Movie Review – Prem Ratan Dhan Payoo

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Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Movie Cast:

Salman Khan as Prem / Vijay, Sonam Kapoor as Maithili, Neil Nitin Mukesh as Niranjan,Anupam Kher as Diwan, Armaan Kohli as Chirag, Swara Bhaskar as Prem’s sister, Aashika Bhatia as Prem’s sister, Deepak Dobriyal as Kanhaiya, Sanjay MishraPRDP

Directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya
Produced by Ajit Kumar Barjatya, Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya
Screenplay by Sooraj R. Barjatya
Story by Sooraj R. Barjatya
Music by Songs: Himesh Reshammiya
Background Score: Sanjoy Chowdhury, nHimesh Reshammiya
Cinematography :V. Manikandan
Edited by Sanjay Sankla
Production company :Rajshri Productions
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Release dates 12 November 2015
Running time 2 hours 45 minutes
Country : India
Language: Hindi
Budget :80-100 crore

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The story of Prem began back in 1989, when Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya first teamed up for the love story Maine Pyar Kiya. Prem took on a new avatar, but was played by the same Khan, and won hearts in Barjatya’s 14-song family drama Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! in 1994. In 1999, Khan stepped into a new Prem’s shoes in the ensemble saga Hum Saath Saath Hain. With Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Khan and Barjatya interpret Prem yet again, this time using Rajasthani royality as the backdrop and giving Khan the additional challenge of playing a double role.

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From the opening scene of this 10-song-burdened musical-costume drama, you become aware of the patently sluggish pace and plodding screenplay that lies in the running time of just under three hours (but feels like much more). We see a happy-go-lucky Prem Dilwale (Salman Khan) playing Ram at a Ram-Leela performance in Ayodhya, which prompts the thought: from Hanuman devotee in Bajrangi Bhaijaan to a Ram loyalist in this? Fortunately, this Prem does not invoke the lord at every juncture nor is his simplicity absurd. He speaks decent English and holds on to strong family values.

As Prem lives his life in a make-believe world of reenactment, his doppelganger lives life within palatial homes with high stonewalls. Like his house, Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) is formal, traditional and steeped in old world grace, but also modern enough to be using an iPhone and speaking a mix of Hindi and English. Prince Vijay Singh is awaiting his swearing-in as the next king. He is a man of particular humour and high regard for the royal ways.

Vijay’s marriage has been arranged with princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor), an ever-smiling do-gooder who enjoys an independent life in Delhi. Maithili is a modern day royal, equally comfortable hopping off a helicopter in knee-high boots as she is in embellished chiffon saris and little black dresses.

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Vijay has a fractured relationship with his half-sisters Chandrika (Swara Bhaskar) and Radhika (Aashika Bhatia) and a tense relationship with half-brother Ajay (Neil Nitin Mukesh). One day when Vijay’s horse carriage meets with a near-fatal accident, his loyal right hand man Diwan (Anupam Kher) enlists Prem to participate in a charade. Prem poses as Vijay Singh until the latter heals and is able to return to his rightful place.

Prem hardly hesitates before taking on the task. His primary motivation being to get close to Maithili whom he has adored from afar. Fortunately not all are fooled by this easy replacement. Ajay and Chirag (Armaan Kohli), masterminds of Vijay’s accident, remain suspicious. But Maithili is bowled over as Prem steadily wins her over and wins back ‘his’ family at the same time. All of this takes its time—there are songs, dances, silly jokes and flirting. There are million costume changes and the height of absurdity is a song set around a football match. It’s a ridiculous plot by Prem to win over his football-loving estranged younger sister Radhika. Men are playing women but the ball isn’t kicked till two minutes into the song and only after a soaking wet Khan rolls up his pajamas and rips off the sleeves of his sherwani. It’s all captured with a glossy lens by V Manikandan’s camera.

If Vijay thinks from the head, Prem is ruled by his heart. His caring nature brings a thaw in the royal house. How will the real Vijay reconcile to these changes could have given PRDP its missing edge. But Barjatya instead focuses on changing values and a modern love story in contemporary times using songs, vast sets, costumes and locations and wisdom imparted by the pious Prem.

While Khan plays both Vijay and Prem with seeming ease, Deepak Dobriyal as Prem’s sidekick Kanhaiya, Kher and Bhaskar raise the acting bar by a few notches. Neil Nitin Mukesh as the manipulated and spineless younger half brother overacts while Kapoor’s brief seems to be to be girly, ethereal and flawless, which would describe most of Barjatya’s leading ladies.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is an endlessly long saga with a sheesh mahal at the end of a treacherous precipice propped up by illegitimate children, fake football matches and overly made-up actors. You can imagine brides-to-be making mental notes of which lehengas and saris they want copied as they watch this opulent, colour-coordinated costume drama.

Positives :

  • Salman Khan
  • Good 1st Half
  • Chemistry between Salman & Sonam Kapoor
  • Visuals

Negatives :

  • Poor Climax
  • Screenplay
  • Outdated story Line

Final Verdict : A must watch for Salman Khan fans

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