Prem (Shahid Kapoor) is a rich obedient youngster. He is the son of a famous industrialist Harischandra (Anupam Kher). Poonam (Amrita Rao) is a middle class orphan girl who lives with a lovable chacha (Aloknath), a nagging chachi (Seema Biswas) and cute cousin (Amrita Prakash). Prem and Poonam are engaged and their marriage is six months away. Even as the story progresses slowly, an unexpected event happens. What follows afterwards reinstates the sanctity of love and marriage.
Shahid Kapoor with his cute babyish face suits the role well. Amrita Rao is adorable in a role that draws all the sympathy. Aloknath is exceptionally good as always as the lovable father of the bride. Anupam Kher is great and Seema Biswas is excellent. Amrita Prakash is competent and Sameer Soni is entertaining. Rajshri’s regular artiste Monish Behl is good as the doctor in a special appearance.
Story - screenplay - direction: Though the tagline claims that this film is about the journey from engagement to the marriage, the crux of the film is all about true love and that it transcends physical looks and beauty. The director began the film in the HAHK pattern where 75% of the movie deals with the couple getting to know each other and their respective families. However, the real story of the film is unveiled only in the last half-an-hour. The screenplay of the film is average and the narration is tedious and slow. However, Suraj manages to get the emotions right in the climax of the film. The uncle-niece emotional bonding is better than that of the engaged couple.
Other departments: Music of the film should have been better, however the background music is adequate. Photography is good making use of good lighting. Dialogues in the film are exceptionally good. The conversations between uncle-niece and the couple are thought provoking. Editing is OK. Locations of the film are good.
Analysis: The first half of the film is very slow. The second half also drags but the tragedy in the latter part changes the pace. When you have Suraj Barjatya directing a film, comparisons are inevitable with Maine Pyar Kiya and HAHK. This film comes nowhere near those films. However, it is definitely better then the latest films directed by Suraj. Overall, Vivah is a pathetically slow film with a heart-rending climax. It is somewhat of a soap opera and the commercial success will depend largely on whether it will draw in family audiences in large numbers as his earlier films have in the past.
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