Friday, 13 November 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo :: Movie Review

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo helmed by Sooraj Barjatya carries forward the legacy of Rajshri films "unambiguous & unwavering" commitment of making clean family entertainers imbibed with values, traditions and love for one's family. It would be pertinent to mention here that I've watched 2 back to back movies which deal with the issue of dysfunctional family. The last Hindi movie that I saw and reviewed was Kanu Behl's Titli whose premise also revolved around a dysfunctional family albeit in a ruthless and realistic manner and the plot of PRDP also is centered around a dysfunctional family. Ironically, watching both of these movies is not everyone's cup of tea albeit for different reasons. While Titli couldn't find resonance with family crowds because of its raw & ruthless treatment, PRDP might find it difficult to strike a chord with today's young generation because of its sugar coated treatment and melodrama. But, one major factor that could tilt the crowds in favor of PRDP is its lead actor Salman Khan. It is the star power and charisma of Salman Khan that makes PRDP sail through smoothly despite its predictable and age-old plot-line. Rajshri films is a banner whose name is synonymous with making family sagas. And, Sooraj Barjatya's directorial debut 'Maine Pyar Kiya' featuring Salman Khan as the main lead Prem struck gold at the box office. Sooraj's subsequent films with Salman Khan made him retain his name as Prem and presented him as a well behaved, Agyakaari child. PRDP brings back the formidable duo of Salman & Sooraj back together after a gap of 15 years. In PRDP, though, Salman Khan retains his name as well as good traits but also displays his own trademark style of dancing, comedy which might work hugely in favor of the film. So, in a way Sooraj Barjatya despite of sticking to the cliched storyline has evolved with time as far as characterization of Salman Khan is concerned and has given him the cinematic liberty to perform his jovial antics on-screen. PRDP is undoubtedly the most extravagant film that Sooraj has ever made with larger than life sets, lavish costumes and extravagant art direction, making PRDP visually appealing & huge in its grandeur. Sooraj Barjatya's films have always been about family ties and how families sail through turbulent times together. For the audience who like to watch films laden with values & traditions, PRDP is the perfect movie to watch. It's not that PRDP is a perfect film as it has its share of flaws too. Over-dramatic sequences, too many songs, run-time of 174 minutes are some of the glitches in the movie. But, Salman Khan coupled with belief in family ties imbibed in the storyline overrides these glitches and make PRDP, a clean family entertainer. PRDP comes like a whiff of fresh air amongst today's films that are laden with violence, item numbers or crude(obscene jokes).       

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                           ::            The story as well as screenplay of the movie has been penned down by Sooraj Barjatya where as the dialogues of the movie have been written by Aash Karan Atal. Though, Sooraj has been successful at delivering clean content as far as writing is concerned but PRDP lacks in etching out characters. All of Sooraj's earlier flicks had a collage of family characters be it in form of Babuji, Bua, Mausaji and others which is missing in PRDP. This time he has centered the entire plot around Prem, maybe realizing the present day box office pull of Salman Khan.  Also, the pre climax scenes of the movie are a big let down as the characters of antagonists have not been etched out properly.  The film begins in Ayodhya where we are introduced with Prem Dilwala (Salman Khan) who is a happy-go-lucky guy and performs for Ram Leela shows. He has a bosom pal Kanhaiya (Deepak Dobriyal) who enacts the role of Sita in Ram Leela. Prem is infatuated with Princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor) who runs a NGO by the name of Uphaar Foundation. Prem donates his earnings to her NGO and desires to meet her. When he comes to know that she is coming to Pritampur, a close by town, for the coronation of her fiancee Prince Vijay Singh (Salman Khan), he decides to travel to Pritampur to meet her. Meanwhile, in Pritampur, Prince Vijay Singh is going through strenuous times as not only his step sisters Chandrika (Swara Bhaskar) and Radhika are having strained relations with him but his younger brother Ajay Singh (Neil Nitin Mukesh) harbors grudges over him. Vijay Singh has two trusted lieutenants in the form of Diwan Sahab (Anupam Kher) and Security chief (DeepRaj Rana). Before coronation ceremony, Ajay Singh along with CEO of their estate (Armaan Kohli) plots an attack to kill Vijay Singh. Timely intervention by Diwan Sahab saves Vijay's life but he is taken to an isolated place for treatment so as to save him from any further attacks. Deepraj Rana meets Prem at a local market and he is made to act as Vijay Singh to bluff his opponents who are after Vijay's life. Prem not only falls in for Princess Maithili but also tries his level best to clear all the misunderstandings between the royal family. Will Prem be able to re-unite the royal family, Will Maithili get married to Vijay Singh or Prem is what forms the rest of the story.

