Vivah—the Review

Sick and tired of the decadent West-inspired perversion (extra-marital affairs, husband swapping, playing basketball in the rain) that is passed off as “acceptable” by today’s Hindi movies , I have to confess I eagerly look forward to Sooraj Barjatya’s clean, sensitive, morally well-grounded movies that smell of gajar ka halwa and Bharatiya sanskiriti if only to convince myself that there is still some good left in this world gone crazy with lust and licentiousness.

Which is why Sooraj Barjatiya’s “Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon” was a catastrophe with its depiction of pre-marital naughtiness and Hritik’s bare torso which, along with the digitally generated parrot, haunted me for many a night. I must say I was happy that the audience rejected the movie because it made Mr. Barjatya move back to his roots: making movies for the “middle class”, a class he defines thusly.

My audience is the hardcore middle class – my son’s tuition teacher, my maid, not South Mumbai residents,” Barjatya told IANS in an interview.

Vivah is a testament to Sooraj’s return to what made his famous—-an endearing two-and-half hours of ambiguously happy people, innocent girls running around in sylvan surroundings where a song is always around the corner, people with names like Harishchandra, tycoons who do no work and go for month-long vacations, picture-postcard villages, profound lyrics like “Neeche jo dekhoon to ocean hi ocean hain, upar jo dekhoon to tu akash main roshan hain“, self-sacrifice, soft focus, coy giggles and rivers of tears.

And most importantly, rock strong Indian values. College-going girls are covered from head to toe (no short skirts), love to go to temples (instead of discos) and read “adhyattik kitab” (instead of making naughty MMS-s), wrap shawls around their fathers as they go out for a walk (no “Hey dad, gimme 10,000 bucks —I need an abortion), talk in suddh Hindi (‘Hum Aap Se Bahoot Prem Karte Hain’) bring water in copper glasses for their beaus, and though they are allowed to work after marriage by their father-in-laws still show that they know their place by spontaneously quitting their careers once they bear children. The “fair” girl is pretty, the “not-so-fair” one is not, women, in general, are referred to as “Jagatjananiyan” (Mothers of the World) and people ‘undress’ to ‘dress’ on suhaag-raats (watch the movie to find out more)


However Vivah’s biggest selling point is its performances. Alok Nath is back as the ever-suffering, reservoir of love and gentleness that has come to be associated with this old Sooraj Barjatya favourite—–it is almost impossible to think of this man as a softcore pornstar which is how he started his career in the movie “Kamagni” opposite Ms. Ambani, the then Tina Munim. After playing Phoolan Devi in “Bandit Queen” where she was subject to the most horrible degradation, Seema Biswas ups the pain in ‘Vivah’—playing the role of Alok Nath’s wife. They have two daughters—-1) the “fair and beautiful” adopted daughter is Poonam (Amrita Rao) whose demure whisperings and downcast eyes show a reassuring understanding of the Barjatya ethos and 2) the biological daughter (Chote) who bears her darkness and the sooty, black makeup she is plastered with throughout the movie with uncommon dignity. Anupam Kher is as brilliant as usual playing the golden-hearted, saintly tycoon and Shahid Kapoor takes a break from smooching women in public to essay the righteous, virginal son-and-husband (Prem) fitting into the role like a right hand into a left-handed glove. And then of course the force of nature otherwise known as Monish Behl who plays, in my opinion, the most brutal doctor ever seen on screen, comforting a father whose daughter has been burnt in an accidental fire a few hours before her marriage: “Marriage? Out of the question. She is so badly burnt even her very own will wash their hands off her. Forget about her in-laws.” (Such charming bed-side manners) and then instructing his orderlies, in all seriousness “Nayee dulhan ko operation main laiye please”.

The movie is not perfect —-for instance I missed the ‘faithful servant and dog’ routine (there was not even a private tutor to compensate for that) and the “antakshari” scene but these are minor quibbles in the face of something as beautiful and moving and as affirming of our faith in what’s noble and good as Vivah.

124 thoughts on “Vivah—the Review

  1. Would have loved a more scathing dismissal of this crap, but then I absolutely lose my objectivity when it comes to the tripe Barjatiya dishes out.
    Oh, but then I did watch Maine Pyar Kiya about 10 times…being 16, clueless, and totally besotted by a certain Bhagyashree obviously helped.
    Nevertheless, deserved sarcasm, though slightly lacking in the causticity…maybe you forgot your daily dose of chirotar jol?…:-)

  2. Hey great bong…is it the crhistmas spirit or are you actually mellowing down…..the tongue seems to be a little less firmly in the cheek….or is it that I am missing the humour…

  3. you are a very mean man!!!

