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Review: Ek Vivaah..Aisa Bhi

What a rocket! In a three-tier train, you suddenly find Pakeezah poppet. Raaj Kumar Sood sees Meena Kumar Koppikhar’s face, feet and nose, writes Khalid Mohamed.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2008 18:12 IST
Khalid Mohamed

Ek Vivaah..Aisa Bhi

Cast: Eesha Koppikhar, Sonu Sood, Gaajar Halwa, Alok Nath portrait (smiling)

Direction: Kaushik Ghatak

Rating: **

What a rocket! In a three-tier train, you suddenly find Pakeezah poppet. Raaj Kumar Sood sees Meena Kumar Koppikhar’s face, feet and nose. Right away, he wants to give her a long stemmed rose. Alas, since there are no gardens in sight, Sood Jaani simply composes a sonnet, sings, and sings, and sings, till you’re convinced that he’s a

ghazal kinng.
Pling!

Indeed, everyone sings their hearts-`n’-lungs out in Kaushik Ghatak’s

Ek Vivaah..Aisa
Bhi, till you’re convinced it’s a re-launch for lyricist-composer Ravindra Jain. On surviving the tsunami of ding-dong-songs, you remember – aha – this is a remake of Barjatya Factory’s
Tapasya
(1976) in which Raakhee as a self-sacrificial lamb made
seekh kababs
of every other actress in town. She was that powerful, going at the role meatier than a leg of roast mutton. Chutney
maarke.

Now that was quite audacious because Rajshree products are strictly vegetarian. No eggs permitted. Over three decades later, too, the retro-retread celebrates the joys of

gaajar halwa
and
besan laddoos
which are photographed in loving close-ups. Fine. Trouble: both in attitude and technique, this tearjerker is trapped in a time warp. There has been no progress at all in terms of values, relationships. And hello, there’s even a cruelly cuckoo
chacha
-`n’-
chachi
who must have flown over from Ekta Kapoor’s nest. Or from
Grr Grr ki Kahani.

Falooda colour costumes, odd sets (a down-at-heel family displays a Ming vase!) and a story-telling style which went out with Shaikh Chilli (make that Raj Kanwar) , indicate that the Barjatyas want to reach out to the viewer who believes in the archaic and outmoded. Instead of being practical (why can’t the sacrificing woman rent out rooms in her Hilton Towers-like

haveli
?, there’s a stubborn insistence on no-marriage-no kiss-no hug-no sex (ouch) till the heroine’s baby sister and baba brother are fed, bathed, educated, married off, sent off to the U S and the lord knows what else! Maybe even a handshake with Barack Obama.

Till then Railgaadi Pakeezah (Eesha Koppikhar, her spelling) and Raaj-e-Ghazal (Sonu Sood) must wait. Platonically and at a barge pole distance just in case there are ungodly vibes. Meanwhile, Ghazal’s mum is about to lose her patience just like the gay designer’s mum in

Fashion
. Eventually, Kid Brother (Anonymous Kumar) brings home a wife (Anonymous Kumari) who goes cackle-cackle like those ingrates from
Baghban
to quote the most recent example. Not surprisingly, Sacrificing Pakeezah suffers from a violent case of migraine. So do you. Ooh.

To be honest, you still have a certain sneaking regard for the Barjatya product, because it’s so innocent and naïve that it’s heartbreaking. Also some high-pitched dramatic moments do get to your tear ducts. And most redeemably, the sob opera has a consistently inspired and delicately shaded performance by Eesha Khoppikhar, her career-best. Sonu Sood, reminding you of Amitabh Bachchan in his

Bansi aur Birju
days, goes at his part with heartfelt conviction too. And an actress who goes crazy playing the
dholak
is engagingly perky.
Woh kaun thi,
please?

So, with all its pros and cons, should you attend this

Vivaah..?
Only if you’re in the mood for watching an Alok Nath portrait,
sharbats, mithais, puris
.. oh forget it!


Video Review by Khalid Mohmed

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Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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Part 5

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Part 6

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Part 7