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Prem Ratan Dhan Payo  : Diwali without dhamaka
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Thursday, November 12, 2015
Drama / Family
Sooraj Barjatya
Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh

The magic of the Maine Pyar Kiya team does the vanishing trick 27 years later. Sooraj Barjatya tries to update himself with iPads and women who want to be understood but incongruously harks back to bygone days of maharajas and rajkumaris to tell his story. If at least the palace intrigue was cleverly plotted, it would have stirred up some interest. But alas!

 

Yuvraj Vijay Singh of Pritampur survives a bid on his life and a close coterie of loyalists nurses him in secret. There’s tension because his fiancée Rajkumari Maithili will be arriving for his Raj Tilak ceremony. Voila, one of the loyalists chances upon Yuvraj’s look-alike Ram Leela actor Prem Dilwale who has a heart of gold. Prem is conveniently headed for Pritampur to meet the Rajkumari and donate his earnings to her social cause. The loyalists promptly get him to stand in for the Yuvraj as long as the Rajkumari is visiting Pritampur.

 

With goodness flowing out of every pore, Prem plays the part of the perfect partner that the Rajkumari has been seeking. He also brings together the Yuvraj’s estranged siblings. By the time Yuvraj Vijay Singh is back in the picture, there’s love all over the palace. But matters of the heart need a last-minute settlement.

 

Sooraj Barjatya tries feebly to bring in sword fights and sworn enemies which is not his forte at all. He even has an Enter The Dragon kind of mirrors in a fight scene which was famous in the 70s.  Sooraj continues to inhabit an old world with simplistic evils like Yuvraj’s younger brother being led astray by a friend and palace employee. For no credible reason, Prem’s sidekick Kanhaiya is disguised as an old man and made to dodder around young girls. Along with the palaces and rajkumaris, none of this has any connect with today’s audience. Sooraj also can’t shake off his old formula of a family playing a game together. This time it’s a tame game of football where each time a goal is scored, you can probably hear a snore in the audience. There is also the 80s’ thought of the palace woes being traced to “auraton ka jhagda” which doesn’t resonate with anybody today.

 

With a running time of nearly 2 hrs 45 minutes, there are interminable songs for every situation and there’s really nothing that you want to jump up and clap for.

 

The somewhat saving grace is the presence of Salman Khan, especially when faced with the dilemma of Prem falling in love with the Rajkumari and his helpless decency when she wants to get closer. But this alone cannot make up for a film that fails to entertain.

 

Sonam Kapoor’s dialogue delivery continues to be weak.  The supporting cast has Anupam Kher looking lost as the Diwan; Neil Nitin Mukesh as the younger Yuvraj, Armaan Kohli as Chirag who ignites a fire between the brothers and Swara Bhaskar as the estranged sister. But they’re unable to prop up a patently disastrous screenplay.  

 

For a film that has opulence without dramatic fireworks, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo gets a 2* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Journalist & Author

 

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