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LoveYatri Movie Review – Find another Garba partner
LoveYatri’s lead actor Aayush Sharma has all the ingredients needed to make a star â six pack abs and dancing skills. Yet, his talent as an actor, are questionable
Aayush Sharma and Warina Hussain in a still from LoveYatri
U/A: Drama, Romance
Director: Abhiraj Minawala
Cast: Aayush Sharma, Warina Hussain
Five minutes into LoveYatri, Aayush Sharma makes a dashing entry. I am reminded of Salman Khan’s 2008 film Bandhan, and his famous dialogue: ‘Jo jijaji bolenge, woh main karunga.’ So, when the superstar’s real-life jijaji, Sharma, told him that he aspired to become an actor, Khan decided to go all out and produce a film for him.
It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the leading man in this film, Sushrut, is fondly referred to as Susu. For an actor to make his debut with this screen-name, a lot of convincing must have been involved, we assume. Or, perhaps not, if the venture is being helmed by Khan.
Susu is a good-for-nothing Gujarati lad who harbours no interest in academics. He dreams of opening a garba academy instead. His uncle, Rasik [Ram Kapoor] , a garment store owner, part-time singer and a love guru, believes that an upcoming Navratri festival will prove to be particularly lucky for his nephew.
Enter, Michelle (Warina Hussain), aka Manisha. The Gujarati NRI turns up in Vadodara from London for a family visit with her father (Ronit Roy), who owns a chain of laundry mats called Lord of the Rinse. Michelle and Susu spot each other at a local garba night, and, as uncle had rightly predicted, it is love at first sight. Over a series of dandiya numbers, and a few plates of dabeli and dhokla, the two fall in love. But, Manisha’s dad must play spoilsport.
Watch the trailer here:
It’s a swift move from the glitzy Navratri backdrop in Vadodara to the banks of the river Thames in London in the second half. Long story cut short, the boy chases the girl, gives a sanskari lecture to her father, and, in the process, meets two sympathetic Gujarati policemen (Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan).
It’s a happy ending, after all, but not for the viewer. Ornate sets, vibrant costumes, energetic choreography and foot-tapping music are surely the highlights of debutant director Abhiraj Minawala’s film. But it is Niren Bhatt’s script, shamelessly recycled umpteen times in Bollywood, that is the big let-down.
A scene sees Susu being asked to perform garba by immigration officers in order to procure a visa.
Another showcases how a major twist is triggered by an argument over the amount of ketchup that must go on a pizza. In yet another one of these cherry-picks, Susu’s mama gives him a pep talk on saat janam ka pyaar.
I wish the makers would have invested more in enhancing this wafer-thin plot instead of investing in hairstylists briefed to give Sharma Patrick Dempsey-like McDreamy hair. From the cast, Kapoor does a decent job, while Roy, who can, on other occasions, sleepwalk through such roles, is a disappointment. Pratik Gandhi and Sajeel Parekh as Sharma’s friends, bring in some entertainment quotient with their witty one-liners.
Lead actor Sharma has all the ingredients needed to make a star — six pack abs and dancing skills. Yet, his talent as an actor, are questionable. In this film, he carries the singular expression of bewilderment. It’s almost like he’s asking Khan why he decided to launch him with this offering. May I point out that his perfectly blow-dried hair has acted more than the man himself. Hussain looks beautiful. And that’s about it. Not much love to shower on this one, we’d say.