Friday, February 10, 2017

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 27
Movie Name/Year: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015)
Tagline: None
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Bollywood
Length: 163 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Rajshri Productions
Producer: Ajit Kumar Barjatya, Devaansh S. Barjatya, Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Kavitha Barjatya, Rajat A. Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya, Ruchi Ajit Barjatya
Director: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Writer: Sooraj R. Barjatya, Aash Karan Atal
Actors: Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Deepak Dobriyal, Arman Kohli, Swara Bhaskar, Aashika Bhatia, Deep Raj Rana, Manoj Joshi, Sanjay Mishra, Samaira Rao, Anupam Kher, Prem Khan, Suhasini Mulay, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Lata Sabharwal, Karuna Pandey, Brijendra Kala, Vishwa Mohan Badola, Mukesh Bhatt
Stunt Doubles: Adam Horton, Peter Pedrero, Calvin Warrington-Heasman

Speech Available: Hindi
Subtitles Available: English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: While recovering from an assassination attempt four days prior to his coronation, a stern prince is replaced by a joyful and generous doppelganger.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie was three fucking hours long. I need to check run-times before I watch. A while into the film I thought to myself, “Damn, this feels like it’s been going on forever and I don’t think I’m near the climax.” So, I checked to see how far in I was. An hour and eight minutes… and I had roughly two hours to go. Holy hell.

I don’t even like watching fantasy-based three hour movies. I get antsy.

That was my only issue with it, though.

This film was more like what I expected from Bollywood than the last Hindi film we watched. There were lots of colors, flashy sets, music numbers, and a fable-like tale being told. In fact, it felt a bit like a live-action Prince and the Pauper story.

One of the things that made this incredibly long film watchable, was the main characters. Salman Khan (Lai Bhaari, Phata Poster nikhla Hero, Veer) and Sonam Kapoor (Khoobsurat, Raanjhanaa, Aisha) were both great, in different ways. Khan had phenomenal comedic timing. He almost always got a chuckle out of me. Whereas Kapoor was so enchanting that I couldn’t take my eyes off her while she was on screen.

I really enjoyed this film. In fact, I believe I had such a negative outlook on Bollywood films because they’d never been described to me properly. If I had to describe the genre to someone else, I’d call it a kind of opera. The music is meant to hold the majority of the story and the dances seem to be where the chemistry between the characters truly comes into play. The only reason it looks over the top to Westerners, is because we’re used to the popularity of darker colors and more toned down sets. Culturally, the opposite seems to be the norm for Bollywood.

Perspective. It’s a hell of a drug.

If anything, I’d say our last Bollywood film – while more normal to me and Cat – is quite toned down for its genre.

In the end, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo was a very long film… but it had a hell of a pay off at the end and I don’t regret taking the time to watch it. I will remember it fondly.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was excited to see this movie come up for our Foreign Film Friday. It didn’t disappoint in the least.

Just to get this out of the way; I’ll tell you that this film stomped all over my subtitle pet peeve – but only at first. I got so into the movie that it bugged me less and less as time went on until I just didn’t think anything of it at all. The words were placed over the movie, but they seemed to have a little shadowing to separate from the background. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Like I said, however, I got far enough enmeshed in the movie that reading along became second nature. I found myself paying more attention to what was going on in the scenes. There were a few cultural references that I didn’t understand due to lack of general knowledge such as folklore and festival days. The film gives enough context to keep the uninitiated from being horribly confused, at least.

This movie was a more traditional Bollywood than the last we watched. There are song and dance numbers sprinkled throughout the whole movie. Each instance of such had story purpose and felt like it flowed together smoothly with the rest of the scenes rather than falling into the trap of seeming like random flash mobs were happening.

The lead roles in this film were also apparently Bollywood royalty. Salman Khan (Son of Sardaar, Jai Ho, Sultan) has been a leading man for many years and has worked on several occasions with Sonam Kapoor (Mausam, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Neerja), whom was his costar in this movie. Their chemistry was spot on and that likely had a good deal to do with a comfortability with each other.

I am happy to say that while this wasn’t the most original concept, the tale was told well and it was endearing. I love the vibrant colors so often present in this culture. Some of the set pieces were absolutely stunning. Overall, the film was a visual feast.

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone wanting to get their feet wet with Bollywood, and I wouldn’t even mind watching it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 48%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. Extra scenes during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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