MOVIE REVIEW – Ramaiya Vastavaiya

Cast: Girish Kumar, Shruti Haasan, Sonu Sood,
Randhir Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Poonam Dhillon
Direction: Prabhudheva
Genre: Romance
Duration: 2 hours 28 minutes

Story: A NRI boy falls in love with gaon-ki-girl, their families oppose, but he labours to win them over. Movie Review: Welcome to Animal Farm. With ample chicks, hens, horns; many ‘murgas’, mulgis, mummyjis and baaratis. Add to this rustic beauty some colours of harvest, village belles, jadoo ki jhappi (read: item number by Jacqueline Fernandez) and of course, amidst it all – blooming romance in fields of gold.

In pure Prabhudheva style – with spoonfuls of desi ghee! Ram (Girish), billionaire baap (Randhir) ka beta from Australia, lands in India for a wedding, where he’s stunned to see lovely ladies bedecked in salwar-kamzeez and sarees (Whaaat? Kis khet ki mooli hai yeh?!). He falls in love with the bride’s best friend, the simple gaonki- chori, Sona (Shruti). She’s forced to leave him, but Ram follows her to the village and swears to win over her bhaiya, the proud kisaan, Raghuvir (Sonu).

The billion-dollar-baby turns desi-cool – He ploughs, milks the cows (even puts them on a diet), and does a ‘shitload’ of work (with gobar, ghaas, et al). The film (remake of Prabhudheva’s debut directorial Telugu film) isn’t ripe with any newness – in story or direction. In fact, it discernibly replants stories from the 80’s-90’s era (remember: ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’), with cliches, a banal plot, an field-full of supporting cast (of which Kapoor and Khanna are underused but good) and a budding lead pair.

Debutant Girish makes a splash of an entry (surfing in blue seas, ‘Bond’ babes take a bow), and dances with flair. His overly exuberant performance seems flaky in the first half. Later, when he turns from a cool to kisaan, he breaks loose and performs a tad better. Shruti looks the desi beauty; her performance is not striking, yet likeable. Sonu is the best of the ‘crop’, his years of labour as an actor shows.

There are few good laughs, doses of sweetness and fresh melodies (Sachin-Jigar), but sadly even that is mowed down by heightened histrionics, routine dialogues and a trite tale. This one’s like a pretty field decked up in celebration, but with no real harvest to show.

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