STARCAST                                                                   ::         It's double the delight for Salman Khan fans as they get to see him portray double role in the movie. Salman Khan is truly the heart & soul of this film as you can't imagine any other actor portraying the character of Prem in more effective manner. Though, both the characters that he portrays in the film are quite diverse in term of characteristics but to Salman's credit, he has carried off both the parts with equal ease. It is his portrayal of Prem Dilwala that is bound to win him lots of laurels. As Prem who is funny and emotional, Salman has simply nailed it. Salman Khan has carried off this movie on his shoulders right from the first to last frame. Sonam Kapoor not only looks ravishing as Princess Maithili but has also enacted her part with supreme confidence. She has delivered an earnest performance and carries her part effortlessly. Anupam Kher once again proves his acting prowess with his effective portrayal as Diwan Sahab in PRDP. His character's concerns as well as worries for the Prince were so genuinely reflected on-screen by Anupam Kher. Anupam's frequent banters with Prem lend several plausible moments to the film. Deepak Dobriyal continues with his streak of winning hearts after TWMR. Deepak once again manages to tickle your funny bones with his impeccable comic timing. Deepak's camaraderie with Salman has turned out to be really good in the movie. Neil Nitin Mukesh literally looks like a royal Prince in the movie. He has given his best to portray the character and it's a treat watching him as the Prince in the movie. Swara Bhaskar has portrayed the character of Vijay's estranged sister with utmost conviction. Swara is one actress who always manages to leave a lasting impression with her performance. Armaan Kohli who has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus has stood his ground firmly in PRDP. As the principle antagonist of the movie, Armaan breathes fire unto his character.  Amongst the ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been delivered by Deepraj Rana, Monoj Joshi and Sanjay Mishra.
TECHNICAL FINESSE                                              ::               The musical soundtrack that has been composed by Himesh Reshammiya is in stark contrast to Himesh's previous soundtracks. Its a typical Sooraj Barjatya kind of soundtrack which will make you reminiscent of 90's, is melodious and has couple of chart-buster tracks in it. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the movie must to go its cinematographer i.e. Manikandan who has done a swell job at capturing visuals. His well captured vistas are soaked in grandeur. Manikandan has ably captured the varied, pulsating emotions of the characters and documented them in well captured frames without distracting from the story or its telling. A special mention of Nitin Chandrakant Desai (Production Designer) and Alvira Khan, Ashley Rebello (Costume Designers) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Sanjay Sankla who has kept the run-time of the movie at 174 minutes. Editing is one department where the movie suffers as the run-time of the movie could have been trimmed. If some melodramatic scenes would have been trimmed and couple of songs done away with, PRDP would have been more engaging. As a director, Sooraj Barjatya scores full brownie points when it comes to delivering a grand film. Right from the lavish sets to the production design, everything is bang-on when it comes to portraying Royalty.  The biggest strength of the film is its simplicity while displaying the conflicts as well as bonding in the family. Kudos to Sooraj for believing and making such a film in 2015. Had he trimmed down some portions of the movie and reduced the run-time, this family drama would have made more impact.

CONCLUSION                                                               ::             Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is a family drama by Rajshri Films for family audiences who like to watch clean movies replete with emotional content. Others, Watch it for Salman Khan.  

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