Vivah (English: Marriage) is a 2006 Indian romantic drama film, written and directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya. Starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao, it was produced and distributed by Rajshri Productions. Vivah tells the story of two individuals, and relates their journey from engagement to marriage and aftermath.
Vivah is the fourth film to feature Shahid Kapoor opposite Amrita Rao. The film was released on 10 November 2006, and became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year, grossing more than ₹539 million (US$7.8 million) worldwide. Critical reception was mixed; some reviewers found it dramatically lacking and bloated, but it also has been credited for triggering changes to the way marriage is depicted on film. It became an unexpected success, as well as Kapoor and Rao’s biggest commercial success at that point.
Kapoor’s performance earned him a nomination for Best Actor while Rao received Best Actress nomination at the Screen Awards. Vivah is the first Indian film to be simultaneously released in cinema and on the internet (through the production company’s official site). The film was also dubbed into Telugu and released as Parinayam.
Poonam (Amrita Rao) is a middle class girl who lives in the small town of Madhupur. After the death of her parents, when she was very young, her uncle Krishnakant (Alok Nath) fulfilled the void of a father in her life. However, her aunt (Seema Biswas) is jealous and unable to accept Poonam as her own child, driven by the fact that her own daughter Rajni (Amrita Prakash) is dark in complexion and less beautiful than Poonam. Harishchandra (Anupam Kher), a renowned businessman from New Delhi, has two sons: Sunil (Samir Soni) who has married Bhavna (Lata Sabharwal), and Prem (Shahid Kapoor), who is a soft-spoken and well-educated person.
Poonam’s simple and affectionate demeanor impresses Bhagatji (Manoj Joshi), a close friend of Krishnakant and a jeweller by profession. Bhagatji takes Poonam’s marriage proposal for Prem. When Harishchandra takes his opinion on the proposition, Prem is initially hesitant and feels he is too young for marriage and needs to focus on his career first. Harishchandra convinces Prem to meet Poonam before deciding about anything. Respecting father’s wishes, Prem agrees to meet Poonam, get to know better and then take a decision. They visit Krishnakant’s family and let Prem and Poonam get acquainted with each other. Though their first conversation is awkward, Prem and Poonam agree to get married, as they are instantly attracted to each other. Prem and Poonam gets engaged and set to be married in six months. Krishnakant invites Prem’s family to their summer residence in Som Sarovar, so Prem and Poonam get the opportunity to know each other better.
Prem and Poonam go through the most magical and romantic period of their lives. Coming from different sensibilities, both want their relationship to be very right for each other. Both realize the importance of the engagement rings that they have given to each other and the special right that they have got on each other in return. They begin to fall in love and become attached to each other, thanks to the gentle prodding of their respective siblings. After several days, Harishchandra and his family return home to attend their business, which leaves Poonam and Prem the choice to communicate via telephone and letter. Prem joins the family business and takes on an important project in Japan. Upon returning, the family brings Poonam as a surprise and they celebrate their engagement.
However, two days before the actual wedding, a fire breaks out at Krishnakant’s house. Although Poonam runs out of the house in time, she realizes that Rajni is still inside and goes to save her. Poonam gets heavily burnt in the process. The doctor informs her father that in such cases, even families disown their own. He broken heartedly calls Prem right as he is leaving for Madhupur for ceremony. As he is about to sign the waiver allowing her surgery, he begins to cry and cannot do so. Looking up, he sees Prem has arrived, determined to marry Poonam despite her injuries and bringing with him the finest doctors from Delhi. He marries her informally before her surgery. With the aid of the Delhi doctors, the hospital successfully performed surgery on Poonam. After one and half month stay at the hospital, Poonam and Prem are traditionally married and go home to their new life.
- Shahid Kapoor as Prem Bajpayee
- Amrita Rao as Poonam Mishra/Poonam Prem Bajpayee
- Anupam Kher as Harishchandra Bajpayee, Prem’s father
- Alok Nath as Krishnakant Mishra, Poonam’s uncle
- Seema Biswas as Rama Mishra, Poonam’s aunt and Krishnakant’s wife
- Samir Soni as Sunil Bajpayee, Prem’s elder brother
- Lata Sabharwal as Bhavna Bajpayee, Prem’s sister-in-law and Sunil’s wife
- Manoj Joshi as Bhagatji
- Amrita Prakash as Rajni Mishra (Chhoti), Poonam’s cousin and Rama & Krishnakant’s daughter
- Ameya Pandya as Rahul
- Dinesh Lamba as Munim
- Jain Sial as Staff in Harishchandra, Sunil and Prem’s Office.
- Mreenal Deshraj as Staff in Harishchandra, Sunil and Prem’s Office.
- Mohnish Behl as Dr. Rashid Khan
Director/writer Sooraj Barjatya noted that the story of Vivah is based upon a newspaper article his father read in 1988. Like in all of Sooraj R. Barjatya’s previous films, the male lead is called Prem. The story combined elements of Hindu tradition to set itself up as a film of cultural significance and was constructed differently than Barjatya’s earlier films. Barjatya hoped that the film would be remembered as the first to tackle the definitions and dynamics of a marriage. In an interview with Times of India Barjatya said, he kept in mind all the novels of Saratchandra Chatterjee while making Vivah. Barjatya felt that the film should possess a lyrical feel, since it was, according to him, “a lyrics oriented film.”
