Direction: Abhiraj Minawala
Producers: Salman Khan Films
Cast: Aayush Sharma, Warina Hussain, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Pratik Gandhi and Sajeel Parakh
MOVIE REVIEW : LOVEYATRI
Times of India
Movie Review: Loveyatri
y passion in life is to teach garba to kids in Vadodara, but this time, the 9-day Navratri festival changes his life. He falls head over heels in love Michelle (Warina Hussain) and does everything he can to win her over.
Loveyatri Review: Sushrut or ‘Susu’ as he’s fondly called, is written off as an unambitious boy, whose only interest is to dance his life away. He constantly faces pressure from his family to find a ‘real’ job, while he dreams of opening his own garba academy in Vadodara. Over to the United Kingdom; Michelle is at the top of her class, but she wishes to return to her motherland in India. Her father (Ronit Roy) reluctantly agrees; they arrive in Baroda and extend their stay to celebrate Navratri on the insistence of his imposing Gujarati family. During the ‘festival of dance’, Susu falls in love with Michelle at first sight. He becomes the typical lover boy who literally runs in circles, to follow his heart.
‘LoveYatri’ is a straightforward love story – nothing more, nothing less. The makers clearly set out to create a sugary film, so they do that with enthusiasm and tons of nostalgic appeal. Debutant director Abhiraj Minawala plays it safe by sticking to a tried and tested formula, focusing on mushy moments to create drama. The problem is that there are too many sweet nothings in between, and that doesn’t help an unambitious screenplay. The characters are likeable, but the story doesn’t make you feel for them because there is little conflict of note and whatever arises is doused with ease. The songs in the film get special attention for capturing the festivity and mood around garba. Composer Tanishk Bagchi’s renditions of ‘Chogada’ and ‘Dholida’ are energetic with foot-tapping energy guaranteed to be popular on every Navratri playlist. Vaibhavi Merchant’s choreography will inspire plenty to shake a leg as well. The rest of the compositions are catchy enough not to become overbearing as they emerge at the drop of a hat.
It’s evident that Aayush and Warina are raw, but both have a charming screen presence with enough chemistry. Since the story requires them to be innocent and naïve young lovers, this inexperience works in their favour. Ayush’s boyish appeal is likeable, although his first film doesn’t give him a chance to show much range as an actor. Ronit Roy as Michelle’s father and Ram Kapoor as Susu’s uncle, lead the charge to handle the emotionally heavier dialogues and scenes. Although ‘LoveYatri’ lacks the gripping appeal of more contemporary romantic stories, it might be just enough to satiate die-hard romantics looking to revisit the love stories of the 90s.
Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
Movie Review: Loveyatri
Loveyatri movie review: While you are waiting for the time to pass, and it does with torturous slowness, you ask the obvious question: if the leading man wasn’t Salman Khan’s brother-in-law, would an entire film be made just to launch him?
‘Susu? That’s a cool name.’ A character addresses the leading man thus in Loveyatri.
No, it’s not. It’s a word which makes people, even those who’ve got past kindergarten level humour, snigger.
For a ‘hero’ to go through his debut film by that name with a straight face must have taken some doing. What were the filmmakers thinking? Or were they? At all?
Sushrut aka Susu (Sharma) is a Vadodara-based lad whose dream is to start his own ‘garba’ school. He loses his heart to pretty NRI Michelle aka Manisha (Hussain), and we are steered lamely towards the oldest conflict in the book: poor amiable boy, rich ambitious girl, and of course the twain will meet after two and half dreary clichéd hours.
While you are waiting for the time to pass, and it does with torturous slowness, you ask the obvious question: if the leading man wasn’t Salman Khan’s brother-in-law, would an entire film be made just to launch him?
Silly question, I know, but what else do you expect when the film is smothered in silliness. Even such seasoned actors as Ronit Roy (the girl’s papa who hates the boy’s guts) and Ram Kapoor (the boy’s uncle who thinks all Indians learn how to romance from the movies) flounder.
Critic’s Rating: 1.0/5
Movie Review: Loveyatri
Salman Khan had Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), his brother in law Aayush Sharma has a LoveYatri. There are some three decades separating the two films, so why does it feel all that time hasn’t passed. That’s because all the cue cards for LoveYatri are from the ’90s. Aayush plays SuSu, short for Sushrut, a slacker living in Vadodara whose only ambition is to open a Garba academy one day. During the festival of Navratri. He meets a NRI girl Michelle, real name Meenakshi, a topper in her class who has her life mapped in front of her. The videshi girl discovers her desi roots and grows close to the good-looking gujju boy who treats her to a food trail of Vadodara and wins her heart in the process. The hurdles in this love story are the girl’s strict father (Ronit Roy), and the guy’s own insecurities. She goes back to her brighter future and he sorts of reconciles himself to his middle class mediocrity. But after getting a pep talk from his uncle, our hero flies off to London to win his dulhania…
If it sounds totally familiar we don’t blame you. The film even cues in about how familiar it’s going to be. The whole ‘pep’ talk by Ram Kapoor centres around the fact that we learn to love through films, with him asking SuSu to take inspiration from the screen antics of the three Khans. It’s clearly evident that both SuSu and Michelle belong to two different worlds. In fact it’s established quite clearly. And yet the director wants us to invest in a opposites attract theory. The problem with the film is that it’s conflict gets resolved quite miraculously. We don’t feel the angst of separation. Ironically, the heroine is shown to have rationalised her crush with SuSu and has clearly moved on while he seems to be stuck in denial, in limbo.
Folk based melodies with a modern twist boost up this otherwise confused romance. Both leads look easy on the eye and do share a palpable chemistry. It’s their fresh pairing that works and stops us from being put off by the overly familiar narrative of the film. Both Aayush and Warina have potential. They are a supercontinent duo and while they aren’t seasoned actors, it can’t be denied they have done a fair enough job for their first film. Ram Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Pratik Gandhi and Sajeel Parakh have all given them able support.
All-in-all, both Aayush and Warina have made decent debuts. A little more polish and a better choice of films will surely see them shine in future.