Only a director like Sooraj Barjatya with immense credibility could get a #Film like ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ made. His sixth film as director staring Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Arman Kohli, Swara Bhasker and Anupam Kher. The film is Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya’s fourth collaboration.

There is a very strong plot to heat up the proceedings in this film, but essentially ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ is Sooraj Barjatya’s attempt at a commercially sensible cinema. People expecting a family extravaganza like Salman-Sooraj last outing together, ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, may not be disappointed. Though, it differs from the previous ventures of Barjatya - it’s an anomalous attempt, but a significantly absorbing one.

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What a poignant, expressively intellectual and pleasingly sensible film this is. The narrative is perfectly set in the present day, however, it exudes an aroma of cultural ties and family bonds. Modern audiences, who are used to of watching contrived romances, will have to recalibrate their sensibilities to appreciate a gem like ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’.

By getting involved into the narrative, one ends up realising that the real hero of ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ is its writing and handling of various centrepiece instances like the coronation ceremony and the final act. The technique Barjatya has used to bring this story to life is commendable.

A handful of applauses are due to the makeup, production, art, hair and costume departments, which make the entire milieu more flamboyant and the characters more emotionally stirring.

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Without any doubt, anyone who watches the movie, whether by choice or accident, will be charmed by it subtle sense of enchantment and enriched by its charm.

Sonam Kapoor, who has been scrupulously working on her characters since earning a Filmfare nomination for 'Khoobsurat', is the most charismatic link of this movie. Kapoor has developed an ability to act through her eyes. With her graceful face, meticulously calibrated gestures and pitch-perfect diction, Kapoor is a walking miracle of ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. This is Kapoor’s most intelligent and compelling screen presence ever.

Salman Khan is wonderful in a double role, which seems to be inspired by Mark Twain’s ‘The Prince and The Pauper’. Khan’s performance registers palpably in his eyes throughout this drama. His eyes speak volumes when Kapoor hugs him - while his heart embraces her but his eyes tell her to back-off. Brilliant!

Swara Bhasker gives an endearing performance. Neil Nitin Mukesh, perfectly cast as the evil brother, registers a strong screen presence.

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Anupam Kher doesn’t miss a single beat. He is perfect.

On the low side, the film could’ve done well without some songs that just added to ruining the pace of movie. I also believe that the character etching of the villains could’ve been better had the pencils been sharpened on the writing table. But, the pleasant nature of the film makes you forget all your woes and brings a smile on your face at the end.

'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' highlights family values, which is its most venerable strength. It’s a self-recognition fair that’s difficult to assimilate, but enthralling to unpack. It may not be creatively pioneering cinema, but Barjatya has gifted a labour of love to the audiences that is visually splendid and aesthetically pleasing.

Rating: ★★★½ #Celebrities #Bollywood