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Salaam-E-Ishq Review

Salaam-E-Ishq
Samrat Sharma / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
6.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Of the many anticipated releases lined up for this year, Salaam-E-Ishq was quite possibly one of the films I was excited about the most. Nikhil Advani made his debut with a film that markedly put the 'comedy' back in romantic comedy, Kal Ho Na Ho. Free from the template that bound him in his Karan Johar produced film, I expected him to come of his own with this one. The star cast in itself sounds like a great opportunity to announce that you have arrived. Too bad, then, that Advani misses the tremendous promise his work and the cast afford, and lets himself be carried away with his ambition.

And ambition is something that at least can be said that was not lacking in the vision for the film. The film tells an intercut and intertwined story of six different couples - actually, make that five. The story of a poor lusty Ram Dayal (Sohail Khan) trying to consummate his marriage desperately with Phoolwati (Isha Koppikar) is barely there. After an early string of Tom and Jerry like escapades (man flies through a wall leaving a man-shaped hole, car drives over a cliff to land on a newly reconstructed roof), the story is rudely ejected from the main events, only to make a silly comeback in the end credits.

The rest of the film tells mostly familiar love stories - a career-oriented Bollywood item queen who wants to be the next Karan Johar muse, meets a mysterious boy with an agenda (Salman and Priyanka in a very filmi love story about filmi people), a man going through a mid-life crisis and making a young dance instructor the object of his affection (Anil trying to balance Juhi and Anjana), and a confirmed bachelor trying to come to terms with being engaged (Akshaye trying to get rid of Ayesha for the second film is succession).

Meanwhile, a cab driver falls in love with a foreign memsaab, and helps her find the one she loves (Govinda being the bhaiyya cabbie helping Shannon find her boyfriend who has come to India to get married), and in the most serious of all love tracks - a husband is trying his best to get his post-accident-amnesia stricken wife to remember her recent past, and, most heartbreakingly, him (John in a controlled performance with Vidya).

Of course, every genre has its formulas, and just like any of them, romantic comedies can be fun even when formulaic. We all know that the guy will get the gal in the end. It's the how that matters. The destination is already predetermined in a feelgood romcom, is it not? It's the journey that matters. Unfortunately for us, this particular journey ends up being extremely long and fatally tedious. At close to 3 hours and 45 minutes spent inside the cinema, the wastefulness of the film is a concern.

It can be argued that a film with so many stories to tell needs a longer period to finish, but by the time it reaches its climax, you begin to feel that the overbearing star cast may have been a bit too much for the director to handle. Last time this happened, J P Dutta got carried away with a 4 hour LOC. Eeeps.

With a screenplay by the man who wrote this year's early turkey I See You, and a first-time editor, this was probably to be expected, but no one can be blamed as squarely as Advani for squandering such a pool of talent. Other than the tiring length of an essentially non-serious film, the thing that bites the most is the disjointed way the stories are presented. The intercuts are sometimes out of place, and the thematic similarity between the lovers, forced.

Examples of wasted talent abound in this romantic comedy (more comedy than romantic, if you ask me). Salman is obviously the King of all Khan(na)s here. His entry, overall presence and his story's place at the center of the film clearly aims at positioning him as the main lead in the film. The camera, however, always seems intent on caressing Priyanka's expressions. It's her reactions to his charisma that become more important, which is a mistake because Salman has way more self-assurance and a far better comic timing. Then, John and Vidya's story needs an emotional gravitas, and certainly more depth than it has been afforded to really grow, and Anil's story needs more Juhi, simply.

On the other hand, these are but pitfalls on the road, and flawed as it may be, the film has its strong points. The emotional quotient between Anil and Juhi is exhibited by both seasoned actors with a grace far removed from anything in recent memory, and everyone else has serviced up a performance worthy of the hype. Salman, as much as he gets to do outside of the songs, tries his best to deliver silly dialog with a straight face. Akshaye is loud in the comedy bits, but gets his emotions right. Vidya Balan after her Munnabhai stint is a star, and kudos to her for not resting on her laurels and giving her job her best shot.

The initial hour or so breezes past with a guffaw here and a grin there, and suddenly you find yourself having an enjoyable - if not entirely sensible - time. The dialog is most certainly not the best in business, and the comedy tries hard to find its correct tone. It ranges from the Looney Tunes variety in Sohail-Isha's track, to the loud Satish Kaushik variety in the Akshaye-Ayesha tale, and to the plain bizarre humor in Salman-Priyanka's narrative. It tries hard to be Jaan-E-Mann, and doesn't not quite fit in any slot, yet is enjoyable in its various shenanigans.

Soon after, the film ups the emotional conflicts and reduces the fun quotient. This is where the pacing sorely takes a hit, and the movie begins to drag. When it crosses the 3 hour 15 minute mark, and the end seems nowhere near, you begin to question your wisdom in walking in to the cinemas.

This is not a bad film, or even entirely formulaic. All it needs is a Karan Johar, stat. I don't quite agree with the emotive language of his films, but there is a certain production sensibility that would have kept the out of control manner in which this film just keeps piling on the minutes, in check.

Each of the actors in the lead roles is a dynamic force when used right, and the easygoing charm that permeates the frames is mostly due to them. It could have been a far better film if the flair for breezy humor that Advani has had did not mutate into melodrama and lengthy confessional soliloquys by half the leads in the end. The first hour or so is reminiscent of Advani's talent, the rest is a gifted individual getting burdened under the task of handling too many stories and too many stars.

