In the opening scene of 1999 hit movie 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' ('HDDCS') we catch the heroine engaged in a boisterous game, giving us idea about her temperament.
And it emerges that she's playful, hot-tempered, outspoken and a little spoilt. That was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Nandini played by Aishwarya Rai.
Cut to present day Bhansali's TV soap Saraswatichandra's promo where the female lead Jennifer Winget runs bare footed in the white desert of Bhuj wearing a flowing white Indian attire very similar to what Ash wore in 'Hum Dil De...'..
The character Kumud Sundari is celebrating Holi with her family, merrymaking and playfully teasing everyone around; somehow creating Aishwarya Rai flashback in your mind.
Aishwarya’s costumes throughout 'HDDCS' showcased traditional-wear in a contemporary way. Her character reflects the values and customs of Gujurat.
By now we shouldn't be surprised that Kumud's character replicates that of Ash's in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' to the point where she also gets a tattoo done on her neck.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Aishwarya Rai hangover is evident. One look of the TV serial it is very obvious that the ace producer has re-created 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'.
'Saraswatichandra', based on a popular Gujarati novel with the same name, is actually a story of unrequited love but the mordernized version that Bhansali tries to depict in his soap is more like a small screen adaptation of the 1999 release.
The sorrowful expression of male lead Saras, coupled with the conflicting issues between him and Kumud, often remind one of the conflicts between childhood lovers, Dev and Paro in 'Devdas’ - another Sanjay Bhansali movie.
However, the kite festival, and other jolly good merry making will take you back down the memory lane of Aishwarya and Salman starrer ‘HDDCS’.
Though the pace seems to be a challenge at times, the audience still remains glued with the slow motion of the characters. There is an expectation to witness an epic romantic alliance on silver screen.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali never lets the serial lose its unmistakable grandiose giving it a Bollywood feel.
Between lavish, traditional dance numbers and extravagant gilded sets, Saraswatichandra's visual look evokes just as much emotion and classic Indian spirit as in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'.
Kumud walks, talks like Aishwarya, has been dolled-up like Ash, might as well have taken the Bollywood actress rather than imposing her mannerisms on someone else!
Bhansali is trying to re-create the magic of Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan with his small screen couple Jennifer Winget and Gautam Rode.
We hope Bhansali's replica on TV reaps the same profit as his melodrama 'Devdas' or 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'.