DVD review: Vivah

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By IndiaFM

THE FILM

This one was the surprise superhit of 2006 which went on to be in circulation for more than 6 months. One of the rare silver jubilees of the decade gone by, Vivah was released at limited number of prints, as is the tradition with Rajshri Films (Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon and Hum Saath Saath Hain were exceptions) and went on to enjoy a stable and consistent box office run for weeks in succession. With a punch line of 'A journey from engagement to marriage', the film was termed as 'yet another chacha-chachi-mama-mami film' but all this was before the release of the film!Once this Sooraj Barjatya film hit the screens, the small town flavor and a simplistic look and narrative worked with the audiences. Shahid Kapoor-Amrita Rao's subtle relationship may have done just reasonably well with the fast forward generation of today that lives and breathes in the Baristas and Coffee Cafe Day of the world but the crowds frequenting 'chaiwallahs' at the small town/city 'nukkad' made it a universal super success!

The film marked the comeback of Shahid Kapoor in the big league who has recently followed it up with yet sweet-n-romantic superhit - Jab We Met!

PACKAGING

Exactly a year after it's theatrical release, the film arrives on home video. Highlight of the DVD of Vivah is it's excellent packaging. With the DVD placed in a hardbound cover which resembles a book, this Collector's Edition also doubles up as an invitation card for a wedding. Another interesting factor is that instead of pasting review comments from reviewers and trade, Barjatya have chosen viewer's comments to grace the DVD box. Close to nine review comments from across the globe (India, Romania, London, USA, and South Africa) celebrate an occasion, which goes by the name of Vivah. Also, the box proudly exclaims the film to have celebrated Silver Jubilee at 25 centers across India - a fact!

Inside the DVD box, there is an attached booklet which not just carries out the film's synopsis and character sketch of the actors but also includes the director's note, personal messages of Shahid and Amrita and a write up on history of Rajshri.

DURATION

The film comes in single DVD with the film's duration being 160 minutes, though added features last only 20 minutes.

MOVIE DETAILS

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Amrita Rao, Anupam Kher, Alok Nath, Seema Biswas, Sameer Soni, Manoj Joshi, Amrita Prakash, Lata Sabharwal and Mohnish Behl
Director: Sooraj R Barjatya
Lyrics and Music: Ravindra Jain

SPECIAL FEATURES

The only special feature in the film is 'Making of the film' which lasts for 20 minutes. This is one of the most unexciting part of the DVD since a) It takes a predictable route and b) It doesn't even explore 'behind-the-scenes' instances during the filming of Vivah and instead merely focuses on standard canned interviews of cast and crew.

Even when Shahid, Amrita, Anupam Kher or Alok Nath talk about how lovely an experience it was while working in Vivah, it is hardly the content which makes you sit up, take notice and say, "Ok, so I was not aware about this' or 'Did it really happen?". The point is that an actor or a crewmember is bound/expected to state the same and there is hardly a surprising element/little known fact, which comes to fray!

In addition, the art director and the sound designer get some screen time to share their experiences about the making of the film. There is an interesting fact to share though about how difficult it was to create the tiny lanes of Madhupur, a town which was entirely created on a set. Another sequence around how the film's last shot being canned led to a teary farewell is well presented too. It's a turn off though when the film's choreographer Jay Borade commentary around the film's song and dance sequences comes with a bad sound sans any dubbing!

Furthermore, a lot of focus around the making is on the film's music! Ravindra Jain's music of the film was never a chartbuster to begin with but the simplicity angle to the proceedings is fed yet again to justify the kind of songs that apparently took the narrative forward in Vivah. In fact, one of the most annoying moments in the making is when composer Ravindra Jain takes over the mantle to let known his love for the film and the makers by singing his creation 'Mujhe Haq Hai' with different words which go as -

"Rajshri ke liye gaoon, mujhe haq hai; Saath Suraj ka main nibhaoon, mujhe haq hai."

It may have stopped here but the song continues with Jain now singing on behalf of Sooraj - "Kaam dada se karaoon, mujhe haq hai"!

TECHNICAL DETAILS

- Vivah is one of those rare films, which does not come in a 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation. In layman terms, the film comes in a regular format (with thick top and bottom stripes) which is associated with VCD format.
- Subtitles In English
- 5.1 Dolby Digital

CONCLUSION

Vivah is not one of those DVDs where you get to know something, which is over and above what you saw in the film at theaters. Special Features are hardly a USP here and there is nothing additional in the offering. Buy it if you liked the film first time around or want to give a dekho to a film which has it's germs in the heartland of India.