Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I just finished watching Vivah, Sooraj Barjatya's latest venture into feel-good territory. It's an interesting experience, sort of like watching The Princess Diaries - you figure there's an audience for this kind of movie, but you have no idea what that is, or why such an audience would even exist.

Vivah is, as the tagline says, a story of the journey from engagement to marriage. It involves Poonam, a girl whose parents are both dead, and has been brought up by her uncle. She gets engaged to Prem, a Delhi boy from an extremely rich family. They get engaged, get to know each other, and eventually get married after two hours of sweetness and light and half an hour of lightweight complications. Standard Sooraj Barjatya formula, three movies old now.

It's interesting to see the progression of this guy's films. Maine Pyar Kiya had something of a plot, a healthy disregard for reality and a palpable enthusiasm evident in the actors. Hum Aapke Hain Koun did away with the plot and kept everything else. Hum Saath Saath Hain did away with most of the enthusiasm as well (save for Saif, who actually seemed to be having a good time). And now Vivah, which does away with whatever was left.

Now I'm trying to figure out what the guy can do next. Probably something called Mahurat, which is the journey from the beginning of a wedding ceremony to the end. Or better still, an Indianized, happy-families version of Groundhog Day, where a happy, filthy rich family relives the same happy day over and over again. Only, in Sooraj Barjatya's version, they're likely to want to relive it the exact same way each time around.

In mathematics, there's the concept of an existence proof. Frankly, the only existence proof for Vivah is that, otherwise, it's bloody difficult to explain what happened to two and a half hours of your life.

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