Ek Vivaah...Aisa Bhi is Rajshri Productions' latest venture directed by debutant Kaushik Ghatak, starring Sonu Sood and Isha Koppikar as the leads. Once again, it's more of the same from the extremely conservative banner. Plainly put, Ek Vivaah...Aisa Bhi should be re-released with the title "Ek Saza...Aisa Bhi." It's that bad folks.
Naming your lead character "Prem" might have been cute in the first two films....but FIVE? Someone needs to teach Mr. Sooraj Bharjatya the concept of character distinction and tell him that a character's name is actually a window into their personality. It's not just a mere formality. Nevertheless, the poor soul who's cursed by the name this time is Sonu Sood. It's unfortunate seeing as how this could have been the big break the struggler has been looking for. Alas, it's not to be.
A simple story from a few simple minds: The film opens with the engagement of Prem (Sonu Sood) and Chandni (Isha Koppikar). Through a ridiculously long and clichéd flashback sequence we're shown how the two met and fall in love. Back in the present, the death of Chandni's father leaves her to care for her younger brother and sister. Fearing that her siblings' childhood would be sacrificed, she cancels the wedding to care for them.
Since the character of Prem always appears to be a romantic saint written ever so generously by the totally out-of-touch-with-reality hand of Rajshri Films, Prem graciously requests the opportunity to wait for her for however long it may take. How sweet. Right...excuse me while I grab a cup of coffee with the Seven Dwarfs and ask if Cinderella wants to catch a flick with me and Santa.
After what seems like an eternity, we finally reach interval. Hoorah! Here is where the completely lop-sided script really begins to show. While the entire pre-interval segments covered basically the engagement and a few follow-up scenes, the second half covers the next TWELVE YEARS! This is where you have your typical Rajshri family "drama" come into play. So if you are still keen on checking this film out, then read the above synopsis and fast-foward to the interval. You're on your own from there!
As negative as this review has been so far, we're just getting started. Instead of advertising Sonu Sood and Isha Koppikar as the leads, Rajshri could have just as easily promoted Music Director Ravidindra Jain as the film's centerpiece. I counted 7 songs in the first ½ hour, 11 in the first hour, and about 17 total! Granted Rajshri is known for their extensive soundtracks, but Ek Vivaah...goes too far. To add insult to injury...the music is TERRIBLE. Jain has stepped back into the days of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. The only difference is that he's killed all the good! I had to tie my hands down just to stop from pulling out all my hair every 5 minutes that a song and dance sequence erupted out of thin air. You know it must be bad when a hard-core Bollywood viewer tells you there were too many songs.
Prem's character is completely two-dimensional. The Mittal's do little to provide him with a life off-screen. Furthermore, Prem's sacrifices might have been better understood if there was a stronger premise behind the seemingly hollow attraction between Prem and Chandni. Despite Ek Vivaah...being the major film Sonu Sood has been looking for, he would have been wise to pass. Prem's limitations as a romantic only limit Sood's stage to perform. We feel no sympathy for Prem. Sood fails to leave a lasting impression.
A bit more mercy has been laid upon Chandni's character, as we are given glimpses of insight into her strained mentality. For woman, it's an insight into the complex inner-workings of an emotionally-charged independent woman. For men, it's the common display of indecisiveness and confusing irrationalities. Either way, there is a decent connection between viewer and character. On the other side, the chemistry between Isha Koppikar and Chandni is a bit shaky. Isha has had her downfalls as an actress. Her struggles continue while we're showcased a pretty face with very little substance. I didn't feel the rage in her voice. I didn't see the pain in her eyes. I couldn't sense the frustration in her struggles.
Rajshri Productions has come to the end of its illustrious journey as a nostalgic family entertainer. Unless they can radically rediscover themselves or span genres, Rajshri has exhausted any creative resources it once had. Two thumbs down.