EK RISHTAA-THE BOND OF LOVE is a story of relationships and how they endure the upheavals of time. The film revolves around these characters, their bindings and bickering as they go through happy and turbulent times Moments that rip them apart, moments that bring them closer.
EK RISHTAA-THE BOND OF LOVE tells the story of Vijay Kapoor (Amitabh Bachchan), a dynamic businessman, whose source of strength is his wife Pratima (Raakhee). They have three daughters ? Rani, Priya (Simone Singh) and Priti (Juhi Chawla), the eldest daughter, who is the apple of her father's eye. The son, Ajay (Akshay Kumar), is studying abroad to secure his Masters in Information Technology.
An aspiring business graduate Rajesh Purohit (Mohnish Bahl) idolises Vijay Kapoor and the latter is impressed by his qualities and capabilities. Priti falls in love with Rajesh and Vijay Kapoor approves their relationship.
Meanwhile, Ajay wishes to start his own business to which Vijay Kapoor convinces him that it is imperative for him to first gain experience in the family business as he is just a novice, and later delve into different spheres.
As they start working together, ideological differences start cropping up between the father and son. Obviously, there is a generation gap between them. Ajay has imbibed western ideologies, which he wants to apply, while Vijay Kapoor strongly opposes it. This leads to a rift between the father and son.
Obstinacy to their stands worsens the condition, leading to fallout between the father and son. What happens next? What happens to the bonds of love that once held the family together? Will these relationships ever reunite? Will they stand the test of time?
Like his previous attempt JAANWAR, Suneel Darshan's EK RISHTAA-THE BOND OF LOVE focuses on emotions, this time between the father and son. The narrative is simple, captivating, sensitive and one that will strike a chord with lovers of family sagas.
EK RISHTAA-THE BOND OF LOVE is different from other films of this genre, in the sense that it tackles the age-old complex issue of generation gap. But the narrative is not infallible.
The film starts off depicting the rift between the father and son and also illustrates the reasons that lead to a fallout. At the interval point, the cause for the split (Mohnish Bahl) is also exposed, but soon after the interval, the story diversifies to an altogether different track ? Akshay and Karisma's happy marriage turning sour. Actually, the reason why Karisma chooses to walk out on Akshay looks tame and is hard to digest.
Another flaw of the film is its length and the presence of some unwanted sequences, more so towards the second half, acts like a spoke in the wheels. The mill workers' portions, for instance, have been given extra footage, which was not required.
On the script level too, a few aspects are stodgy. The most glaring one being, despite knowing her husband Mohnish Bahl's evil designs, Juhi Chawla continues to live with him, than return to her parents, who have been duped financially and cheated emotionally by Bahl.
Another flaw is Akshay returning home to bail out his father. But he does precious little to circumvent the crisis his family is facing.
Even Naghma's seductive number in the pre-climax, followed by the mill workers going all out to teach Mohnish Bahl a lesson, looks forced. Specially the dance number, which looks out of place.
Despite the flaws, the film has several engaging moments that will appeal to the family audience. To cite instances, the confrontation between Amitabh and Akshay in the first half, when the father shows the door to the son, is remarkably shot.
Another scene that is superbly executed is Akshay's homecoming and his scene with his mother, Raakhee, after Amitabh ignores him. Simone Singh's 'bidaai' and the Raksha Bandhan sequence are also well shot.
Nadeem-Shravan's music is pleasant and gels well with the mood of the film. The numbers that stand out are 'Dil Lagane Ki' (its placement is inappropriate, but the picturisation is fabulous!), 'Mohabbat Ne Mohabbat Ko' and 'Hum Khush Hue' (excellent lyrical value!).
Sameer Reddy's cinematography is first-rate. The look of the film is fresh and the outdoor locations of Malaysia are exotic. K.K. Singh's dialogues are clapworthy. Amitabh's lines, specially in the climax where he equates life to a game of snakes and ladders, deserves an ovation. Naresh Sharma's background score enhances the impact of numerous scenes.
Amitabh Bachchan. The name says it all. It goes without saying that the actor carries the film on his firm shoulders and towers above everyone else. He lends dignity to the character and walks away with honours. Another flawless performance this!
Akshay Kumar is a revelation. His emotional scenes take you by surprise, more so since he does not pale when pitted against a performer like Bachchan. This film showcases his talent and marks his growth as an actor.
Raakhee does a fine job. Karisma Kapoor is just about okay. Juhi Chawla is fair, although you do notice her absence in some portions. Mohnish Bahl is competent. Sunil Shetty's (sp. app.) scenes in the initial reels are entertaining.
On the whole, EK RISHTAA-THE BOND OF LOVE is targeted at the family audience and will satiate the appetite of those seeking clean entertainment. The three assets of the film ? its impressive star cast, the sensitively-handled family scenes and melodious music ? will benefit the film aplenty. The extra-ordinary publicity campaign and the hype surrounding the film have resulted in a fantastic opening all over. Keeping these aspects in mind, the film will have a smooth ride at the box-office.