  4. @HimeshRokkes, Pchakra, S: Now I am confused. Here is ‘S’ (is it you Sooraj) who is calling me a very mean man and there is Himesh and Pchakra who accuse me of going ‘easy’ on Vivah? Ah well……all I can say is repeat a song from Vivah “Mujhe haq hain”……

  5. Some things drip sarcasm….others seem to have soiled my laptop with it! You owe me AU$1300 for the laptop. I shall be sending my goondas to collect. 🙂

  6. Hey GB,
    Merry X-mas.. The festive atmosphere indeed seems to hav mellowed you down…I would hav loved to read ur expert comment on lyrics of ‘Mujhe Haq Hai’. I cringe everytime i hear it & I am forced to hear it every day as my company bus driver loves it. but then, as u hav already remarked…Tume Haq Hai…so go on GB.

  7. Dear Watson

    The writer hails from the eastern part of India. To use the deductive spirit of logical reasoning this writer is from Bengal. Look at the way he writes the root Sanskrit word “adhyatmik”, spiritual in English. People from that region do not pronounce “m” after “t” or “h” just as we do in case of “k” before “n”. So words like “Bhishma”,”grishma”,”atma” are spelled differently there.

    Probably this writer was educated in an English medium school so he fails to notice the subtle differences.

    Yours always


  8. Great review GB. Loved it. Had a good laugh. That suhag raat comment, has made me curious .. but not curious enough to sit thru this load of crap! Maybe I need to get a DVD and watch just the important bits : )

  9. Hi:

    I could sit for only the first 30 minutes. I don’t know how u watched the whole movie and i can’t understand why u have given a positive reply. May be u want more people to suffer. Btw, in the last 4-5 posts of urs, punch has been lacking and they don’t have re-read value. Ur previous posts used to be very creative. May be age is taking its toll on u.

  10. Great review GB. Saw the movie last week. Quite insipid to say the least.

    Er…not sure but I think Mohnish Behl was being sarcastic when he said those lines to Alok Nath.

  11. “Alok Nath is back as the ever-suffering, reservoir of love and gentleness that has come to be associated with this old Sooraj Barjatya favorite”

    — For this reason alone i MUST watch this movie! Sooraj Alok Nath = awesome combo. Who cares for the rest 😀


  12. Alok Nath is nothing less than W.M.D. esp. when he is father of a suffering daughter. He has inspired generation of “helpless” fathers in movies as well as tele-serials.

  13. with an “ah” in the name … i suspected the movie would be painful reminder of all things wrong with this genre of hindi cinema … bang on!

  14. I am just amazed by Sooraj Barjatya’s “shock and awe” treatment that he has been dishing out for his audience. How tripe can you get? How meaningless of a story can you come up with next time? Most of all, how do audience have the patience to sit through this?

    Reminds me of a scene from “Ghoom” where the prisoners are forced to watch “Neal n’ Nikki” as a torture tactic. Me thinks, “The Unabridged Barjatya Collection: Director’s Uncut” should be a essential part of any torturer’s arsenal. Much more potent than any truth serum. It won’t take more than half an hour for anybody to break down and confess to crimes they didn’t even commit if they are made to sit through this movie. Only if Jack Baeur knew 🙂

  15. you really have reached ‘mind expansion’ as far as movies are concerned. really how can you allow yourself to sit through such films!!! but for all the ppl above trashing the film, the target audience is not us. and whatever say the movie is a big hit.

  16. Nice review and good observation. Nicely written.

    Well, I have read many negative reviews of this film Vivah but your review says an entirely different story. I too believe in all those indian values… but still I dont think I will watch this movie unless I am just too dead to see anything else.

