Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

Check out Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Movie Review by Taran Adarsh starring Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor and directed by Sooraj Barjatya.

As a movie enthusiast, one awaits successful actor/director combinations to affiliate for yet another film project. Almost three decades ago, MAINE PYAR KIYA [1989] gave ‘birth’ to one such union — director Sooraj R. Barjatya and actor Salman Khan. Their subsequent films raised the bar, with moviegoers certain that the duo would live up to the lofty expectations. The film fraternity was equally enthusiastic as well, since the duo struck gold at the ticket counters. Naturally, the hype surrounding PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is tremendous, more so because Sooraj and Salman team up after more than a decade [HUM SAATH-SAATH HAIN; 1999] for their fourth outing together.

Rajshri, the banner founded by the late Tarachand Barjatya [Sooraj’s illustrious grandfather], is synonymous with family sagas mainly. Sooraj has kept the tradition alive, making films that are seeped in Indian ethos and traditions, except that the canvas only got larger with every film he attempted. PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO has opulence in every single frame and one presumes, it’s Rajshri/Sooraj’s most expensive film to date. What remains consistent, however, is the intent of providing unadulterated entertainment, seamlessly merging romance, conflict, action and dollops of emotions. The supremely talented storyteller, who knows the pulse of Indian moviegoers, promises to offer a complete package in this almost 3-hour magnum opus too.

A few questions cross your mind as you saunter into a cineplex to watch this combo’s fourth film together… Does PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO work in its entirety? Is it a worthy successor to the films helmed by Sooraj, with Salman in the lead? With Salman being considered an invincible force after a string of blockbusters, will PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO emerge a monstrous hit as well?

A few naysayers may opine that in this era of plexes, atypical family sagas seem archaic and may stand dim chances at the box-office. The acceptance levels are minimal by those who look Westwards for inspiration. However, you cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that if a film involves you, keeps you glued to the screen for most parts and you eventually root for the on-screen characters, it’s bound to win hearts and also walk away with the pot of gold at the box-office. PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is *that* film. A film that wins you over with its simplistic charm. A film that has all it takes to emerge a money spinner at the turnstiles!

Let’s keep the plot line succinct. A conspiracy is hatched to eliminate the prince, Vijay [Salman Khan], days before his coronation is to take place, by his younger brother [Neil Nitin Mukesh] who eyes the throne, riches and power. A lookalike of the prince, Prem, steps in at this point, who loses his heart to the prince’s beloved, Maithili [Sonam Kapoor]. What happens next?

Does the plot ring a bell? Well, there’s speculation that PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is inspired by L.V. Prasad’s Sanjeev Kumar starrer RAJA AUR RUNK [1969], an Indian adaptation of Mark Twain’s novel ‘The Prince And The Pauper’. However, the story of PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO bears a striking resemblance to Anthony Hope’s novel ‘The Prisoner Of Zenda’ [1894], which has been adapted innumerable times on film, stage, television and radio. Having said that, the serpentine twists and turns in the screenplay of PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO makes it dissimilar from the above named films.

Sooraj’s hold on the script is evident from the commencement of the film itself as he moves from one episode to another swiftly. Like always, the hallmark of his films is the undercurrent of emotions and PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO depicts the familial bonding and the conflict amongst family members skilfully. Additionally, he uses vibrant colours [costumes, sets] and opulence to make it a visually arresting experience. In short, the drama is captivating, the emotional moments are punctuated wonderfully in the narrative [more so towards the second and third acts] and the finale, when the key questions are answered, enhances the seamless narrative.

Blemishes? A couple of them, frankly. The film could’ve done with a lilting score [more on that later]. Also, too many songs, in quick succession, could’ve been avoided. The villains’ track is half-baked and so is their culmination. The run time could’ve been shorter too… Thankfully, the plusses easily outnumber the minuses here.

Like Sooraj’s earlier films, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is embellished with too many songs, but the soundtrack [Himesh Reshammiya] this time ranges from excellent [title track] to hummable [‘Jalte Diye’, ‘Aaj Unse Milna Hai’ and ‘Prem Leela’] to plain mediocre. The silver lining is, one doesn’t mind the mediocre tracks that crop up since the strong narrative more than compensates for everything else. Besides, the title track is a chartbuster and its choreography is the icing on the cake.

Every frame is crafted wonderfully, with the DoP capturing the grandiose sets with splendour. The background score is effectual at most times. Action scenes are limited to the finale. Dialogue are in sync with the mood of the film. A couple of lines do stay with you for sure.

It’s sacrilegious to envision any other actor enacting the part of Prem in a Sooraj R. Barjatya movie. When the reels unfold, you don’t see Salman, you see Prem and that is one of the biggest strengths of the film. This time around, Salman is cast in a dual role — while he takes to Prem, the simpleton, like a fish takes to water, he’s equally competent as Vijay, the prince. What’s interesting is, the two characters are as diverse as chalk and cheese, but it is Prem that’s winsome and endearing and Salman makes sure he interprets it brilliantly. This is a Salman show from Scene A to Z.

