Starring: Shahid Kapoor & Amrita Rao
Director: Sooraj Barjatya
At a time when unconventional cinema is doing the rounds in Bollywood, one man dares to be different. At a time when the belief in the power of love and hope are lessening, one man dares to revive it. Who better to take on such a daring task than Sooraj R. Barjatya. After watching ‘Vivah’, one can even forgive the filmmaker for the disastrous ‘Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon’. The director is back in complete form as he revisits his familiar forte in filmmaking, that of a sugary sweet family entertainer. Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao make the new Barjatya couple with a supporting cast consisting of Alok Nath, Anupam Kher, Sameer Soni and Seema Biswas.
The movie takes the audience through a journey from engagement to marriage of a young couple, Poonam (Amrita) and Prem (Shahid). Poonam, an orphan, lives with her Chachi and her younger cousin, Choti, in a small town called Madhupur. Her Chachi’s dislike for Poonam has not affected the love and respect Poonam shows to her elders, hoping that one day it will also win over her Chachi. On the other hand, Prem is the youngest son of one of Delhi’s most prominent businessman. He is a young man who even after having studied abroad, has not lost touch with his family traditions and values. He has a loving family consisting of his Bhaiya, Bhabhi and little nephew. Regardless of his apprehension with arranged marriage, Prem bows down to his father’s wishes and agrees to meet Poonam. Coming from two very different worlds, Poonam and Prem still finds something that strongly binds them together and in each other, discover the life-long partner they have been waiting for. Rings are exchanged, dates are fixed and wedding preparations are on in full force until fate takes its course.
The script is sweet and simple, just what we expect from Sooraj Barjatya. The first half is a bit slow but it consists of light-hearted and romantic moments that will be loved by many but it is the post-interval drama that is sure to strike a cord in the heart of audiences. The concluding scenes of the movie are heart-warming and sure to bring out tears of joy. Sooraj Barjatya is truly the master of effortless filmmaking. ‘Vivah’ is the kind of movie that we hope for from Sooraj Barjatya. His understanding of the importance of genres such as family values, traditions, culture, drama, love and romance and his ability to beautifully weave it all into an art form such as a movie is simply outstanding. A Rajshri movie, more specifically a Sooraj Barjatya movie clearly has its own standing in Bollywood and so it should.
Ravinder Jain’s music is very pass? to say the least. Upon hearing the album, the songs do not leave any such impact on the listener. However, the songs have been placed very effectively throughout the narrative and it helped to move the story forward. As one watches the movie and listens to the songs, they will surely appreciate the simplicity of the lyrics and musical arrangements.
The year, 2006, has definitely been a good year for Shahid Kapoor. With each release from ‘36 China Town’ to ‘Chup Chup Ke’ and now ‘Vivah’, the young actor has shown his diversity through each role he portrays. The character of Prem is more like a Barjatya brand that has been passed onto some talented artists and having Shahid don the brand is indeed a delight. He is sweet, he is delicate yet his maturity is undeniable. The climax scenes are worth mentioning as the actor displays an array of emotions that just leaves one at awe. Amrita Rao plays her part with great ?lan. If Shahid was a delight as Prem then Amrita was adoring as Poonam. She was the perfect casting as a seedhi saadhi young Indian woman who is very aware of her culture yet is very strong willed and independent. Amrita has finally been credited with a role that allowed her to display her abilities as one of today’s top young talents in Bollywood. Her simplicity as a person showed her inner and outer beauty. Amrita’s ability to show the sensibility and maturity in her character was exceptional. Undeniably, one of the great aspects of this movie was the perfect pairing of the lead couple. Amrita and Shahid’s performance as a pair is simply wonderful to watch and one wishes to see more of this pair in the future. The supporting cast plays their part with perfection and does full justice to their roles.
In all, ‘Vivah’ is a sincere movie from Sooraj Barjatya; a true Rajshri offering from beginning to the end. It has a heart-warming narrative that displays a rainbow of emotions. It brings together a great group of talented artists who are a delight to watch. It gives the audience the much needed break from the struggles of reality and allows them to escape into a time when everything and everyone was truly good in every sense of the word. The movie awakens the belief that hope should not be lost at a time of uncertainty. If you are a person who enjoys family entertainers then this movie is definitely made for you. It can be guaranteed that you will leave the movie theatre with nothing but a smile on your face and that’s the Rajshri magic.