Nobility as a quality in cinema seems
almost the hallmark of Sooraj Barjatya`s cinema. Specially during these times of
stress cynicism and violence, any film that doesn`t belch out venomous fumes is
worthy of applause.
But wait. Before we cheer Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi for walking the
straight and narrow road, let`s be warned. The route taken by the narration
looks like a tepid and technically shoddy facsimile of Anil Ganguly`s Tapasya,
which was produced by Barjatya, and more recently, the Barjatya-directed Vivah
that won extra points for its elegant and fluent simplicity of narration.
Director Kaushik Ghatak takes us through Barjatya`s joint-family system. Yes,
even the infamous `gaajar ka halwa` (sweet dish made out of shredded carrot)
makes its mouth-watering appearance during the first wedding that rolls out at
Yup, the film begins and ends with elaborate weddings replete with the whole
cast plus sundry junior artists dressed in garish pinks, mauves and greens
prancing to the sound of festivities.
But somewhere this prolonged music-video `Vivaah...` lacks the graceful zing of
the other Shahid Kapur-Amrita Rao film two years ago which had enough meals and
morning walks to make our digestive system feel balanced out.
Ek Vivaah... is lopsided in its fervent festivity. The first-half
where a romance grows between two small town singers Sonu Sood and Eesha
Koppikhar creaks with monotonous semi-classical songs.
The music composed by Ravindra Jain is simply awful. Jain had done the songs and
music in the original film Tapasya. One still remembers Kishore
Kumar`s theme song Jo raah chuni tuney with affection.
The songs and music in Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi are dreadfully dull.
The film gets by on the strength of Bengali litterateur Ashapurna Devi`s
powerful story of a self-willed woman who sacrifices marriage to look after her
Parts of the second-half capture the emotional aroma of the original story.
Specially effective is the relationship between the spinster and her devoted
soulmate who refuses to marry any other girl.
Suchitra Sen and Ashok Kumar shared a similar platonic rapport in Asit Sen`s
Mamta. And so did Raakhee Gulzar and Parikshit Sahni in Tapasya.
They had the spirit.
Eesha and Sonu are sincere, but they lack the gravity and ingrained wisdom and
dignity required to portray lives that go beyond self interest.
What works for this Vivaah... is its intrinsic integrity. At a time
when everyone is making films that either go for the guffaw or head for the
libido, here`s a film that tackles very basic traditional values and the
feelings underlining the colourful festivities related to the Hindu wedding. The
language is often so old fashioned that it borders on the archaic.
But at least nobody is acting oversmart.
Chandni belongs to a middle-class family, living in one of the tiny by lanes
of old Bhopal. She lives with her father and younger siblings- Anuj and Sandhya.
Chandni, who is deeply attached to her school going brother and sister, is
trained in classical and folk music. During a stage performance she falls in
love with Prem...
Prem hails from a rich business family. He is an unconventional ghazal singer
full of mischief and pranks...
Life is picture perfect until, on the day of their engagement Chandni,s
father passes away... suddenly she becomes the eldest in her family. On one
hand, her `mehendi` adorned hands are beckoning her to the dream home for her
fiancé and the other hand are her siblings, whom she cannot take along with
her. Chandni decides not to marry so that she can bring up her little brother
and sister with self-respect.
Prem understand her and stands by her through thick and thin as she goes
through her struggle. He unconditionally waits for Chandni for 12 long years
until she fulfills all her responsibilities as an elder sister.
`Truly... sometimes the greatest love stories are... the ones that stand the
test of time.`