The (infamous) Vivah review

I call it infamous because it remains my most-quoted review, the one people most frequently drudge up to exemplify cruelty. I think it’s harshness is kinda overrated. Honest. Heh.


Picture Shahid mooning wistfully on a verandah. Amrita, ghoonghat covering her head, pops up behind him with a brass tumbler full of water, and mousily asks him if he’d like some “jal.” That’s right, these folk are inadvertently mean caricatures of the heartland, talking like absolutely nobody does. He sniffles, takes the glass and reaches for some ice when she cuts in. ‘People with a cold,’ she smiles at his sneakers, ‘shouldn’t ice their drinks.’ Amrita smiles ‘coyly’ and scoots off, even as Shahid skips the ice and stands wondering how she realised he had a cold. While this rough translation from the unbelievable Vivah tongue might not have quite the same impact, it exemplifies the horror this film is packed with.

The only good thing that one can say about Shahid Kapoor is that he isn’t awful. He isn’t offensively bad, doesn’t ham it up like crazy, or speak in a weird accent. Having said that, he isn’t an actor at all, standing around working on his boyish grin, simply chewing up the scenery. No screen presence at all.

Amrita Rao plays a cow. Docile to a fault, the pretty girl ponders around the film, constantly getting in the way of the story. Her character is not just conservative but excessively given to world-pleasing. She sobs, she smiles, she scampers — she does anything anyone wants her to do, making you wish someone tried asked her to be subtle. Her painful performance coupled with the horrible lines she’s given singles her out as the film’s weakest point — so her having the maximum screentime isn’t a positive.

Damn, how this film makes us miss Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit.

The full Review at Rediff. November 10, 2006.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The (infamous) Vivah review

  1. Mean….but not mean enough…well written though

  2. Absolute delight!! In fact, I even tricked a friend to watch the movie with me. I wanted to see the movie to make fun of the movie! And the song, “milan abhi aadha adhura hai” makes me cringe.

    Have you written abt Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, by any chance?!?

    Btw, you must definitely have a lot of enemies out there in the film industry! :P

  3. PGK

    Ah yes. I remember this fondly. Although I think No Smoking is your most-quoted review – thanks to a certain passionate website which will remain unnamed.

    Nothing beats the lyrics though : ‘Neeche jab dekhoon to ocean hi ocean hai, upar jab dekhoon to tere aankhon ka roshan hai’. Shoot. me. now.

  4. Mean? Hardly. Not that I have seen this movie (nor have any intentions of doing so), but if it indeed revolves around such painfully archaic stereotypes, then your disparaging critique seems perfectly justified.

    As for that Kapoor boy… ah, but there is indeed nothing more to him than boyish grins and pretty hair. Surely you could be forgiven for not being able to come up with anything (else) in his favor??

    ;-)

  5. Vijay

    Oh boy! This is clearly one of the worst movies ever. I think Barjatya’s earlier Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon beats it. You can imagine how bad that one is. This review was bang on! Surely small town india is not so uni-dimensional? What else can you expect from the Barjatya’s anyway? The thing is a lot of these kind of movies…are extreme..either the Barjatya type or a KJ type, very few like Imtiaz Ali, who just about get the right mix. By the way, I consider KJ’s movies to be Barjatya inspired, but only set in a so-called “modern” milieu. Nothing different. !

  6. Vijay

    I think your Saawariya review was far more cruel and deservedly so :-). And lets face it most of rediff’s reviewers are as passionless as the love between Amrita Rao and Shahid Kapoor in Vivah. And Then there’s you that makes up and more for all of that!

  7. Sadhana Parag Deshpande

    I AM WRITING THIS MAIL FROM IRELAND.

    I WATCH THIS MOVIE ATLEAST ONCE A DAY. TILL TODAY ITS 276 TIMES !!!

    ITS A WONDERFUL, MUST WATCH MOVIE.

    SHAHID KAPOOR IS WONDERFUL, CUTE AND GOOD LOOKING ACTOR WHO WILL HAVE A GREAT CAREER AHEAD. A NEXT SUPERSTAR IN-MAKING. AMRITA RAO IS ALSO GOOD – NEXT MADHURI DIXIT IN MAKING.

    1.Rediff reviewer is mad and crazy, PLEASE DUMP HIM either he does not have any Indian family values and cultures for himself or may be has divorced number of times with unsuccessful relations.

    2. I rate this movie above 5 stars.

    3. For we people who are NRI’s and want to pass on Indian culture and values to our children, movies of this kind need to be produced or else our young generation will always follow the western culture tracks which is absolutely heartbreaking.

    We understand the importance of our Indian culture only when we come and live in this western world and see their culture with no family values.

    (I am married for last 8 and a mother of 6 years old boy always worried about his upbringing)

    from rediff msg board

    • R.k

      Hi
      ONE OF MY COUSINS IS ALSO IN IRELAND AND HIS NAME IS PARAG DESHPNADE TOO. I THINK MUST BE HIM. I USED TO CALL HIM P. L. HOPE HE MIGHT NOT HAVE FORGOTTTEN.(KEEP THINKING PARAG)

      R.K.

  8. Dude
    With rediff still blocked in my office, I end up reading only the first few paras of all your reviews. I was enjoying the Vivah review immensely till that link cropped up again…However, Mrs Deshpande’s comments more than made up for all the entertainment I might have missed ;)

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