Sonam Kapoor is earnest. She looks stunning, but more importantly, she carries her part effortlessly. Initially, her pairing opposite Salman did raise eyebrows, but when you watch the goings-on, you realise that Salman and Sonam do make a lovely on-screen couple.

The supporting cast is equally proficient. Anupam Kher is superb, his performance doesn’t miss a beat. Cast in a negative role, Neil Nitin Mukesh underplays his part very well. Armaan Kohli, who appears in a biggie after a really long break, does a fine job. Swara Bhaskar is another talent who impresses with a power-packed portrayal. Deepak Dobriyal is fantastic and contributes to the laugh-out-loud moments. Deepraj Rana is first-rate. Manoj Joshi impresses in his part. Suhasini Mulay, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Aashika Bhatia and Sanjay Mishra are decent.

On the whole, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is the perfect Diwali entertainer for the entire family. The film will win abundant love [prem], while its investors will reap a harvest [dhan], making it a memorable Diwali for all concerned. This one’s a record-smasher — scoring from East to West and from North to South, scoring at plexes as well as single screens, scoring at metros as well as non-metros, scoring in the domestic market as well as in the international arena. B-L-O-C-K-B-U-S-T-E-R!

Rating: 4.5/5

http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/moviemicro/criticreview/id/597898

Tags:
2 Comments
  1. Author
    aryan 4 years ago

    Movie Review by Sukanya Verma

    Prem works. Rest is just rah-rah!

    It is not the predictability but the lop-sided sentimentality of Sooraj R Barjatya’s narrative that hurts Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’s intentions the most, says Sukanya Verma

    Long live comfort zone.

    Few minutes into Sooraj R Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and it is obvious where this out-dated melodrama set amidst far-fetched royalty is heading.

    Barjatya, the soft-spoken, immensely likeable filmmaker, is not looking to jab a pin in his reality-proof bubble inhabited by noble, gracious folk and its most popular citizen Prem, played by Salman Khan.

    It is not merely a name but a title exclusively held by the superstar, wherein he ceases to be the shirt-ripping Bhai and transforms into an epitome of sanskar and virtue whose gleaming eyes alone, among many other myths, are sufficient proof of his unquestionable integrity and loyalty.

    Except he achieved this feat, not too long ago, more memorably than ever in and as Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Salman’s latest avatar as Prem falls pale in comparison.

    But he is not the one at fault. If anything, Salman is the dazzling star and entertainer of this archaic, tedious script that should have never left the ‘defunct Bollywood formulas’ file — think The Prince and the Pauper meets Kasme Vaade or Jhootha Sach where brain injuries show on the back, people change into 40 costumes in four days and childhood accidents are replayed as adults too.

    Be it as the sprightly nautanki star or a solemn prince or somewhere in between after Salman goes through his My Fair Lady transition and scoffs at aristocracy with characteristic charm and spunk — its moments like these, when Prem acquires a mocking tone towards everything, including this underdeveloped drama that it truly takes off.

    Mostly though PRDP is saddled with Barjatya’s penchant for throwing in one song after another. Even if resplendent to look at, there are just too many of them and barring the title track, not particularly catchy either.

    It is not the predictability but the lop-sided sentimentality of Sooraj R Barjatya’s narrative that hurts Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’s intentions the most, says Sukanya Verma

    Long live comfort zone.

    Few minutes into Sooraj R Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and it is obvious where this out-dated melodrama set amidst far-fetched royalty is heading.

    Barjatya, the soft-spoken, immensely likeable filmmaker, is not looking to jab a pin in his reality-proof bubble inhabited by noble, gracious folk and its most popular citizen Prem, played by Salman Khan.

    It is not merely a name but a title exclusively held by the superstar, wherein he ceases to be the shirt-ripping Bhai and transforms into an epitome of sanskar and virtue whose gleaming eyes alone, among many other myths, are sufficient proof of his unquestionable integrity and loyalty.

    Except he achieved this feat, not too long ago, more memorably than ever in and as Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Salman’s latest avatar as Prem falls pale in comparison.

    But he is not the one at fault. If anything, Salman is the dazzling star and entertainer of this archaic, tedious script that should have never left the ‘defunct Bollywood formulas’ file — think The Prince and the Pauper meets Kasme Vaade or Jhootha Sach where brain injuries show on the back, people change into 40 costumes in four days and childhood accidents are replayed as adults too.

    Be it as the sprightly nautanki star or a solemn prince or somewhere in between after Salman goes through his My Fair Lady transition and scoffs at aristocracy with characteristic charm and spunk — its moments like these, when Prem acquires a mocking tone towards everything, including this underdeveloped drama that it truly takes off.

