IBTimes India Rating: 3
"Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (PRDP)"? No, nahi payo.
Either Sooraj Barjatya has been living under a rock, or he takes a lot of pride in his creative convictions, which do not allow him to see that writing on a woman's back with a quill in a fancy garden with never-ending flower shower isn't what a man in his right frame of mind would do.
The story begins with Prem Dilwala (Salman Khan) entertaining a Ram Leela audience in an effort to raise funds for Maithili's (Sonam Kapoor) NGO.
Meanwhile, Yuvraaj Vijay Singh (a stern, reserved Salman) immerses himself in preparing for his mega day – the Raj Tilak aka coronation.
Brother Ajay Singh (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and relative Chirag Singh (Armaan Kohli) then squeeze themselves into the script that has Salman written all over it.
The two conspire to kill the to-be-king and bask in the glory of having won the battle against him after he falls off the cliff while on his way home in a horse carriage.
Cut to, Prem posing as the make-shift prince in the richly done up palace wooing Vijay's fiancée Rajkumari Maithili and setting familial equations right while 'fallen' (literally) raja recuperates at a lair set-up by Dewan ji (Anupam Kher) and his security personnel.
On the face of it, the plotline appears good enough to keep people hooked. But add to it 10 odd songs – and it's all over from thereon. They are like that one extra ice cube, which, when added, spills your drink.
The pluses: Barjatya knows what emotions to tap into and how to go about writing a smooth screenplay. Everything plays out like a hot knife through butter.
Khan makes Prem funny, endearing and charming, all at once. His comic timing is exceptional and it is what holds the film together. What's interesting is the superstar plays the other guy differently, and not for once does the stern demeanour seem forced. Also, Kher creates a few laughs.
The majestic look and feel, vibrant colors and costumes are sure larger-than-life but all sit well with the narrative. The plush decor and furnishings are easy-on-the-eye and makes viewing a pleasant experience.
Minuses: Playing a football match, girls Vs boys, while dancing to this: "Chal aaja o kudiye, o chanchal si chidiye abi tu ladaiyya re... bada hi karara bada nakhre wala hai tera ravaiyya re... ho jaye ho jaye aja aja tod tadaiyya re". Cristiano Ronaldo, are you listening?
Neil Nitin of "Game of Thrones" fame was so busy plotting how to land a role in the popular TV series that he forgot to act in the film.
Armaan should thank Salman for bringing him out of the shadows "Jaani Dushman" (That naag guy, remember?) cast on him and his career. From here on, he will be known for his shoddy attempt at being an evil conspirator with cheap-looking reflector aviators and ill-fitted suits.
Ms. Kapoor looks beautiful in the film with a great sense of style and with this she could have hit it out of the park. But, her Maithili was like, ""Maan lo aaj bhi maine tumhara favourite black dress pehna hai".
In a nutshell, "PRDP" looks like a good news on an agenda-less Sunday afternoon in front of the television set. For those who do not agree, watch it because Salman is your favourite hero.
Would've settled for 2.5, but the three is because it's Prem and he is back.