Sometimes it happens that Indian filmmakers release big budget films on the occasions of popular national festivals, among which Diwali and Eid are the most popular ones. At that time, no actor apart from the superstars, dares to release a film. As we know very well, Salman Khan is one of the biggest superstars of Bollywood, whose films often meet positive response and are greeted with Box Office Success. His previous films JAI HO, KICK, and his best one BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN are the true examples of it. There was similarly a lot of buzz and excitement around his latest Diwali Release PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO, which is not just considered a grand film by its production values, but also because of the reuniting of the famous director-actor pair, i.e, Sooraj Barjatya and Salman Khan. Sooraj Barjatya is known to make crisp and clean family entertainers. And as a matter of fact, all those films have been great successes. Does the same happen with PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO or it turns out to be a regular fare? Let's analyze.
Positives first, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is a clean family enterainer, no doubt. Salman Khan has played the role of "Prem" well and there's no doubt that his performance is getting better film-by-film. Sonam Kapoor gives the kind of performance she has been giving in her previous few films, i.e, satisfactory. Neil Nitin Mukesh, Deepak Dobariyal, Swara Bhaskar, Sanjay Mishra, and especially, Anupam Kher play their parts well. There is a perfect blend of emotions, comedy, romance, action and drama in this film, which no one can complain about.
The best thing about PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is that the scale of production is truly beyond imagination in a family drama film like this. The royal grandeur of the film, the sets, cinematography, visual effects are all wonderful. The makers have spent a lot of money in every frame of the film to make it look epic, and that's visible in every frame of the film. The action scene of the film is very well choreographed and has a long lasting effect on the viewers. Rather, the climax fight is the highlight of this film. The emotional scenes are truly good, and also there are a couple of scenes that are watchable, especially in the first half, and in the last 20 minutes of the film.
Secondly, Negatives of the film, which I feel, are too many. Although Salman Khan acts well, his role isn't very new or of the kind we haven't seen before. His "Prem" character looks very similar to the Pawan of BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. Similarly, the role of Neil Nitin Mukesh seems poorly sketched. Besides,despite of the fact that the film's music is grand and pleasing, its continuous overdose causes disappointment. Also, the editing of the film seems to be very poor. A family drama of a runtime little less than 3 hours doesn't seem to be justified. The film could have been trimmed easily to around 2 and a half hours to give a better and decent watch.
Not just this, the screenplay looks confused at a few places. The film starts off well and manages to hold the viewer till the interval, which seemed a little awkwardly placed. In the beginning of the film, and towards the interval, it seemed that the film had a different story, but the interval blockade, despite being a good one, left me in total confusion. It seemed a little too abrupt. Besides, the second half began with almost no connection with what happened at the interval point. The changes in the story go on to confuse the viewer, despite of the fact that there was no scene of boredom. The film continues to be a simple and rather say, like any average Salman Khan film, which we have seen a number of times.
Also, a film like this needs to have a better promo or posters to give the feel as if it is a grand film releasing on a grand festival. Neither the promos nor the posters of the film seemed as exciting as expected. The film was heavily promoted as a family film, and as a Diwali blockbuster entertainer, but after watching it, I felt that the film was good, but not a blockbuster. Film releasing on Diwali often have something very special, which makes the festival even more colourful than it looks. As compared to previous Diwali releases, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO holds nothing special, when it's a Diwali release, and is rather a film that could have been released on any normal day, as a normal Salman Khan film. Even then it would have become a success anyway. Then why release it on a highly anticipated festival like Diwali and make the viewers go with expectations high on top? Promoted as a family entertainer, the film has a few dialogues in which this word "family" is mentioned, but the film actually turns out to be romantic entertainer, which no one would expect to see on a festival like Diwali. It isn't the perfect Diwali entertainer, for which we wait all the year.
Anyhow, this doesn't mean that this film is unwatchable. For its locales, cinematography, pleasant yet untimely placed music, its action scene, and perhaps, for the only one man, Salman Khan, who seems to have delivered another film on a festive season with no regrets at all.
Overall, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO is a good family (as promoted by the makers) which has its few elements going in the right place, although many negatives overshadow the positives of the film. Due to its grand production, Salman Khan, and its releasing on a festival like Diwali, you may watch it once, atleast once. But watch it with the lowest expectations you can, since it's not a perfect film to watch on Diwali. When I walked out of the theatre, I saw most people asking each other "Did you like the film or not?". This shows that their expectations were almost broken, since many of them, like me, had booked the tickets in advance. To conclude, I would say only one thing about this film through following lines:- PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO - SOCH KE KUCH JAYO, DEKH KE KUCH AAYO!