    Mostly though PRDP is saddled with Barjatya’s penchant for throwing in one song after another. Even if resplendent to look at, there are just too many of them and barring the title track, not particularly catchy either.
    J
    Speaking of music, think I caught a hint of the Game of Thrones theme performed by a wedding band in the background. Cannot imagine the genteel Barjatya is a fan of the famously violent TV series.

    Back to Prem, if Salman’s presence is a boon for the movie, his enormous charisma, which receives a lion’s share of the screen space, leaves precious little for his co-stars to do.

    While Sonam Kapoor is luminous in Anamika Khanna’s dreamy creations, looks appropriately besotted by her hero and shows noticeable restraint in her dialogue delivery, her Maithali is so blandly written, it makes Bhagyashree’s Suman look like a vixen.

    As Salman’s respective bhai and behen, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Swara Bhaskar are limited to tearful scowls and tearful smiles whereas a smug Arman Kohli reprises his snake-man performance from Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani sans the costume.

    Like all Barjatya movies, PRDP sticks to its beliefs on sibling affection, family values and coy courtship and takes a lengthy (nearly three hours running time) route to assert so. Yet it is not the predictability but the lop-sided sentimentality of his narrative that hurts PRDP’s intentions the most.

    Without ever establishing the bonhomie, it jumps to demonstrate the bitterness and reconciliation between bickering brethren depriving the viewer of any emotional connect whatsoever.

    Plainly put, phony tears. Quite a let down, given Barjatya’s greatest strength is the warmth his characters exude.

    Instead they are pursuing prudish objectives, speaking clunky, soap star lines like suhag ki raksha and facilitating clumsy albeit blatant product placement of brands like Haldiram and Croma.

    Grandeur has its limitations too. It can render photographic freshness but it is no substitute for charm or frolic.

    A lot of visible effort has gone in designing Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’s opulence and scale but ultimately it is just lacklustre, recycled fare from a man stuck on men versus women sporting contests, midnight kitchen rendezvous and the pristine aura of Prem.

    The last one still holds good. Rest is just rah-rah.

    Rating: 2.5/5

    http://www.rediff.com/movies/review/review-prem-ratan-dhan-payo-prem-works-rest-is-just-rah-rah/20151112.htm

  2. Author
    aryan 4 years ago

    Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    You might want to keep off those Diwali sweets if you intend to watch Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Indulging in both could lead to the kind of sugar overload that your doctor would most certainly disapprove of. Hum Aapke Hain Koun director Sooraj Barjatya’s latest is a familiar tale that involves setting right the wrong, reuniting estranged families, and conquering hearts with basic human goodness. These are formulas he’s employed to great success in previous films, but the tropes have gotten rusty, the emotions seldom feel genuine, and the writing is strictly surface level. Good thing then that the film’s got Salman Khan as leading man, his abundant charisma glossing over many of its flaws.

    In Pritampur, an estate in North India that didn’t get the memo on the abolishment of the monarchy and royal practices, Yuvraj Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) is injured in an attack by disgruntled family just days before his coronation and the arrival of his fiancée, Princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor). While the prince recuperates in a secret chamber within the royal fort, his lookalike Prem, a small-time entertainer from a nearby town, is discreetly recruited to take his place so the formalities can go off without a hitch.

    It’s a testament to the star power of Salman Khan that Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is never unwatchable despite its old-fashioned story, its frankly laughable scenarios (the climax takes place in a palace of mirrors built on top of a waterfall), and its failure to flesh out characters adequately. The film revisits many of Barjatya’s favorite themes – the importance of family, the enduring bond of brotherhood, and the power of forgiveness – but it has nothing particularly new to say that might justify making this film in 2015.

    Pre-intermission the film coasts along breezily, buoyed by the humor in the interactions between Prem and the loyal palace diwan (Anupam Kher), who’s trying desperately to rein this man-child in. But melodrama reaches fever pitch in the film’s shrill second half, in which an angry half-sister (Swara Bhaskar) and a conniving half-brother (Neil Nitin Mukesh) must be won over, and a trouble-making relative (Armaan Kohli) must be defeated. Meanwhile, the romantic track between Maithili and Prem packs some nice moments, including a running joke about not getting ‘cozy’ until they’re married.

    Alas, the predictable plotting and the lazy characterization never really allow you to be invested in any of the film’s characters or to even care for them. Make no mistake, Salman Khan is the sole draw of this film, and he works hard for his top billing. The actor is in good form – terrific in the comic scenes, and earnest in the emotional ones – turning on the charm to help you survive, and even enjoy, this nearly 3 hour film that’s crammed with songs, and over-styled to a fault.

    I’m going with two-and-a-half stars plus an additional half star for Salman Khan, which makes it three out of five for Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Get ready for a sugar rush.

    Rating: 3/5

    http://www.rajeevmasand.com/reviews/our-films/sugar-rush/

Leave a reply

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account