch it, it is watchable. For those who want something more, it is not worth it.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Dark Noir masterpiece of Bollywood genre

7/10
Author: s vashisht
19 February 2011

The movie Zooms from 1984 era to current day, from sepia to Eastman color to the current times, the viewers are spell bounded and with pin drop silence, waiting for the fate of Susanna's husband.

Like Sin City and other movies in related dark noir genre, 7KM will definitely stand out from all other contemporary Bollywood offerings. Kudos to Vishal Bharadwaj for marvelous cinematography and the equally apt music score which have kept the flow intact. Roles are also executed in perfection with great acting by all the Husbands,. From Neil Nitin Mukesh as general with a Dark side, John with a 80's hippie cum Rock star avatar, Irrfan in his usual best with eyes speaking more than his words, Aleksandr (Russian TV actor) with accented Hindi statements ( "MAIN TUMSE AMAR PREM KARTA HOON" usage in three different situations and moods shows the writer's situational understanding ), Anu Kapoor with all his 32 teeth intact and generously displayed, Naseer as Bangali Doctor (very less screen space) have all shown that the roles were thoroughly crafted for them. Usha Utthup and Vivaan Shah (Naseer's Son) were surprise packages and the later acted well throughout the movie (Though his makeup for the age of 40 plus was not very impressive). Now the Actor deserving a Standing ovation, after 12 different roles ( In Wats your Raashi), Priyanka has proved that she indeed is one of the most matured actors present in current bollywood era. Her character is shown with multifaceted shades, one moment you feel pit for her and the next you will hate her for what she just did. From bubbly 20 plus, enchantress at 30s, composite at 40, desperate at 50 and finally in salvation, she have swayed across the roles as a seasoned actress. Watch 7KM if you need to see and enjoy movies with a substance and the rating "A" given in the movie really means it.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Love kills, and murder and mayhem were never so much fun!

8/10
Author: (ilpintl)
19 February 2011

Scotland Yard's chief in the 1950s, G. H. Hatherill is said to have flippantly remarked, "There are only about 20 murders a year in London and many not at all serious - some are just husbands killing their wives." One wonders if this was the prevailing 1950s sentiment: wives were expendable, deserving of such dispatch, and replaceable. In 2011 we have an admirable gender reversal in the juicy Vishal Bhardwaj black comedy "7 Khoon Maaf", wherein Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes (embodied enthusiastically by Priyanka Chopra at her sultriest) displays a penchant for marrying and murdering her husbands as they prove unworthy of her.

Based on "Susanna's Seven Husbands", a short story by prolific Indo-Anglian writer Ruskin Bond, "7 Khoon Maaf" (literally "Seven Murders Forgiven") is cheerfully empathetic of Susanna's quandary: she enters into matrimony with every intention of loving, honoring, and cherishing her husbands until Death does them part, but what's a gal to do when the husband reveals himself to be an irredeemable lying, cheating, thieving, duplicitous cad? Why, off him, of course, is the pragmatic solution, arrived at after a decent amount of soul-searching.

I reveled in this sophisticated wickedly funny take on resolving marital crises, and I'm deeply grateful to Vishal Bhardwaj for such a delicious film experience. Can you believe it? Three excellent Hindi films in two months: "No One Killed Jessica", "Dhobi Ghat", and now, "7 Khoon Maaf" – this is rapidly making up for the Hindi film industry's gag-inducing output of 2010.

Susanna is orphaned, prodigiously wealthy, blessed with tawny sex appeal and a wardrobe that tastefully showcases her lovely bosom and long legs. Her daddy left her a vast estate in picturesque post-colonial Coorg, a stable full of prize-winning race horses, and, most importantly, three loyal to the death retainers. These three—a Muslim butler, a large and loving housekeeper Maggie Auntie, and a mute pint-sized jockey Goonga—run her household and estate with dazzling efficiency. But their special genius lies in vermin extermination as evidenced whenever Susanna's husband du jour proves to be inconvenient or in any way unsuitable.

Around the time Susanna is being wooed by Husband No.1, a dashing army captain, Goonga the mute jockey adopts an orphan boy, who earns his keep doing odd jobs. Susanna, smitten by the lad's smarts, daring, and general adorability, decides he should attend school. More than any of her husbands, he turns out to be the love of her life, and it is he who narrates the story of Susanna's many marital mishaps, and final undoing. The boy, Arun, goes from wide-eyed naïf who idolizes Susanna (quite literally – he prays daily to her photograph concealed behind one of that other fierce goddess of the Hindu pantheon, Durga) to a bespectacled forty-five year-old husband, father, and practitioner of forensic medicine who gives evidence that Susanna, after being widowed so very many times, is herself finally dead. Or is she?

Arun is a plum role, spanning a large dramatic arc, for the character goes from harboring an ardent schoolboy crush and aspiring to marry Susanna to appreciating the generosity of his benefactress, but not being blind to her rather deadly faults. Susanna's interest in him traverses from the maternal, initially, to playfully flirtatious to—over the years—seriously weighing his potential as a love/lust object. It's a relationship calling for delicacy in depiction, and it's handled exquisitely by director Bhardwaj, Priyanka Chopra, and wonderful first-time actor Vivaan Shah.

Shah, all of 21 and about to graduate with an Arts degree, is the younger son of acting stalwarts Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak. Vivaan projects a maturity beyond his years, besides possessing good looks, and an ingratiating screen presence. First, as the orphan relying on wits and winsomeness to get by in the world, and later as the conflicted husband compelled to reveal his most intriguing past to his wife, Vivaan negotiates his way with aplomb, never letting on once this daunting role is his first. Not every newcomer gets to romance—right off the bat—two of India's most beguiling actresses: Vivaan is paired with both Priyanka Chopra and Konkana Sen Sharma.

Any film that deals with so many marriages must have a frank approach to sex, and director Bhardwaj includes many bawdy and sometimes very funny sex scenes between Susanna and her many husbands. Susanna recognizes her sexual hold on men; she reinvents herself seven times into each husband's ultimate dream woman. The seven deadly sins manifest in one form or other in the husbands, and the romance and sex vary accordingly, ranging from Gothic gruesomeness with husband no. 1, to rock star boisterousness with husband no. 2, to cruelly violent with another, to risibly randy with a goatish older intelligence officer, to exotically charming and multilingual with a debonair Russian suitor.

Priyanka Chopra gives a nuanced, knowing, and unabashedly sexy performance as Susanna. Her dusky sensuality has never before been so effectively deployed in service of a character, but she wouldn't be as sexy if she weren't so smart. Chopra lets us see Susanna's intelligence—the biggest turn-on. Susanna is always a step ahead of her hapless husbands. Pitiful and weak, they clearly do not merit so much woman, so her homicidal instincts are almost laudable.

The husbands do a fine job, and Vishal Bhardwaj has assembled a terrific cast of lovers for Ms. Chopra to lock horns with. Neil Nitin Mukesh impresses as the bullying gimp, as do Irrfan Khan, Annu Kapoor, and Aleksandr Dyachenko. John Abraham camps it up as an Axl Rose-kind of head-banger, kitted out in stringy blond wig and kilt, while Naseeruddin Shah mixes seduction with menace as the husband Susanna encounters late in life.

Usha Uthup and the two actors playing Susanna's trio of accomplices were simply marvelous, and I couldn't wait to discover how each new disappointment of a husband would meet his demise. Love kills, indeed, and murder and mayhem were never so much fun!

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