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Game for deja vu?

Vivah (Hindi)

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Amrita Rao, Alok Nath

Director: Sooraj Barjatya

Sooraj Barjatya adds value to nostalgia with this film based on arranged marriages. He picks up a scene from "Maine Pyar Kiya", dusts off a couple from "Hum Aapke Hain Koun", then shows us a mirror to our very personal moments: time when life was young; and that faithful companion of many years then was a part of your life, yet not quite.

With a story line of a boy and girl getting married through an arranged family match, this film is a walk down the straight path. In moments, it is as beautiful as an innocent dream. In others, it is a reality check: every time you smile does not mean you are happy, just as every time you shed a tear does not mean you are sad.

Around these moments, is woven a simple tale of a guy and girl who have never seen each other, never spoken to each other, getting ready to exchange vows of living together till the last breath! It is all so loveable, until the film turns a tearjerker at the end.

All so perfect

There is still so-innocent Shahid Kapoor as the guy with angels for family members. There is Amrita Rao, who has an angel for a uncle, and a half-shrew for an aunt. Sooraj takes recourse to plenty of time-tested techniques here: The film opens with the posters of his old favourite Salman Khan, plastered all over Madhopur. His hero is called Prem too. If it is not enough, he brings in the reliable Alok Nath as the benign uncle of the heroine. And just when you thought he was through with his old weaknesses, up spring Manoj Joshi and Mohnish Behl! Also there is Ravindra Jain with his so familiar tunes. All that is missing is the dog, the pigeon!

Steeped in values

However, all these do not erode the core values of the film: like ever, this Rajshri film is steeped in the fast vanishing Indian values of faith, dignity and joint family bonds.

The hero sings praises of his bhaiyya and bhabhi, the heroine loves her cousin like her sister and is fondly tolerant of the ways of her evil aunt. She sings bhajans too. But, this film works despite the clichés.

Nothing rowdy, nothing raucous, all so sweet. Go for "Vivah". It is a choice you are unlikely to regret.

Ziya Us Salam

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