I watched Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Or should I say I witnessed a Salman Khan film. I had decided to watch the film at a single screen to understand the film better. Frankly, I was very much in two minds till the last moment if I should at all watch it at the single screen when right next to it is a posh multiplex that promised a crowd far sober. My doubts were cleared as I walked into the theatre premises. There was litres of milk spilled on the floor. I looked up and realised that the poster of the film was bathed with milk – an apparent prayer ritual earlier seen with south superstar Rajnikanth. My mind was made.
As I walked in there was rather large crowd standing, trying to find their seats. Figured most people did not really care whose seat they took, leaving people who wanted to sit on their seats standing. The film started and things only got more complicated. Groups of people decided they rather watch the film standing than try to find nearest empty seats in the darkness of the theater – obviously no one wanted miss a bit of Salman on screen; not while they tried finding something as inconsequential as a seat! More so, when so many from the audience would anyway be leaving their seats every time there was a song to dance in front of the screen. And security needed to come in to get these joyful souls back to where they should be; seats. By the time the fifth song came up more or less everyone has settled in. Some even found the empty seats beside me. Company!
It must have been a busy day for those security guys at the theater considering there are so many songs in the film.
Coming to the film, there are various lessons I learnt from this Salmantertainer. Very important among these are how to play football. There is one whole song dedicated to a football match between the two sexes. Football like never seen before. Football that could leave the FIFA stunned; Pele and Maradona be damned. Shorts and soccer shoes are overrated too. With the ISL on, suppose the teams could take some lesson in how to kick the ball and to to dribble from none other than Salman.
PRDP also teaches me that irrespective of what the Govt of India would like, there are princely states who are governed by their own laws. And they have their own car registration numbers. Like the cars from the royal palace of Pritampura, which is ruled by Vikram Singh (Salma Khan), have numbers plates that read ‘Pritampura 1’, ‘Pritampura 7’ etc. Ironically when they have to sign legal documents related to property, they use Indian judicial stamp papers.
These apart, PRDP to me is also excessively vulgar at some points. A long song is dedicated to the lead girl trying to seduce her love, Prem. She makes him write on her back, decorate her hair with flowers, hug her and for all the activities she responds with orgasmic pleasure. Breath in, breath out. Do it with all vigour. This is branded as “quality time” at many points in the film.
PRDP tells an age-old story. The difference is we have Salman Khan in it this time. And Salman Khan in a double avatar. There are others too, but why would you care! Sonam Kapoor does manage to get a prominent enough role. She gets to spank Salman Khan on the butt with a tray and giggle about it. There is Bigg Boss and Tanisha Mukerji fame Armaan Kohli too. And Swara Bhaskar and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Neil playing the role that hardly needed him.
The screenplay is non-existent. Here’s how I believe the film may have happened.
- Sooraj Barjatya wants to make a comeback
- Scrolls through decades and decides to pick a theme that we have seen in each decade
- Gets Salman Khan. In double role for single fee.
- Starts writing the script. Every time he did not know how to go ahead he sought help of the lyricist. Himesh Reshammiya is put on standby with his orchestra.
- Add characters and strike them off without justification. Who cares about them anyway when Salman is on screen.
- Shoot extravagantly. Edit badly. Use worse special effects. Who cares about them anyway when Salman is on screen.
But why would all that matter to the bhai-maniac. Opinions are inconsequential. Not a new discovery, but certainly reinstated as I walked out of the theater after this three-hour long ordeal and saw much of the audience beaming with joy. Some even headed back to the box office to buy another ticket. You would probably watch this film too. Maybe you should. It could also help practice tolerance. The country needs it at this moment. Plus, you get to watch a Shah Rukh Khan trailer too as a DIWALI BONUS along with PRDP. Way to go Bollywood!
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