Pretty costumes. People breaking out into songs at the drop of hats. Family, sentiment, Rishte, Pyaar and Sanskaar. Treacherous murderers who turn into saints after a speech about Parivaar and Sanskaar. Like all his previous movies, Sooraj Barjatiya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is set in this made-up bizarro alien-world. This time around, he transports an estate called Pritampur and its rather regal occupants into it.
There lives a prince in the estate, called Vijay Singh (Salman Khan). The entire alien-estate is festive because in just a few days, the prince will be crowned king. And to witness this coronation, his fiancée, the non-alien princess Maithili will arrive soon in Pritampur. But before these momentous events can occur, poor prince Vijay Singh falls off a mountain and suffers a concussion. Salman Khan suffers a “cerebral concussion and cerebral edema”, thus giving us a momentous opportunity to use the word cerebral, Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya in the same article.
So Vijay Singh gets banished to a secret royal chamber where he will stay unconscious for a reasonable period of time. But, according to alien customs, coronations cannot be postponed. Asubh.
Meanwhile, the palace guards stumble into a village simpleton named Prem ‘Dilwale.’ And dude, what do you know, this guy looks like the cerebrally-edemaed Vijay Singh. And in a completely unexpected twist (who could’ve thunk), Prem is commissioned to play prince.
And how Prem wins the hearts of the disgruntled Mai … sorry, no spoilers. No way anyone can guess what happens after this.
Barjatiya is like Sanjay Leela Bhansali in his insistence on making movies based on themes that make no sense in the real-world; the latter uses outlandish sets and lifestyles to make movies about unrealistic love and deceit; the former uses them to make movies about overly sentimental families.
This world looks suspiciously like the earth as shown in Hindi movies from the 1980s. The sugar-coated lines and the cunning step-brothers and the suit-clad villain with his vulgarly dressed secretary. The melodrama and the festivals and the music. Except the royal band, which does a bad rendition of the Game of Thrones theme.
Salman Khan reprises his Bajrangi Bhaijaan role, the genial Ram-bhakt who sticks the royal family back together with some good old kind-hearted glue. He shines in the few comic sequences there are, and tries gamely to bring the rest of the movie to life; he also is part of some quality melodrama as he interacts with his deranged step-sister Swara Bhaskar.
Sonam Kapoor meanwhile plays a princess who wears sunglasses inside the palace while reading lines from a script book; the exact opposite of the lively ‘royal misfit’ she portrayed in Khoobsurat.
There are songs. 10 of them, one for every possible situation. When Prem wonders about what to gift the Rajkumari, he wonders aloud. In verse. While dancing.
“Kuch khatta-meetha lete chalein
Thodi barfi-warfi lete chalein”
And when Prem asks Maithili to list out all the complaints she has against the prince, she returns the favour by breaking into a song. Or when Prem and Maithili watch a football game and she asks him to get cozy with her. And one when Salman Khan and Neil Nitin Mukesh are engaged in a sword fight inside a palace of mirrors built on top of a waterfall. Take that, Bhansali!
(This was the stunt that Neil Nitin Mukesh claimed impressed the stunt director of Game of Thrones so much, that he got a that was offered a role on the show. Since then, HBO has denied the news, and killed him off even before he could start working on the series).
The most watchable product from this film is this (unfortunately named) fan-made video of Beyonce dancing to the Prem Ratan Dhan Payo title song :
The Prem Ratan Dhan Payo review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.