Review - Salaam-e-Ishq: Shorter would have been sweeter
Dir: Nikhil Advani
An entertaining 2 hours sandwiched between a clumpsy beginning (45 minutes) and a boring end (another 45 minutes). It is worth watching once when you are in a mood for a light movie. But you don't need to rush to the theatres. Excellent acting and good direction. I especially enjoyed the parody on everything our "masala" movies stand for. Still wondering what the end product would be if it was 1.5 hours shorter.
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If you were to graph your enjoyment thorough the 3.5+ hours of the movie, it would be a bell-shaped curve. At first you are holding your head at all the forced attempts at comedy and drama. Then you begin laughing at the silliness of it all. Slowly the stories start growing on you and before you know it you are fond of the characters. Then comes interval. Things gradually slide down with very intentional melodrama and preachy “holier-than-thou” lines. And you are back to holding your head.
This is certainly not the kind of movie where we are allowed to say things like, “Yeah right! Like that happens in real life”. If you want logic, stay home. Treat the movie as one big cinematic liberty and it is enjoyable. The movie weaves you through different stages that a couple goes through to get and stay married. And it does that very smoothly, with grace and elegance. Since there is so much ground to cover the pace keeps you interested till its time for the stories to wrap up.
Interestingly, a unique route is taken to avoid confusion that six stories could cause - don’t make it six “complete” stories at all! There are two main stories, three side stories, and then there is the comic-relief no-connection-to-main-story-story. Even more interesting is the fact that all the male characters are more full of life than their partners.
The songs as a whole, contribute to the positive experience. Sameer has surprised us with the lyrics of the touching "Ya rabba". It was as heart-warming to watch as it is to hear. “Dil kya kare” and “Salaam-e-ishq” too are sweet - both to ears and eyes. Two things that strike are the use of bagpipes and the sizeable screen time given to Priyanka Chopra.
The directorial spoof-touch given to the movie was very impressive. What is it a spoof of? Everything you ever associated with the phrase masala movie (or "Bollywood", if you must). Name it and you have it - wet skimpily-clad seductress, falling car, temple bells, random people on street clapping when guy proposes his girl, a comic-relief sub-plot, the mandatory airport scene where our characters suddenly get all control over the staff, the boy arriving at girl’s wedding to stop it… Oops! Didn’t mean to scare you. Not to worry, it is all done with great style. They actually have the characters hold video cameras to shoot the on-goings throughout the first half - symbolically reminding you that you are in a movie. The “masala” gift is wrapped with a tastefully bright paper. And the bow on the top is the take-off on a leading director and a real-life celebrity couple.
A love story is supposed to evoke emotions. Many love stories should do so even more. But not one of the six is a tear-jerker. Can't blame the script. The stories were appropriately fleshed out. Special mention needed for the Anil Kapoor-Juhi Chawla story. All the performances were absolutely great! Especially Akshaye Khanna and Govinda's comic timing. It is the dialogues that lacked impact. There were some very good comedy lines (mostly given to Akshaye Khanna), but there were very few that made your heart go all out for the character.
The basic question is – is it worth spending 45 minutes at each end in despair for the almost 2.5 hours of good entertainment in between? Yes, but you don’t need to rush to the halls.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Salaam-e-Ishq - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Orion Pictures, Mad Entertainment
- Producer: Mukesh Talreja, Nikhil Advani, Sunil Manchandana
- Director: Nikhil Advani
- Lead Cast: Shannon Esrechowitz, Govinda, Eesha Koppikhar, Sohail Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia, Akshaye Khanna, Juhi Chawla, Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Vidya Balan
- Story: Nikhil Advani
- Screenplay: Nikhil Advani, Suresh Nair, Saurabh Shukhla
- Dialogues: Saurabh Shukhla, Saurabh Shukhla
- Cinematography: Piyush Shah
- Editor: Aarti Bajaj
- Background Score: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
- Music Director: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
- Lyrics: Sameer
- Costume Designer: Vikram
- Art Direction: Priya Raghunath
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 225 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance, Spoof