Prem (Shahid Kapoor) may be an eligible bachelor but he is not yet ready for marriage. He agrees to meet Poonam (Amrita Rao) just to please his dad (Anupam Kher). He wants to find a woman he can really grow to love. Poonam, an orphan, has grown up in a small town, where her uncle (Alok Nath), has brought her up. Her aunt (Seema Biswas), however, is jealous of Amrita's beauty, simplicity and charm, as her own daughter Rajni (Amrita Prakash) is overshadowed.
hat follows is a 'meeting' arranged by the two families. Prem and Poonam are suddenly in the midst of a situation they have never been in before. What starts off as an awkward, formal exchange of words, grows into a deeper, meaningful conversation. Prem and Poonam discover their soul mate in each other. They are engaged - to be married in six months.
VIVAH starts off very well and the bonding between Alok Nath and the baby [Amrita Rao’s childhood] is indeed emotional. Everything is fine till Shahid and Amrita get engaged. Surprisingly, there’s no movement in the story thereafter. It wouldn’t be erroneous to state that the story comes to a grinding halt as the lovers indulge in romantic talk for the next 35 odd minutes.
Sooraj R. Barjatya is back to his style of narrating simple stories, with emphasis on emotions. Ravindra Jain’s music is archaic. Barring the ‘Mujhe Haque Hain’ and to an extent ‘Do Anjaane Ajnabi’, the remaining tracks are listless. Cinematography [Harish Joshi] is plain mediocre. Dialogues [Aash Karan Atal] are wonderful and the emotional lines do tug at your heart strings.
Shahid Kapoor performs like never before. He isn't offensively bad, doesn't ham it up like crazy, or speak in a weird accent. Amrita Rao also gets a new lease of life with VIVAH. She looks the character and is splendid all through. Damn, how this film makes us miss Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit. Sooraj Barjatya is responsible for some very fine films. While simplistic and given to melodrama, his films are usually peopled by great characters. Alok Nath [terrific], Seema Biswas [excellent], Anupam Kher [very good], Amrita Prakash [confident] and Master Ameya Pandya [first-rate]. Sameer Soni, Lataa Saberwal, Manoj Joshi and Dinesh Lamba are adequate. Mohnish Bahl [sp. app.] does well.
Overall, Vivaah is a perfect family film.