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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Movie review: Aaha Kalyanam gets its key elements wrong

Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times  Chennai, February 22, 2014
First Published: 12:29 IST(22/2/2014) | Last Updated: 16:34 IST(22/2/2014)

The Tamil film, Aaha Kalyanam (Wow Wedding), by A Gokul Krishna is an exact remake of Bollywood's money-spinning Band Baaja Baaraat that had Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma playing wedding planners.

Aaha Kalyanam (Wow Wedding)
Director: A Gokul Krishna
Cast: Nani, Vaani Kapoor, Simran
Rating: **

While the Hindi version had an element of authenticity, the Tamil work takes a beating here. As we all know, the business of blueprinting a marriage is highly popular in north India and in Mumbai - with many of the rich choosing to leave the chores associated with this kind of celebration to professionals. However, this concept is not quite the in thing in the southern parts of the country.



So, Aaha Kalyanam (which is all about two people coming together as wedding planners to pilot the ceremonies with style and professionalism) while presenting a celebratory image, replete with  myriad colours, designs and dances to the beat of melody and mirth, gets its key elements wrong.

South Indian weddings are not quite the way they are projected in Aaha Kalyanam. They are traditional and subdued, sans fun and frolic and the Foxtrot.

This is where the producer, Yash Raj Films (who also made Band Baaja Baaraat), falters; they need to have got the script right, and incorporated Tamil traditions, mannerisms and mood in the plot. Instead, they have chosen a lazy way out by simply using a different cast and director. They have been fitted into the original template. This does not work, not really, not even with the images of Chennai (that the movie begins with) and a pretence of the city in place.

What is by far worse is that  Vaani Kapoor -- as one of the planners, Shruti -- is so exaggerated in her performance (with even her lip-sync being a disaster) that after a point, the film starts to wear you down (maybe a better bet could have been Genelia). On top of this, she is a rank bad dancer. But yes, the Telugu actor (Aaha Kalyanam has also been released in Telugu), Nani, does a far better job, also marvellously lisping an accented Tamil.

Indeed, despite high production values (a contrast to most Tamil movies which suffer in this area) and an impressive degree of sophistry (which Bollywood cinema is known for), Aaha Kalyanam did not wow me.

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