Priyadarshan..... If there┬┤s anybody in Bollywood who has a foothold and needs to secure his very own spot, it┬┤s this director. Sure, he has given us incredible films such as "Virasat" and "Gardish", but how can one forget "Saat Rang Ke Sapne" and "Kabhi Na Kabhi". How can one forget? Well, they can watch his latest - "Doli Saja Ke Rakhna". The director has used his trademark treatment and cinematography to bring forth a love story that is simple, sweet, and yet very thought-provoking. If you liked "Kareeb", here is a film in the same genre that might just go one step beyond.
The film starts as a simple love story. Boy meets girl and it is love at first site. The kabab mein haddi comes in the form of the girl┬┤s three brothers and strict mother as well as the boy┬┤s parents. So what rebellious anti-parental move can they take? Of course - elopement! The two hide in a fisherman┬┤s village and decide to get married, when the plot takes a drastic turn. The two finally decide that they love their respective families a bit too much, elopement isn┬┤t such a good idea after all, and breaking up is the only answer. They decide to forget each other and go on with their respective lives. Are the families happy with this decision? The intelligent finale of the film reveals all!Akshaye Khanna and Jyotika Sadanah make a very good pair. Akshaye might just have his first solo hit on his hand, and child-woman-like Jyotika makes as impressive a debut as Neha and Mahima have in the past. The roles seem to fit the actors like a glove! Supporting performances by Moushami Chattarjee, Anupam Kher (as Akshaye┬┤s parents), Aruna Irani (playing Jyotika┬┤s mother), and Paresh Rawal (as the eldest of Jyotika┬┤s brothers) are excellent. The three young actors who play Akshaye┬┤s friends also make their presence known. However, it is Amrish Puri as the fisherman father of Akshaye┬┤s friends who steals a generous portion of the show. The man knows how to command the screen, and it is again great to see him in a positive role.
The direction and cinematography of the film are great and typical of Priyadarshan. The picturization of the songs (Saroj Khan, Farha Khan et al...) is also brilliant - especially "Tara Rum Pum" and the "Kissa Hum Likhenge" number! A.R. Rehman┬┤s music, though ear-catching on its own, comes to life on screen in a way atypical of most Bollywood composers.
A bit too much time is devoted to the actual love story, with a bit less time than I would prefer left for the "twist" and the actual meat of the film. The few dramatic scenes between Jyotika and Akshaye, however, are endowed with a realism lacking to a large degree in most of our films. The script is still novel and makes one realize that love is about more than just blindness. There is room for reason and thought. Even for the families of the lovers involved, rational judgement can sometimes lead the way to an answer.