Prem Ratan Dhan Payo review: We don’t need the unbelievably thin script to tell us that the pauper will provide life lessons to said ‘bhai’, ‘behen’, faithful factotum, and toss out pro-tips to his look-alike to win over the ‘rajkumari’.
In 1989, ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ released. Coming from the Rajshris, a production house that prided itself on being low key, the film’s impact was cataclysmic. Bollywood discovered a new hero. Salman Khan found his most durable role in Prem, who took his `dulhaniya’ away much before Raj. And debutant director Sooraj Barjatya found his métier, and mind-blowing box office success.
From then on, Salman Bhai has essentially been parlaying Prem, or a variant of it, and has done best when he plays that guy with equal parts brawn-and-heart. And Sooraj Barjatya has essentially made the same film since, or a variant of it : in his universe, which essentially consists of a large Hindu joint family, the sons are `agyakari baalaks’, the male elders are benevolent despots, the women cook and serve, the men are pandered to, and pigeons and poodles are romantic accessories.
‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’, also heavily colour-coded via the Ramayan, draws heavily from Barjatya’s previous work, with one glaring cosmetic difference : he sets it not in homes that people like you and me live in, or relate to, but in a grand palace. We get not one but two Salmans for the price of one : a commoner called Prem Dilwale ( a play on SRK’s next, also called ‘Dilwale’?), and a prince called Vijay. They are identical looking, so you know where this is going from the get go : out pop the evil step brothers and deluded step sisters, faithful foot-soldiers, a pretty princess, a dastardly plot, and tada, there’s your switcheroo. (Click here to watch fans reactions to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’)
We don’t need the unbelievably thin script to tell us that the pauper will provide life lessons to said `bhai’ ( Neil Nitin), `behens’ (Swara Bhaskar and Bhatia ), faithful factotum (Anupam Kher), and toss out pro-tips to his look-alike to win over the ‘rajkumari’ (Sonam Kapoor). Barjatya’s canvas has been the unhurried interplay between families and their zillion ‘rishtedaars’, and the gentle, chaperoned, approved ‘nonk-jhonk’ between lovers. And even though I sometimes still find it difficult to believe that a ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ swept the nation in 1994 ( yeah, we know, we know it came at the right time and captured an audience heartily sick of the vulgarity and violence that Hindi cinema of the time had fallen prey to), Sooraj Barjatya rescued his films from becoming maudlin messes with his gift of creating unexpected flashes of sweetness and emotional hooks.
‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ begins well, with Salman being set up as a playful Ram ‘bhakt’ ( again, after ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’) and Deepak Dobriyal playing the hero’s-best-friend (remember Laxmikant Berde in ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’?). A retro Ramayan is being enacted, with men playing female parts, and you settle down for some fun. But this extended interlude is the only thing in this with any zing: the rest of it plays out as an out-dated, overblown rehash of the director’s own films ( including ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ which I am guiltily fond of) embedded in an outlandish, improbable plot. ‘Samdhijis’ and ‘mamajis’ and ‘mausijis’ in a Barjatya film are par for the course, but a king and a consort and blinding bling and a glittering glass palace? Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, where are you?
There’s always room, you suppose, for yet another re-imagining of the Ramayan, and its million stories. Especially if it has Salman Khan, after all these years of practice, sliding effortlessly into being Prem, and lifting the film as much as he can, even managing quite miraculously not to giggle when his lissome, lovely co-star, laden in tasteful zardozi and industrial weight polka diamonds, hands him a feather, very ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ style, in between her other clothes-horsing and jiggle-jaggling. (PICS: Salman Khan at Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor’s Diwali party)cbd for pets free pets in adopt me precious pets hunter pets types of tortoise pets craigslist vt pets best lizard pets craigslist monterey pets craigslist pets for sale robot pets people pets flying with pets precious pets gold country craigslist pets craigslist pets ri disney princess palace pets among us pets royal pets couch covers for pets life of pets pets unlimited how long do rabbits live as pets columbia mo craigslist pets tropical world pets songs about pets how to get free adopt me pets wonder pets dailymotion fancy pets hedgehogs as pets dc super pets list of pets viagen pets huggle pets homegrown pets ebay adopt me pets lost and found pets of the midsouth adopt me pets drawing hampton roads craigslist pets omg pets hypoallergenic pets are guinea pigs good pets craigslist iowa pets aqua pets craigslist colorado pets ithaca craigslist pets secret life of pets characters craigslist syracuse pets chinchillas as pets brownsville craigslist pets little live pets turtle adoption center pets happy pets ant killer safe for pets noahs ark pets wonder pets flyboat ark shoulder pets craigslist knoxville pets all pets veterinary hospital d&d pets cast of secret life of pets 2 teala dunn wonder pets petco pets craigslist pensacola pets craigslist pets nc among us pets i love vip pets octopus as pets craigslist pets nashville tn stair gates for pets nationwide insurance for pets craigslist stockton pets akron craigslist pets presidential pets www.craigslist.com pets adopt me mythical egg pets corvids as pets hotels near me that allow pets next day pets secret life of pets 2 characters the sims 4 pets support pets reviews whities pets bills wonderland of pets brainerd craigslist pets craigslist st louis pets village pets best reptile pets wonder pets save the reindeer harlingen pets axolotl as pets can wolves be pets craigslist tijuana pets spotify pets funniest pets craigslist springfield mo pets adopt me pets for sale custom dog tags for pets league of super pets sacramento craigslist pets funniest pets are hamsters good pets wonder pets theme song weird pets zoo zoo pets pets love pets fur people hotels that allow pets oahu craigslist pets