Pity, for it could have been movie magic.
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SALAAM-E-ISHQ SNAPSHOT
Salaam-E-Ishq (hindi) reviews
USER RATING
5.6
51 USERS
RATE
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  • Cast
    Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Govinda, Shannon Esrechowitz, Sohail Khan, Isha Koppikar, Anjana Sukhani
  • Director
    Nikhil Advani
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
SALAAM-E-ISHQ USER REVIEWS
1 - 7 OF 7 COMMENTS
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
5.6
51 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Maleehah Saya on 17th Feb 2007, 6:55am | Permalink
it is really nice... well maby
RATING
10
Smriti Virani on 1st Feb 2007, 1:00am | Permalink
Akshaye Khanna steals the show in Salaam-e-Ishq! Akshaye Khanna rocks and is the winner in this movie! The reason, you can watch this film a second time is Akshaye Khanna. This actor’s comic timing is superb and his character, one of the best pieces of writing in the film. Akshaye Khanna is the real star and the winner! The best performer and the best actor in Salaam-e-Ishq and also in Bollywood!
RATING
10
Sunshine Girl on 29th Jan 2007, 11:18am | Permalink
>>Salman is obviously the King of all Khan(na)s here

Heh. Nice.

Salman-Priyanka are going to haunt me until I see a better Hindi film!
RATING
2
Nalini G V on 27th Jan 2007, 10:44am | Permalink
A movie consisting of 6 stories. The last time a movie maker attempted it it was a boring regale of uninteresting anecdotes which were fed on the presenter ego that what ever might churn out of his factory it will be considered an attempt at the best of parallel cinema…but this review is not about his movies. Its about Nikhil Advani’s “Salaam-E-Ishq” more importantly his chracters.

Six different lives-One common problem-Love. Well directed and beautifully crafted “Salaam-E-Ishq” makes up for a smooth viewing. I have seen “Love Actually”. In fact, I would watch it every time we had a fight and the movie would prompt me to go running back to him that is to say I loved it. “Salaam-E-Ishq” is not Love Actually. For starters there is no Prime Minister though Salman Khan with his stylish dialogue delivery could be Primely a Minister advocating his ‘Panache’. He and Priyanka had good roles and Priyanka is indeed a surprise package the girl can be on screen and not look boring like some other actress(I don’t believe Females artists in the profession of acting should be called actors) whom I don’t want to mention.

Ayesha Takia is another actress whose youth-ful beauty adds a freshness to her story. We have alwys seen her as cute. This time watch shes beautiful esp in her yellow outfit.the role Akshay Khanna essayed was not for him. Saif Ali Khan should have done the role of a commitment phobic youngster. Casting mishap there.

Anil and Juhi (no we are not on first name basis, but what the heck they will not tick me off for this!!) had a great story. For a moment Nikhil led me to believe it was going to be another “Shall we Dance” (God knows after ‘Holiday’ we needed a movie like that!) but it wasn’t and it was well worth a watch.

Shohail Khan and Isha koppikar’s perhaps was an avoidable attempt at story but every endeavor has it’s own Achilles’ Heel.

There is no doubt about it Vidya Balan and John Abraham are indeed the hottest couple on screen showing “Salaam-E-Ishq”, They get the best deal. Great chemistry interesting story with a twist they are clear forerunners of the movie inspite of an attempt at portraying Priyanka and Salman Khan as most the important characters with them getting best and most of the songs.

I cannot but mention Nikhil Advani’s deftness at pulling off the story with Govinda and Shanon. Sure Govinda looks old but he is a taxi driver at heart and boy is he at the wheel! With sensitivity and humour thrown in their story is to watch out for.

The film best scene in the movie is when the firangi girl Shanon spells out her complete 60sec dialogue in Hindi towards the end of the movie. Will not tell you what don’t want to spoil the fun!!

The movie if four hour long perhaps some might find it a little lengthy as for me we could completely do with out Shoail and Isha’s story and a song or two…nevertheless you should go in to watch “Salaam-E-Ishq” an dboy does Nikhil know how to make his girls look breath taking!! A leaf out of his mentor Karan Johar. Thank God he sticks only to the aesthetics Nikhils story telling is much watch able.
RATING
6
Anand Raj on 26th Jan 2007, 9:37pm | Permalink
Hello Aamchi Hyd...If u happen to read this post, i wud like to let u know that am presently writing a movie script(a Hindi movie but am presently writing the script in English) and i would like to have you as my working partner...my gut feeling is that you have it in u to become a screenwriter if u give it a chance....i finished 70% of the script already but i definitely need the help of a guy like u to finish the rest of the script or any draft thereafter...and one more thing, i also got the producer...so if u r interested, please contact me at my e-mail st_assisi@yahoo.com or drop a offliner at my yahoo messenger ID 'st_assisi' to work things out...am dead serious and dont even think that it's some kind of prank.....am really really serious about this script...hope u respond.....

RATING
2
Wired Beats on 26th Jan 2007, 9:31pm | Permalink
Freakishly looooooooong movie with nothing to take home..its ultra borning ordeal that never ends..not reccoed..
RATING
2
Occasional Critic on 26th Jan 2007, 7:28pm | Permalink
"All it needs to a Karan Johar, Stat." You mean a gay couple ? Sheesh! and Oh, I think you forgot to mention "Love Actually" and "First Fifty Dates"
RATING
2
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