Director: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Producer: Ajit Kumar Barjatya, Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya
Screenplay: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Story: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Starring: Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Anupam Kher
Music: Sanjoy Chowdhury, Himesh Reshammiya
Cinematography: V. Manikandan
Editor: Sanjay Sankla
Production company: Rajshri Productions
Distributor: Fox Star Studios
Release date: 12 November 2015
Running time: 164 minutes
Budget: 80 crore
Story Line: The film narrates the story of Prem Dilwala, a happy go lucky and innocent man who does Ramleelas (stage plays based on Lord Rama) in Ayodhya, India. Whatever he earns, he donates to a charitable fund which is run by a gorgeous Princess named Maithili (Sonam Kapoor). Prem is enchanted by the simplicity of her nature, how despite she being a princess, leads a normal life and is kind enough to help people constantly. He decided to meet her and express his respect to the causes that she undertakes. What follows next, is dramatic, visually grand and a test of love and relationships. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, is a complete family film that has dollops of emotions laced into the dramatic plot of the story where the do-gooder Prem has to rely on his instincts and purity of his soul to win over people and every dramatic situation that he is faced with.
Khan would be seen playing dual role – a king and a common man. Ratan (king) will rule the kingdom, while his identical twin brother in the film will be a common man. “Sooraj has written the character of Ratan with Salman in mind. He’s the ideal raja who is loved and worshipped by his subjects. Sonam Kapoor plays the role of a princess. Salman has given a lot of inputs for both the characters, Prem and Ratan, which are positive roles,” a source close to the production told Mumbai Mirror. Also, the film features Sonam Kapoor as a princess and Neil Nitin Mukesh will be seen as Khan’s evil step-brother. “Neil is playing a vengeful prince who is King Salman’s step-brother,” the source added. But a report in IBTimes UK says that the storyline is similar to American author Mark Twain’s popular tale “The Prince and the Pauper”.
A popular version from the tale that relates to the Salman starrer is as follows:
A king, who is loved by his subjects, wants to lead a normal life away from all the responsibilities and his kingdom, while his step brother plans to steal the throne from him. But things are changed when the king finds out the common man who looks exactly like him and they change their identities with each other temporarily. Not only “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”, but other old classic films are also inspired from Twain’s tale, which includes “Raja Aur Runk”. “Raja Aur Runk” is an Indian adaptation of Twain’s novel, which was released in 1968. The film, directed by Kotayya Pratyagatma featured late actor Sanjeev Kumar in the double role and Kumkum as the princess.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Sooraj has made his directorial debut with Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) starring Salman Khan which was a huge box office hit and launched both his and Salman’s careers. The film also won him the Most Sensational Debut of the Year award. He teamed up with Salman again for Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) which became one of the highest all-time blockbusters and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999) which was a huge hit as well. His fourth film was Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon starring Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan and his last film was Vivah (2006) starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao, which has proved to be one of the biggest blockbusters in his career. He has named the lead actor of all his movies ‘Prem’. He is a trendsetter and ushered in an era of family based themes in Indian cinema. He had said in an interview that “Ours was a joint Marwari family and I grew up witnessing grand functions and wedding ceremonies in the family. The opulence shown in my films is based on my impressions as a child”.
Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Sooraj Barjatya’s two consecutive blockbusters, are still placed among the top ten most successful films of the last 80 years. Vivah proved to be one of the biggest grossers of 2006, having celebrated a silver jubilee run at 25 centers across the country. The film was nominated for more than 15 awards.
My Gut Feel and comments:
Sooraj came back with the bang in his own sweet innocent style. Although comparing to his previous movies this time he seems to have experimented with a tricky subject where Salman playing double role and story has typical gray shed characters as well, played by Neil Nitin Mukesh and Arman Kohli which we had not seen in Sooraj’s previous movies. Although Sooraj is associated with simple highly emotional family drama films however not many knows that he do lot of preparation as director and work very hard on preproduction stuff which results in seem less execution. This time production scale is gigantic as story revolves around a royal family.So handling a huge cast and crew and doing justice to massive sets as per schedule do required a diligent ground work and timely execution which Sooraj did managed to carry out well. Salman is looking awesome as Sooraj’s prem once again, although if given a chance I personally would have preferred Sonakshi against Sonam in leading lady’s role in this movie however I am sure Sooraj would have his own reasons for casting Sonam. Film is releasing in over 4500 screens across India and already recovered 71 %( 57 crore) of its production cost by selling satellite and music rights as per trade analysts. This means from business perspective this would be a sure short profit making venture as movie is releasing on the next day of diwali (Wednesday) which will result in higher foot fall by Sunday. Overall chances of Sooraj going wrong dramatically in his offering is negligible. Salman has not charged movie fees and will share profit with Sooraj as per sources. Holding today’s audience attention for more than two and a half hour would be difficult and film would have its own share of flaws here and there still once can expect a clean family entertainer as expected from Rajshri Productions.
Going by my gut feel, I am giving this movie 3 out of 5 stars, one day before the release.