‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ Movie Review


Prem is Back…

The hit combo of Sooraj& Salman is back after a hiatus of 16 years. Will they recreate their magic is not the question on people’s mind. How great will the magic be, that is the question.

Set in the northern part of the country, our local Raam-Leela dramatist, Prem (Salman) goes to wish his dream girl Princess Maithali (Sonam), only to realise that she is on her way to the kingdom of Pritampur, for the coronation of the heir prince and her fiancé, Prince Vijay. So off goes Prembhaiyaa along with his confidante Kanhaiyya (Deepak).

Prince Vijay (Salman) has his family of woes in the form of his step brother Ajay (Neil), step sisters Chandrika (Swara) and little sister. Also his secretary Samaira, always in sexy chiffon and estate CEO Chirag (Armaan). The only 2 loyalists seem to be the bachelors, Dewan (Anupam) and Sanjay (DeepRaj).

This is a typical SoorajBarjatya film. Means it is a musical. No, there is no antakshri here, but every situation has a song. The grandeur of the film, is sure to make you feel that you watching a Dharma Productions’ film, but on a much larger scale.

Music, which always plays an integral part of Sooraj’s movies, here is by Himesh and to a great extent decent. Some songs are great, but the rest play along well with the flow of the movie, just like all his movies. But yes, it does lack the charm and hence definitely the success of his previous movies.

If you go to see, what the film lacks is a crisper editing by Sanjay Sankla, which makes the second half too stretched and therefore heavy to bear. The lack of samosas at Inox, Nariman point made the ordeal only greater. (Inox definitely needs to have a look at their food counters.)

Forget realism, no one is looking for that here, but in terms of characterisation, the supporting cast lacks depth and logic. So whilst Swara gets an opportune moment to shine, poor Neil is relegated to the sidelines with a half baked logic as his grouse. The character of Kanhaiyya has more prominence in the film in terms of screen time and impact. Sad. Even the fact that the Prince though shown remorseful at the fate of his relationship with his half siblings, actually does nothing about it.

Also, Barjatya is used to having Bindu, KalpanaIyeretc. mainly females, as the lead negative characters of his movies, besides MohnishBehl of Maine PyaarKiya, which was a quarter century ago. Hence, I feel they did not know how to handle ArmaanKohli’s character, leading to a rather illogical and weak climax. Which was again too stretched. Even the end is too pat.

Now having said that, the film definitely has its strong points. The first half is brilliant, in terms of screenplay and story. The camaraderie between AnupamKher, Deep Raj Rana, Deepak Dobriyal and Salman is commendable. Yes, one does miss the Rajshri regulars of Satish Shah, Ajit Vachchani etc. but I guess they didn’t have an opportunity here. But if Sooraj wanted, they could have easily been the school principal or the local municipal administrator who owes their allegiance to the royal family types.

In terms of performances, Sonam Kapoor is grace personified. For that quality alone, she stands out in her role as the princess. But when it comes to acting, especially in the romantic or emotional moments, she loses steam. Her character could have been easily played by a Katrina (had she still been in the good books) or a Jacqueline etc., faces that are supposed to look good and classy. But yes, Sonam does look the character no doubt.

Sanjay Mishra in his cameo is cute. SwaraBhasker stands out as the step sister. Unfortunately Neil Nitin Mukesh doesn’t get much opportunity to display any emotions, so leaves one wonting.

ArmaanKohli, definitely does a great job as the official negative character.

Deepak Dobriyal is first rate once again. Deep Raj Rana gives a commendable performance. He not only looks the character but sort of lives it throughout. AnupamKher is his usual self and excels at it too.

Salman Khan is going through his golden period. He yet again proves that when given a director whom he is comfortable with, he can deliver a heart-warming, first rate performance. So after Kabir’sBajrangi, this is another feather in his hat for his effervescent performance as Prince Vijay and Prem Dilwala. From the time he enters the screen after 07 minutes of running time, in this 174 minute film, he is there throughout and that is no small feat. To keep the screen alive with either his dance moves or facial expressions, or simply tearing his sleeves to play football. This is a Salman vehicle all the way and yet again, he lives it up for his audiences.

So, what are you waiting for, it is almost after 2 decades that this hit director / actor pair is coming together, imagine, the last time they did, there were no multiplexes, cell phones were expensive, people were still talking about Y2K being a threat and used landlines as the main mode of communication. There was no KBC or Balaji’s serial brigade, there wasn’t any TV boom either.  To keep up with today’s US TV centric audience, don’t miss out the desi band playing the Game of Thrones’ title sequence.

It is a SoorajBarjatya / Salman Khan reunion, so it has to be Sooraj Salman DhanPaayo…..

RATING : 3.5 / 5

By: Yusuf Poonawala