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Vivah (Parinayam) – A Journey From Engagement To Marriage … March 3, 2007

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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Whether you like his films or not, Sooraj Barjatya’s movies aren’t consciously designed to milk the audiences’ emotions and bring them to tears. He only tries to stay true to the idealistic characters that he creates as part of his too-good-to-be-true world. This movie is no different.

As the tagline suggests, this is the journey of a couple from engagement to marriage (the arranged variety obviously) and is based on an incident reported in the newspaper. As with most arranged marriages where there is a gap between engagement and marriage, this couple also start talking with increasing frequency, begin to care for each other and finally fall (or feel) in love. An incident towards the end confirms that this is really love and not infatuation.

Amrita Rao is good. Her sachhi-desi-girl-next-door looks make her an ideal choice for the role and her performance doesn’t let her down. Shahid Kapoor does fine but Salman Khan was much better in a similar subdued role in Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain. Since Salman is too old for this role and so are younger actors like Hrithik and Abhishek, Shahid is the only choice. That Shahid and Amrita pair well is widely accepted and this movie makes that notion stronger. Barjatya’s usual suspects Alok Nath and Anupam Kher are present alongwith some newer additions like Seema Biswas (who portrays the only gray character in the film and Barjatya makes sure you can’t bring yourself to hate her either). Sameer Soni and Lata Sabharwal are nice as Shahid’s brother and sister-in-law.

After a misfire with Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon (where he tried to appeal to the youngsters), Sooraj is back to the style that made him a success. Though this film cannot be compared to his big hits like Hum Aapke Hain Koun, it isn’t a bad one. It is another matter that it appeals only to a certain part of the audience. That his movies aren’t realistic is a foregone conclusion. Any viewers who are expecting a realistic film are only fooling themselves.

Sooraj develops the love between the couple subtly and slowly as is the wont of those characters. The familiarity in terms of characters, dialogue and situations (like meeting on the chhat and so on) may work negatively. The humor is missing for most part and the subtle romantic moments might not hold the interest of many (the pace may seem lethargic to those expecting entertainment). The celebrations, song and dance are sorely missed but the subdued characters don’t allow for such excesses.

The soundtrack is very old school and most of the songs are unappealing. Arrangements aren’t great either. Jaane Kya Woh Keh Gayi which plays in the background for a short time is good and Hamari Shaadi is catchy while Mujhe Haq Hain is passable. Maybe Sooraj couldn’t say no to the below average tunes due to the respect for elderly composer Ravindra Jain. Background score by Anup Dev is poor for most part. Among other drawbacks, the make up is overdone at times for Amrita Rao and is uneven for the Amrita Prakash (Tum Bin), who plays her sister.

I wouldn’t want to marry a girl after meeting her for a few minutes but the system is still in existence and that gives it the identifiability for many. Those brought up in a metropolitan city might feel that the characters are from a few decades back but that isn’t entirely true. That is the reason this film holds an appeal for a part of the audience and its success is not totally undeserved. Watch this only if you believe that you can enjoy Sooraj Barjatya’s world.

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