Let’s get to the point. 'Ramaiya Vastavaiya' isn’t a marvellous effort. Although the film does a commendable job of going rustic in order to explore humble novelties, it has hardly anything new to offer — except the lead actor. To its credit, it’s entertaining in bits but that has more to do with accidental comedy than anything else. In fact, the camera blatantly revisits several iconic scenes from the bygone Bollywood films every now and then.
A remake of the Telugu film that marked Prabhu Deva’s directorial debut, this will-do-anything-for-love saga is the celebrated choreographer-turned-filmmaker’s third Hindi venture. Set in a rural landscape where farming and animal husbandry is the way of life, the story follows an innocent romance between two youngsters — the guy being extremely rich and the girl being relatively poor — and the ensuing sacrifice to keep their love story alive. The boy’s parents are too proud to let him have his way and the girl’s brother is too scared to let her away. And there are other elements too who add to the clichéd drama.
And while we are at it, Atif Aslam’s voice renders two mesmerising lines as a signature to yet one more romantic rollercoaster in place.
However, from the standpoint of an audience fed on the same dose of cinematic setting year after year, one can easily predict where the climax is going to reveal itself. On the other hand, utensils giving in to gravity is something you can’t predict. And the film is full of such sound fillers when cups, saucers, earthenware and whatnot can’t help themselves from kissing the ground while creating some noise. But they can’t possibly beat the unrestrained hamming executed by supporting actors, even veterans. Unpolished characters armed with cringeworthy dialogues do the damage.
Speaking of which, Girish Kumar is fine-tuned and provided a rather comfortable space for a newcomer. Moreover, his affable character retains a comical touch throughout. Shruti Haasan stays gorgeous but does very little otherwise. As her onscreen brother, Sonu Sood reminds you of Arbaaz Khan in 'Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya'. Amongst the senior actors, only Vinod Khanna holds his own.
Despite all their attempts at upholding entertainment, remakes such as these often pose a very simple question: will it work if the writers don’t put in a bit more effort when the audiences are more than willing to?