The Great Indian Wedding is back. And it's packaged in wholesome courses. Lots of good people, lots of traditional bonding, elaborate ceremonies, feel-good romance, scenic Indian interiors and how can a wedding be complete without a fair amount of teary eyes. Sooraj Barjatya's 'Vivah' is an ideal recipe for diabetes with a sweet-tooth script and handle-with-soft-gloves treatment meted out to this journey from engagement to marriage. But the belief, sincerity and conviction that he displays in Indian traditions, and the nascent charm of lead-pair of Shahid Kapoor-Amrita Rao melts your heart and you end up humming Ravindra Jain's melody....Mujhe Haq Hai...With a smile.
The maker of super hit family entertainers makes amends for the outlandish boldness of his last outing 'Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon'. For 'Vivah' transports you back to the jubilee days of 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'. Or, in other words, Sooraj is back to his roots. And he is in control. Whether it will attain the same kind of success remains to be seen but this much is for sure that with the marriage season about to begin coupled with a touching storyline, there's every possibility of 'Vivah' hitting the bull's eye at the Box Office.
Lemme begin with a few vignettes from the film. Firstly, there's no point in searching for realism out here. You have to look at it from the context that the film is set in (You don't have an option anyways dude) where Ram Rajya prevails. Prem (Shahid Kapoor) respects his father, rich businessman Harishchandra (Anupam Kher) while Poonam (Amrita Rao) is the prized possession of her chachaji Krishnakanth (Alok Nath) coming from an humble background. He is a city bred boy from Delhi while she is a homely girl from Madhupur near Mathura. Their love germinates after their engagement at her simple North Indian house. Poonam cares for him becoming his inspiration to become someone on his own. Prem reciprocates her love in a touching moment in the later part of the film and it's worth a gulp in your throat and handkerchief-friendly-moist-eyes.
If you are tired of superficiality of Ekta Kapoor's festival dance dramas on idiot box then the elaborate ornamentations, lavish preparation for wedding, the jalebis of North India, spicy eatables and designer costumes of 'Vivah' will be a welcome change. But there's something more in this family drama that will be difficult for Balaji brand to emulate. There's a lot of purity and compassion in the relationship shared by Prem and Poonam. It's not a put-on. The comfort level shared by the two actors is fantastic and it reflects in their tantalizing chemistry on screen.
Shahid Kapoor as new age Prem is a welcome departure from Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan's brand of Prem. He is subtle, simple, willing-to-learn and deft in handling emotional situations with a competent ease. The maturity displayed by him in the climax scene reflects the kind of person he is. It can very well be a turning point in his career. But the one who is going to benefit the most from 'Vivah' is the girl-next-door Amrita Rao who seems perfect to play Poonam. She looks gorgeously simple, pious, humble, dedicated and down to earth. She too handles the emotional content of her character with well-manicured-dexterity. Sooraj Barjatya brings out the best from Alok Nath for he performs brilliantly in all his films. Anupam Kher doesn't have any extraordinary scenes to portray while Seema Biswas as the jealous, smirking chaachi ji internalizes her complexes well.
Ravindra Jain's music sounded ordinary while listening to it on the audio cd but almost all the songs are situation based and they successfully take the story forward in a musical format. Only one song 'Mujhe Haq Hai' is a lip sync number while all the othe