By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Some things can never change. And never will! One may have a very modern outlook towards life, but most of us continue to be very traditional at heart. Every Rajshri film is rich in emotions and mirrors the traditions and culture with utmost simplicity and understanding. EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI is no exception!
The present-day adaptation of Rajshri's own classic TAPASYA [Raakhee, Parikshit Sahni], EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI is a simple story of sacrifice that aims at pulling your heart strings. Every Rajshri film works for two reasons -- the storyline and strong emotions -- and EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI follows the tradition well.
Of course, a story like the one in this film may seem regressive to the multiplex junta of metros, but the fact remains that cinema is all about narrating stories and EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI has a strong story to tell. Besides, there're ample moments in this film that strike a chord, that touch the core of your heart, that make you moist-eyed. And that's where this film scores big time.
It's really disheartening to note that family sagas have actually disappeared from the face of Hindi movies. Come, watch EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI with your family and re-connect with your roots!
Chandni [Isha Koppikar] belongs to a middle class family, living in one of the tiny bylanes of Bhopal. She lives with her father and younger siblings -- Anuj [Master Amey Pandya/Vishal Malhotra] and Sandhya [Baby Ishita Panchal/Amrita Prakash]. 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 [Sonu Sood]. Prem hails from a rich business family.
Life is picture perfect, until on the day of their engagement, Chandni's father [Alok Nath] passes away. Suddenly, she becomes the eldest in her family. On one hand, her mehendi adorned hands beckon her to the dream home of her fiancé. On the other hand are her younger siblings whom she cannot take along. Chandni decides not to marry, so that she can raise her little brother and sister with self respect.
Prem understands her and waits for Chandni for twelve long years, until she fulfils all the responsibilities as an elder sister.
Debutante director Kaushik Ghatak [a known name on television circuit] remains faithful to the subject material and most importantly, captures the sensitive moments well. The tale of sacrifice has been witnessed time and again, but it works only if the characters make you cry, even weep. In the latter part of EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI, you can't stop tears rolling down your cheeks at several points in the story, especially the Raksha Bandhan sequence and towards the end, when the brother returns with his wife. Rajshri has placed ample trust in Ghatak and the debutante doesn't let you down one bit.
On the flipside, the music [Ravindra Jain] could've been better. 'Mujhme Zinda Hai Woh' is the only track that merits a mention. Also, too many songs in the first hour put you off after a point. Dialogues are good at places.
Both Sonu Sood and Isha Koppikar vie for top honours. Sonu is restrained, mature and acts the part well. Isha is first-rate, exuding simplicity and strength that this character demands. Alok Nath is very good. Ditto for Vallabh Vyas and Smita Jaykar. Vishal Malhotra springs a surprise. He's excellent. Chhavi Mittal is effective as the sister-in-law. Amrita Prakash doesn't get much scope. Anang Desai is okay.
On the whole, EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI is akin to a delicious Indian thali in times of Pastas and Pizzas. You may opt for international cuisine at times, but Indian food, for an Indian at heart, would never go out of vogue. At the box-office, expectedly, the film may start slow, but it has the merits to climb the ladder with each passing show. The strategy of releasing the film at single screens and that too at limited centres makes wise business sense, since EK VIVAAH... AISA BHI is not the multiplex kind of movie. Business at single screens of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar should be the best.
Bollywood.com Rating: 3