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Ramaiya Vastavaiya review: Retro remixed!

Ramaiya Vastavaiya
Shruti Haasan, Girish Taurani, Sonu Sood, Randhir Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Poonam Dhillon
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You've gotta admit the title's a winner. Sadly the film is nothing but a rehashed version of retro classic Maine Pyar Kiya (1989). Technically you would also call it the remake of Prabhu Deva's directorial debut, Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (which was inspired by MPK, so there).

Simple and sweet Bhagyashree gives way to Shruti Haasan's village belle Sona. An orphan and raised by her elder brother (Sonu Sood), she has led a sheltered and protected life.

She leaves her brother's side for the first time to attend her friendís wedding. And there she meets an Australian businessmanís son Ram (Girish Taurani), who likes monkeying around and is called Australian bandar by Sona. (This is a version of Salman's bratty Prem in MPK).

There's also a version of that short-skirt wearing girl who's interested in the hero, but he opts for the sweet, simple option.

The just-in-love couple are shown horsing around (there's a pun there for those who'll see the movie), while his parents are outraged that he should choose a girl from a farmer's family.

In this film, the hero goes to great lengths to prove his love. From cleaning buffalo stables, to eating unpalatable food and toiling on the fields - he unlearns his privileged background miraculously and adapts to the village ways.

Heck, he even jumps into a fire to save a toy from Sona's childhood.

Shruti Haasan has little to do except smile, which she does beautifully. But her evocative eyes and solid screen presence shine through. A more assured dialogue delivery will take her even ahead.

One has seen several films where the producer's son plays the lead and embarrasses himself. Ramaiya Vastavaiya is not one of them. Girish Taurani uses his unconventional looks to the character's advantage, which often includes self-deprecating humour.

With small, sharp eyes, curly hair and a wide smile, he's more the adorable goof-ball than a typical Bollywood hero.

And there's plenty of humour to get the viewer by. Plus there are special moments like the brother brining up his baby sister, their equation, the songs and the few moments of drama that are arresting.

It's true that romances never get outdated, but stories do. We've seen this one before, and the audience is eager to see new actors in a contemporary take on love.

To believe that an educated girl is too timid to put across her point of view, or that the hero can go to fatal lengths to prove his love are all outdated and rightly so.

One truly wishes our young actors and Prabhu Deva (after Wanted and Rowdy Rathore) had given us a fresh take on love, rather than the same ol'. (Just to give you a hint, the film begins inside the Central Jail like films of yore.)

Watch if you'd like to revisit an '80s style romance with the songs, dances, humour and melodrama all mixed in.

Rating: 2 stars


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