Filming took place during the first months of 2006. The main hurdle came up with the location. Barjatya wanted to shoot film in an authentic way. He asked the film’s art director Sanjay Dhobade to create the entire town of Madhupur that can give a realistic look, particularly portions where water leaking takes place and portions where spit marks were visible on the walls of the buildings in the film. Later, the town was created in film city, Mumbai. Outdoor session of the film was done in Delhi, Lonavla, Ranikhet, Nainital and Almora.
Additional production credits include: Jay Borade – dance choreographer, Sound — Jitendra Chaudhary, Dialogue — Aash Karan Atal, Cinematography — Harish Joshi and Editor — V N Mayekar. Amrita Rao’s costumes were created by Indian designer Anna Singh and Shahid Kapoor’s clothes were created by Shabina Khan. To promote the film, Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao sold tickets at the Fame Theatre in Malad, Mumbai.
The soundtrack (songs and the background score) and lyrics for Vivah was scored by Ravindra Jain. Vivah was seventh collaboration of Ravindra Jain with Rajshri Productions. It was produced under the Saregama label. The composer primarily gave special importance to “taal” and opted to keep two “antras” followed by a “mukhra” in the songs. The orchestra combines with classical Indian instruments, like the sitar, sarod, violin, dholak and tabla to produce a blend between classical western and classical Indian music. The complete film soundtrack album was released on 26 September 2006.
Although the songs were appreciated, the music was criticised due to its monotony choice of instruments and music arrangements being very similar to one another. Rediff.com wrote in its music review that, “Vivah’s music disappoints”. Nofil of Glamsham gave the album 2.5 out of 5 stars and noted that, “The music of Vivah fails to emerge as successful as other Rajshri family potboilers, Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun [sic] and Hum Saath-Saath Hain.”
|Vivah track listing|
|1.||“Mujhe Haq Hai”||Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal||5:02|
|2.||“Do Anjaane Ajnabi”||Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal||5:02|
|3.||“Milan Abhi Aadha Adhura”||Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal||5:47|
|4.||“Hamari Shaadi Mein”||Babul Supriyo, Shreya Ghoshal||5:17|
|5.||“O Jiji”||Pamela Jain, Shreya Ghoshal||5:20|
|6.||“Tere Dware Pe Aai Baraat”||Sudesh Bhonsle||3:58|
|7.||“Savaiyaa — Raadhey Krishn Ki Jyoti”||Shreya Ghoshal||2:16|
|8.||“Kal Jisne Janam Yahan Paaya”||Suresh Wadkar, Kumar Sanu & Ravindra Jain||7:43|
|9.||“Savaiyaa- Chhota Sa Saajan”||Suresh Wadkar||1:21|
Kapoor’s performance earned him nomination for Best Actor, while Rao received Best Actress nomination at the Screen Awards.
Vivah premiered on 10 November 2006 across India. Like Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Rajshri Productions released limited number of prints for the film and eventually increased prints with increasing popularity. Early reviewers of Vivah predicted that it would be a huge disappointment. The film opened well and went on to become a commercially successful venture.
The film was declared a Blockbuster, after earning ₹222 million (US$3.2 million) net gross after seven weeks of running. Made on a budget of around ₹80 million (US$1.2 million), the film went on to collect ₹496 million (US$7.2 million) at the domestic box office. Vivah was released by Rajshri Media Limited on the production company’s official site. The film’s DVD was released by Rajshri Production.
The comparison of Vivah with Sooraj Bartjatya’s previous films compelled it to receive generally mixed reviews. The film was a big success, but before its release, many journalists expected Vivah to be a flop. Ron Ahluwalia of Planet Bollywood gave it 7.5 out of 10 wrote, “Sooraj Bartjatya comes up with the best, cheesiest family flick we’ve seen in a long time without sending us back to the 1940s.” Deepa Gahlot of Sify said, “Vivah is far less offensive and far more watchable.” Nikhat Kazmi from The Times of India called it a “simple documentation of something as banal as an engagement to a vivah”.
Madhuparna Das of The Telegraph criticised Vivah for lacking plot, flat characters and mentioning that the story was “rather weak and improbable.” BBC described Vivah as “a didactic, worthy, and highly sanitised take on reality in keeping with the Rajshri tradition.” Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave only 1 out of 5 stars and condemned the screenplay, calling both Kapoor and Rao “insipid and boring.” A review carried by Anupama Chopra mentioned, “Sooraj Barjatya’s fantasy world is carefully constructed, but his conviction infuses his films with an emotional heft.” Business of Cinema defended the film stating, “Vivah is a film with beautiful moments, it promises to recreate the magic of Maine Pyar Kiya.”
Indian painter M. F. Husain, decided to create a series of paintings inspired by Amrita Rao and Vivah. He planned to create an entire exhibition around her. He organised a private screening for 150 friends and press attendees to “convey his interest for the film” at Dubai’s Plaza cinema. The Regent, a theater in Patna, Bihar, put up a festive banner to promote the movie. The banner reads Poonam weds Prem. Vivah inspired couples at that time to emulate the protagonists.