Yashraj-a banner always guarantees entertainment, love, laughter, and definitely a few teardrops and their latest release, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, is no different. The flick is more or less a remake of the English hit My Best Friends Wedding, which starred Julia Roberts, Dermont Mulroney and Cameron Diaz (even the title translates exactly word for word). But as expected the flick has been ”indianised” and has a fair amount of throwbacks to flicks like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Hum Aap Ke Hai Koun and Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai.
The flick revolves around Sanjay a.k.a. Sanju (Uday Chopra), a happy go lucky guy who lives in an apartment in Mumbai with his friend Ria (Bipasha Basu). Sanjay has had a lot of failed relationships and always seems to get dumped-yet he has yet to fall in love or so he thinks.
One day Sanjay receives a call from his childhood best friend Anjali a.k.a. Anju (Sanjana), she is calling to inform him of her wedding. Then and there it hits Sanju that Anju is the girl of his dreams. Is it too late for Sanju? Sanjay packs his bags and heads off to Dehradun. Everything seems to go well in Dehradun as Sanjay slowly wins over the hearts of all of Anju´s family members including Anju’s doting parents (Alok Nath and Neena Kulkarni), Anju’s eccentric sister (Tanaaz Currim), the lovable grandma (Dina Patthak), the bachelor uncle (Saurabh Shukla) and the superstitious grandma (Bindu). He succeeds in doing that until Sanjay’s worst fear arrives in the form of Anju´s fiancé Rohit (Jimmy Shergill)! Rohit, it seems, is perfect in every way-he is handsome, educated, suave, sophisticated and the family seems to love him too! Hence begins Sanjay’s "noble" mission to break the two up slyly. Rohit soon finds out that Sanjay is behind the problems occurring between Anjali and himself and he proposes a fair challenge/fight to Sanjay in which the best man wins.
In terms of a story the makers have managed to repackage a age old wine in a brand spanking new package and even managed to make it taste a little better. The story has some clichés in it, yet the film comes across as fresh and is always watchable. The screenplay of the movie is tight and the movie moves along at a breakneck pace.
As a second time director one can clearly tell that Sanjay Gadhvi is a Yash Chopra protégé. His earlier flick Tere Liye was sadly not appreciated despite being an enjoyable little romance.
Each and every frame of the movie screams “Yash Raj” whether it is the characters of Sanjay, Rohit and Sanjana, the sets of the movie, the music, the comedy or the emotions. Gadhvi leaves his own mark too by making a movie that balances out to be a perfect and simple entertainer, which leaves the viewer satisfied. I also like the fact that there is no separate annoying comedy track with a Johnny Lever or Rajpal Yadav; here the comedy track was merged in with the story.
Whether it is the comedy of the first half, the romance or the emotionally charged climax Gadhvi is fully in charge. Gadhvi also succeeds because apart from the comic moments-the emotional moments also manage to touch the viewer’s hearts 100%
On the acting front Uday Chopra fully takes charge. He has clearly been given an author-backed role and this is surely a marketing idea for Uday to hit the top bracket and he makes the most of it. The character of Sanjay is a prototype Yash Chopra character and one can clearly tell that the role was made with Shahrukh Khan in mind. Uday makes the most of this opportunity and gives a very confident and fine tuned performance proving that he does indeed have potential to be a leading man. His character will be loved by the masses and comic scenes along with romantic scenes are clearly his forte, this is no surprise considering he is a Chopra.
Jimmy Shergill is good in his sober role. He looks the part he plays and essays his role with dignity. He matches Uday Chopra for most of the part even though his role is not as meaty and leaves his mark for sure, especially in the confrontation scene before the interval. Newcomer Sanjana is just good. She is also a typical Yash Chopra prototype character filled with laughter and tears. She is very cute and looks gorgeous in her Indian attire. She makes her presence felt but has a long way to go before she makes it in the top bracket. Bipasha Basu in an extended guest role gives an excellent account of herself and shows she does also have a wonderful comic streak in her. This girl is just a bag of talent and the audience will lap up her role. Of the supporting cast Alok Nath, Dina Patthak, Pariksit Sahani, Tanaaz Currim all do their roles as expected. Only Saurabh Shukla and Neena Kulkarni standout in their respective roles. Shamita Shetty sizzles in her song and dance appearance. She has a gorgeous body and has lost a lot of weight since Mohabbatein.
Jeet-Pritam’s music is nice and enjoyable, although after a few months...it will be forgotten. Audiences will definitely hum the title track as they leave the cinema. The rest of the tunes whether it is “Resham Si Hai Yeh Haaweiyen”, or “Sharara”, are all well picturized. The school reunion song seems like a watered down version of “Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe” from Dil Chahta Hai, yet it is still enjoyable.
Technically the film is slick and tight. Sunil Patel’s cinematography is captivating and as all Chopra movies the Swiss locales are stunning. Editing is very slick and Sharmishta Roy´s art direction is simply wonderful with some very eye catching sets. Some scenes in the movie that are worth a mention are, the bachelor party scene which is a laugh riot, the confrontation between Uday and Jimmy and finally the climax of the movie which will have the females shedding a tear.
Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai comes across as a nice surprise and it wouldn´t be a surprise if this turns out to be the dark horse despite having competition from the two Bhagat Singh movies. Already it has managed to get a higher initial. Don´t get me wrong-the film is nothing path breaking like Lagaan, Company or Aankhen, but it is enjoyable. So all Yash Chopra fans (and there are a lot of them out there) get ready for the wedding and book yourselves a seat because you won´t be disappointed.