3.5 Very Good

Salaam-E-Ishq

Salaam-e-Ishq arrives in style at the box office, following tremedous hype and excitment, and of course let's not forget the directors previous box office hit, Kal Ho Naa Ho.

Question: Now the big question is, does Salaam-e-Ishq live up to the hype?

Salaam-e-Ishq tells six different love stories, well you could say five love stories and one comedy. The best of the stories in my opinion was John and Vidya's story; it carries a good concept, wonderful acting, a twist and probably the best moments of the entire movie; truly heartfelt. There was certainly chemistry between this couple, and i'm telling you now, the John-Vidya jodi is one to watch out for in the coming years!

I felt Salman and Priyanka's story was too fake. It had a grand outlook but there was no real story behind it. The whole chasing Karan Johar idea seemed abit weird, and didn't do justice to the power of such mega stars. They deserve a more powerful or atleast a little more realistic story. There was one plus point though - Priyanka's introduction in the movie - hottt!

Anil and Juhi's story was more realistic, set in the suburbs of London, it was something a common man of the UK could perhaps relate to. Juhi was sweet and sincere in her role and Anil was professional as ever - however, shaving off the moustache in that one scene may raise a few eyebrows!

Akshay Khanna and Ayesha Takia's story had its fair share of good moments, i felt Akshay's performance was one of the best we have ever seen from him. He fell naturally into the the soul of the character and his expressions in happy scenes and sad were completely unique.

Govinda and his dream girl Stephanie's story was really cute and had some amazingly funny moments, especially the climax scene, where Stephanie goes up to the parents at the wedding and says a few lines of hindi straight from her heart! That's one scene you could watch over and over again!

Sohail Khan's story isn't really much of a story, it's just comic relief but it's truly quality!

For me, there are a some beautiful scenes which remain in the mind, even after the credits begin to roll (spoilers included). These include:

* Vidya's accident and loss of memory
* Anil and Juhi confrontation on the plane
* Akshay Khanna's hillarious expressions throughout the movie
* John's proposal to Vidya
* Salman and Priyanka besides the glowing bridge at night
* John and Vidya's meeting at Askhay Khanna's house
* Anil and Priyanka's pre-climax meeting at the cafe
* Govinda's outburst at the climax wedding(s)

Answer: Not really

How does Salaam-e-Ishq compare to Kal Ho Naa Ho?

I think Nikhil Advani tries too hard in Salaam-e-Ishq to deliver a perfect piece of work, and it's a shame to say he is far from perfect this time around. Although he handled six different stories really well, i think the unnecessary length of the movie (3hrs 30mins) and some weak storylines adds to points in the wrong direction - a dissapointing downfall.

I think the music of Salaam-e-Ishq is better than Kal Ho Naa Ho, but other than that i think Kal Ho Naa Ho wins on all other grounds, it was a far more superior film in terms of quality of content.

Salaam-e-Ishq scores full marks on its direction, screenplay and choreography - it's a true treat for the eyes, but sorry Nikhil, the movie could have easily been edited to be rounded off under 3hrs. Because of the length factor, boredom starts to creep in at times - perhaps because there isn't such a personality on screen that has the ability to keep your eyes glued on the screen for over 3 hours. For example Shahrukh Khan in Mohabbatein - even that ran on for 3hrs and 20 minutes, and had numerous stories blended into one concept, but for some reason viewers didn't find the need to complain about the length, because it didn't feel as though it was dragging, (unlike Salaam-e-Ishq), the sole presence of Shahrukh was powerful enough to keep the attention of the viewers.

Overall, Salaam-e-Ishq is great family entertainment so please go watch it at the cinema, it is an enjoyable movie with scenes that will make you laugh and also cry. Do not go into the cinema expecting another Kal Ho Naa Ho, because remember there is no King Khan, but there is a beautiful story in that of John and Vidya's, and some really funny moments. You're getting your moneys worth at the cinema, atleast in terms of length. Who gives you a 3hr 30min movie for £5 these days? (",)

Tip for Nikhil Advani: stick to one story in your next movie, rather than six different one's.

Best story: John and Vidya