Sinc Sound, smart editing chops, an ensemble of top stars, a semblance of artistic aspirations reveling in one big wedding party doesn't necessarily make a good film. The mammoth hype (unceremoniously bordering on gorgeous arrogance) that preceded 'Salaam-e-ishq' is up against a big boulder of discontent once this three and a half hour ( suspect it was even longer than that) ends on a tortuous note. In fact, Nikhil Advani's debut 'Kal Ho Na Ho' seems like a classic in front of this never ending valentine's day opera.
I really wonder what hit the director (or the producers to invest big bucks in such a spoiler) when he went ahead with making this film about the disparate love stories of six couples living in precarious situations and locations. It starts off with Tehzeeb Hussain (Vidya Balan), a television reporter and doting video editor hubby Ashutosh's (John Abraham) wedding anniversary. Their true love is tested when Tehzeeb meets with an untimely accident and loses her memory. Raju Taxiwala (Govinda) is over-the-hill but he is sure that a gori mem is meant for him. Enter Stephenie (Shanon Esra), a pretty blonde in search of her Indian boyfriend Rohit (Kushal Punjabi). Of course, Raju subdues his love to ensure that "Madam" finds her 'true' love even if involves going on a Bharat Darshan.
Haryanvi Ramdayal (Sohail Khan) is unable to control his lascivious intents. For the moment he comes in the vicinity of wife Phoolwati (Isha Koppikar) he gets too-hot-to-handle resulting in forced calamities of uncouth nature. Middle aged Vinay Malhotra (Anil Kapoor) runs an event management company in UK leading a perfect (Bored) life with wife Seema (Juhi Chawla) and two kids. He crushes into a young Indian dancer Anjali (Anjana Sukhani) on the London local train. And their crush germinates in revived ebullience and dollar smiles. It's for them that Sir Shakespeare wrote four hundred years ago....So true a fool is love...Never mind....Are you panting already....Just two more to go...
Well, there's commitment-phobia-prone Shiven (Akshay Khanna) who is having a ball in a bachelor's party a few days before his marriage with sensible Gia (Ayesha Takia). He lives in a chandelier house with weird paintings on palace-like-walls. And the item girl performing on the later-Page-3 famous night happens to be super-ambitious Kamini (Priyanka Chopra) who goes 'Saiyaan Re' in an unhesitating manner. She is a superstar item number specialist but she aims to becoming a superstar tragedy queen like Meena Kumari and Madhubala. In a la Rakhi Sawant style she calls for a press conference. Out pops lover boy Rahul in whose search she is off to London. Blissfully unawares, she is joined by Raul (Salman Khan, yes he pronounces Rahul like that only....Maybe on a famous footballer), her long lost lover (one sided) from home town Dehradun. His master plan is to create more publicity for Kamini babe in lieu of some money.
Throw in hits-n-misses soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and 'Salaam-e-ishq' is a tasteless bhelpuri that makes you feel like tearing off your hair (I don't have many anyways....Just imagine my plight). Alright, lemme start with a few good points. I just mentioned the music. At least three songs are absolute gems: 'Dil Kya Kare' (deliriously sung by Adnan Sami), 'Ya Rabba' (exceptionally sung by Kailash Kher) and the remix of 'Babuji Dheere Chalna' (sensuously sung by newcomer Nihira). In fact the delectable moves of Anjana Sukhani in the Babuji number are sensational to say the least. In fact Anil Kapoor track is the best amongst all.
The older man and younger damsel chemistry oozes out beautifully. Credit goes to Ani