Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) *HQ*

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo takes off from the holy city of Ayodhya with the pious background song of ‘Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo’ which is something we associated with quite early on ever since the title of the film was declared.

Soon, we meet Prem Dilwala (Salman Khan), a happy-go-lucky ‘Ram Bhakta’ who performs for the Ram Leela shows in quite a contemporary fashion. He is smitten by Princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor) whom he first meets at a flood relief camp and ever since makes sure to send donations to her NGO, Uphaar trust. Prem’s partner and friend is Kanhaiyya (Deepak Dobriyal) who knows about Prem’s craze for Maithili and doesn’t approve of it much.

Prem learns that Princess Maithili will be travelling to a close by town, Pritampura for her fiance’s ‘Tilak’ ceremony and decides to travel all the way to meet her. On the other side, we learn about Yuvraaj Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) who is the prince, Maithilli is getting married to. The Yuvraaj a short tempered and a man of less words. His family is going through a strenous time as his younger brother Aajay Singh (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and his sisters Chandrika (Swara Bhaskar) and Radhika are having property fights with him.

Soon, Ajay Singh plans to get his brother out of his way and plans his accident. Vijay Singh gets severely injured and is kept in a secret facility by Diwan Saab (Anupam Kher) who is a loyal worker of the King. To save Vijay, Diwan plans to present Prem in disguise as the would-be-King.

Will Prem solve all problems for Vijay and bring his family together and will Maithili fall for Prem or Vijay is what entails ahead.

Does the plot ring a bell? Well, there’s speculation that PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is inspired by L.V. Prasad’s Sanjeev Kumar starrer RAJA AUR RUNK [1969], an Indian adaptation of Mark Twain’s novel ‘The Prince And The Pauper’. However, the story of PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO bears a striking resemblance to Anthony Hope’s novel ‘The Prisoner Of Zenda’ [1894], which has been adapted innumerable times on film, stage, television and radio. Having said that, the serpentine twists and turns in the screenplay of PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO makes it dissimilar from the above named films.

Sooraj’s hold on the script is evident from the commencement of the film itself as he moves from one episode to another swiftly. Like always, the hallmark of his films is the undercurrent of emotions and PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO depicts the familial bonding and the conflict amongst family members skilfully. Additionally, he uses vibrant colours [costumes, sets] and opulence to make it a visually arresting experience. In short, the drama is captivating, the emotional moments are punctuated wonderfully in the narrative [more so towards the second and third acts] and the finale, when the key questions are answered, enhances the seamless narrative.

On the whole, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is the perfect Diwali entertainer for the entire family. The film will win abundant love [prem], while its investors will reap a harvest [dhan], making it a memorable Diwali for all concerned. This one’s a record-smasher — scoring from East to West and from North to South, scoring at plexes as well as single screens, scoring at metros as well as non-metros, scoring in the domestic market as well as in the international arena. B-L-O-C-K-B-U-S-T-E-R!

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