Isi Life Mein
Dir: Vidhi Kasliwal
Cast: Akshay Oberoi, Sandeepa Dhar, Mohnish Behl, PracheeShah Pandya
What it's about: Welcome to the world of Rajshri once again the Utopian world of family values, traditions, well-brought up bahu-betis and a large portion of the film dedicated to a marriage ceremony.
In Vidhi Kasliwal's Isi Life Mein, you have Rajnandini (Dhar), a bright girl from Ajmer who has finished her 12th standard and family elders are now looking to get her married.
She finds support from her mom (Shah) who decides to send her to Mumbai to experience a different life.
So while her dad (Behl) thinks she is staying with a relative in the city, Rajnandini instead joins a college and stays at the hostel. She makes friends and joins the Dramatic Society to stage a play directed by Vivaan (Oberoi).
But before the play can be staged, her marriage is fixed and she is forced to return to Ajmer. Vivaan and her friends then follow her to bring her back.
What's hot: It's a mixed-bag subject with borrowings from a lot of other love stories. However, the film looks fresh courtesy the new pair, the setting and a brand new ensemble cast (except Rajshri favourite Mohnish Behl).
First-time director Vidhi Kasliwal makes a confident debut she strikes the right chords with the chemistry between the lead pair, the bonding among the friends, the mother-daughter relationship and the small-town girl's dilemmas.
Vidhi's view of the world through the eyes of her characters is sweet and endearing. It's heartwarming to see a film about family traditions, innocence and following your dreams, when every other film has a song in a foreign land with foreign models gyrating behind the lead pair.
The music of the film is outstanding. Newcomer Akshay Oberoi is confident and delivers. Sandeepa has pleasing screen presence. Prachee Shah is endearing.
What's not: The length of the film is what works against it. It's just too long at three hours for a story that has been told many times before.
There are far too many similarities with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge the stern father, the mother who wants the daughter to live her life, the younger sister and the arranged marriage.
The only twist in the tale is the climax, which could easily be from any other '70s movie.
One wishes that Vidhi had attempted something original in her first film because she does get it right at many points but fails every time she goes back to the formula.
From the point when Rajnandini's father comes to town, every scene is predictable. What's to keep you in your seat when you can say what will happen next at every point?
What's that! Why does the father keep glaring at his daughter's friends angrily like a lion looking at its prey? Bachao...
What to do: If you're a Rajshri fan, this one's meant for you. It's your ticket to the perfect world.