Raja Ram Mohan Roy died almost two centuries ago. Bet he would be interested in what's happening in Rajshri world. This is what: Jab bhai koi kaam nahin aaya, toh behen kya kaam aayegi? (said by the behen herself)
We thought we'd mention the line since no one in the film even noticed the statement. Is that a good thing? We don't know.
Aw, allright, that is just a random line in the film, and should not be used to judge the intent of the film. To tell the truth, EVAB actually aims at being very progressive. A woman does not need marriage, or even a man, to stand by her side while she takes care of her loved ones, and also, love has enough strength to last a romance for a whole decade. Now, wasn't that extremely liberating and beautiful? EVAB makes it feel like a pain.
Chandni (Isha Koppikar) and Prem (Sonu Sood) fall in love rehearsing for a music festival, and they're all set to get engaged, when she loses her widowed father. Relatives behave unkindly, and Chandni wants to take care of her decade-younger-than-her siblings all by herself.
So marriage waits, but the two share in each others' aspirations. Chandni struggles to bring up her siblings, with Prem sweetly putting in a helping hand. Prem lands big singing assignments, after Chandni sweetly tells him to stop meeting her, as she feels he needs to focus on his career.
So far, so good. After a decade, her siblings have grown-up, and Chandni behaves like she's 70. And after her brother Anuj (Vishal) marries his love Natasha, the film behaves like it's the '70s. Natasha doesn't like life in Bhopal - she's left her job and a plush flat in Delhi, and the guy she married doesn't even let her redesign her bedroom because he would never do a thing to hurt his elder sister.
You get the drift - Natasha's the vamp with no feelings. So she leaves home, only to be followed by Anuj, who was ordered by Chandni to accompany her because - hold on - people will talk. Now, Natasha's role gets a whole new depth - she's the vamp with no feelings, and who separated her husband from his sister.
Chandni's next aim is to marry off her sister (Amrita), which then leads to the exasperated line cited above. Ultimately, of course, there's a happy ending, and everyone is happily married.
EVAB, thus, is a pain. It's no fun - not as a story, and not much as a cinematic experience either. No heart-wrenching melodrama, no feel-good factor, no great music. Yes, even we were wondering what the point really is, when we realized that the point is that the film now figures on the CVs of the lead pair.
The impish-smiled, pretty Isha Koppikar walks around like a saint with a smile plastic-surgeried (pardon) onto her face, spouting noises that sound vaguely like rasm, log kya sochenge, and "Man, screw the acting, am I thrilled to bits at playing the lead in a Rajshri flick!!!" Sonu Sood is busy trying to shake off his Abhishek Bachchan hangover, but he's good-looking enough to ignore his faults. All said and done, they make a cute pair, and the shy glances and half-smiles are real contagious.
Srivallabh Vyas, Smita Jaykar and Aloknath are good, as usual, and the sidekicks also make their presence felt. The rest of the cast also delivers, but it's sad to watch Vishal Malhotra spouting trite lines about his struggling sister, seeing as he isn't really believing in his role.
Ravindra Jain's music and lyrics are entirely a matter of personal taste. And that's a disastrous statement to make about a film whose protagonists are singers. To be fair, the best songs are the couple of wedding tracks at the end. The visuals are nice, but slightly tacky in places.
We thought EVAB is the kind of film an entire family could watch for a hassle-free few hours, but we realized there's better stuff on TV these days. They call it a "serial".