Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"vivah" (huf ultd.)

last friday we went over to metro adlabs,a heritage structure, to watch 'vivah'.and in the foyer i took a good look at the beautiful belgian chandeliers.thank god,they did not get lost in the transformation from mgm metro to its current avatar of a racy mutiplex.

'vivah',has been produced under the barjatya family banner of rajshri productions. suraj barjatya,the director,has eminently succeeded in producing an excellent film. steeped in hindu culture and traditions, the film is full of sentiments and emotions. the story is about the love between a young boy from a city(delhi) and a young girl born and brought up in a small rural town(madhupur). prem(shahid kapoor) the handsome dude, has returned from usa after his studies and has joined his father's business. a common family friend bhagatji(manoj joshi) suggests to prem's father(anupam kher) a matrimonial alliance between their family and that of alok nath a smalltime businessman in madhupur. alok nath sends his orphaned niece's(poonam) photograph to anupam kher. the father has a tete-e-tete with his son and shows him the picture. though initially taken aback at the suggestion of marriage so soon, prem is willing to go along with his father. the father convinces him that early marriage is good for him. after seeing the girl's picture he agrees to go over to their place for a formal 'dekko'. when they meet on this occasion it is love at first sight. prem is shy and it takes a long time for him to even hold poonam's hand. poonam is a bholi-bhali,seedhi-saadhi,acche sanskaroanwali, pyari bitiya of alok nath. she can't even talk to him excpeting to say that "koi sawal nahin hein".

they meet on several occasions when both the families get together to picnic in a hill-station nearby. their meetings are stealthily done,the rendezvous being the terrace or the garden outside.their mutual love strengthens. prem goes to japan to clinch a deal and she wishes him best of luck. "main aapki safalta ke liye bhagwan se prarthana karoongi". there is a lot of shuddh hindi from poonam which constantly foxes and amuses the delhiite prem. he clinches the deal in faraway japan and there is celebration all around.

wonder what prem is allergic to. he seems to be having a running cold all the time. "zukhaam mein thanda jal nahin peete". yet another shuddh hindi message to her lover. the simpleton poonam doesn't have a cellphone.whenever the black instrument rings,she rushes to it as it invariably is a call from prem.and munshiji, her father's secretary, is only too glad to oblige. and in response to poonam's quiet advice prem clasps his cellphone to his chest!

the day of the wedding is fixed.alok nath plans to gift a lot of family jewellery to his favourite niece.the stepmother(seema biswas) is upset that nothing may be left for their daughter chhotu.her jealousy and dislike for good-looking poonam is apparent.she refuses to cooperate and help her husband in the preparations.unmindful,alok nath goes ahead and warns her that she will repent for her foolhardiness.

then tragedy strikes. on the day of the wedding and in the midst of the preparations,there is a fire in the kitchen.it is an inferno.alok nath is dumbfounded and bewildered at the turn of events. poonam rushes to save her younger sister chhotu with whom she has a great bond. and risks her life. chhotu is saved but poonam suffers third degree burns. her face though is saved. the news is conveyed to the baarat. they all rush to the scene and console alok nath. prem meets poonam in the icu and applies sindhur on her forehead.she asks him to see the burns and only decide after that. there is no changing his mind. his father gets the topmost plastic surgeon from delhi to assist tthe local surgeon and the critical operation goes off smoothly.the wedding takes place with the usual dhoomdhaam. the stepmother embraces poonam and it is obvious that she is fully repentant. all is well that ends well.

a fascinating spinoff of this movie is the interest that the painter m f hussain has started taking in amrita rao. fida hussain has gone fida over her.he has seen 'vivaha' nine times so far and after the last screening at 'plaza', dubai,he threw a grand dinner party. he said that a delicious movie must be followed by a delicious feast."she has entered my canvas". he has been bowled over by the portrayal of an upright and bashful girl by poonam. he raves over her and predicts a tremendous potential for her. after madhuri of 'hahk' fame,it is now the turn of amrita, the new muse of maqbool fida hussain.

'maine pyar kiya','hum aapke hain kaun'',main prem ki diwani hoon' and now 'vivaha'. rajshri productions have constantly been conveying similar messages.good clean-cut values.strong social and familial bonding,the sanctity of marital bondage.sacred,pure and eternal. all obey elders and everyone is religious and do poojapaat. suraj barjatya has made his film the way he and his family would like it to be made.the characters have been handled sensitively. he knows and understands the common man's psyche.the music by ravindra jain is soulstirring.the songs are melodious.in particular,"mujhe haq hai".he has a boxoffice hit on his hands.


Lotus Reads said...


A truly great review! I have "Vivaah" on DVD here and I cannot wait to get to it! How did the movie fare in India? It did very well in North America but that's mostly because we Indian expats tend to get very excited about movies which portray the India of old - the one where traditional morals,values and cultures reign supreme. But did such a traditional movie fare just as well in modern India?

Lotus Reads said...

Sorry, I misspelled "Vivah"!

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