  17. Let me know which way you prefer in accepting payments.(Check/Banker’s Draft/PayPal/Credit-Card). I really believe in Incentive Sharing (my way of Win-Win Paradigm~) on a 10% basis I do Owe you at least 80 bucks. Was planning to see this on tomorrow (Thankfully was too lazy to buy advanced tickets) and it would have costed Rs. 800 (Rs 200/ticket * 4) on the ticks alone! I am not yet accounting the Opportunity Cost and the Overheads (as in popcorns, soda .. et al; which are pretty much larger than the primal expenses in any descent Multiplex in Indian Metro Cities)

    Of course, not to mention, Thanks a ton for saving me the trauma.
    (Last I remember, in my yesteryears had to suffer on familiar grounds in ‘Hum aapke Hain Kaun’)

  18. So he’s saving his maid and his son’s teacher from a horrible fate, where they may see some kind of skinny bimbo on the screen and never be able to work for him again.
    What happened to the middle class of Zanjeer, Deewar, Sharabi and Sholay.
    Bong, you forget that they also never take a shit or eat food. Its just laid out on the table.
    Riiight…virginal. Maybe to his parents. That’s what these movies are about anyway. They’re shot from the POV of the delusional, drugged out parents who still believe in this bullshit.

  19. GB, i had a mild case of Diabetes , watching the movie … With my wife constantly asking , what will go wrong and when .. thankfully after 2 hrs the fire arrived and saved us all !!!

    Anyways as other readers commented earlier , i expected a more scathing review from you .. “Mujhe haque hai ” aside , the movie was insipid and a waste of time

  20. @GB- I will never watch this movie….but what a sarcastic review…savored every line of your review like a nice bottle of red wine. Fantastic! I was also flummoxed after reading the first 3 comments. If anything I thought it was a really sarcastic post…but the embedded sarcasm is often indirect and subtle and not blatantly implied.

    S said in his comment that you are a very mean man…LOL.. :)…im sure you must have laughed a lot too after reading that comment.

    “wrap shawls around their fathers as they go out for a walk (no “Hey dad, gimme 10,000 bucks —I need an abortion)”— almost died laughing reading that. 🙂

  21. I wonder…I saw this movie a couple of weeks back and ended up puking my vitals out all over it. Out of sheer insipidity helped by a huge helping of crass sweetness. Amazing review. But what are all these negative comments on your review about? Okay, maybe the tone is a bit subtler then before, but there’s no way this can be seen as a positive review of the movie/you endorsing it! Wow. As for me, I thought the subtlety enhanced the ‘scathe/scathingness/scathingity/bitterpower’ of the review.

  22. Okay, excuse me, but I’m just testing to see what kind of comment moderating system you have in place.
    Fuck. This. Shit.

  23. ‘Hey dad, gimme 10,000 bucks —I need an abortion’…PRICELESS !!! 😀

  24. you watch bad movies and write the most excellent cynical reviews.
    the saddest thing abt this is that i get too curious about the movie.
    jesus! your kank review. i just had to see the movie after that. i dragged my unsuspecting husband(he does not read blogs)saying its got extremely naughty scenes(karan johar :the naughty scenes were pathetic).
    it was just like you said. we ruined our weekend totally.

    now this review is syrupy sweet.looks like i have to find out more.

  25. A good and mild review of a very bad film.

  26. mast review
    keep it up and watch some crappier movies so we can have some more fun

  27. Arnab: completely mindf!#$!ed at some of the comments on this post (the ones that thought this was a positive review). My sympathies, and Merry (belated) Christmas…

  28. GB please help me out…..m dying to know…..did she get burnt while playing cricket with the family?? The ball hit a candle which ignited her sari ka pallu?? please do enlighten us!! 😀

  29. Certain gems I really appreciate in this post of yours:
    profound lyrics like “Neeche jo dekhoon to ocean hi ocean…
    the force of nature otherwise known as Monish Behl..
    Awesome man! keep ’em coming!

    “My audience is the hardcore middle class – my son’s tuition teacher, my maid, not South Mumbai residents”
    What bull!! So he assumes that the average middle class person actually relates to a 10 bedroom villa as depicted in Hum Saath Saath Hain or run several factories as in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.. if thats the case, wtf(who) are the rich??

    Nevertheless, the man has a brilliant money making formula that never fails and hats off to that!

  30. First, love and peace this season.
    Second, that was some real nasty…loved it. And now…
    Dude! A few earnest proshnos for you…… 🙂

    1. Do you actually spend hard earned cash on these movies, catching em as they’re released?
    If you watch em at theaters –
    a. Do you sit thru the songs and take notes on the lyrics?
    b. Do you take a smoke break during em songs?
    c. Do you carry an ipod/walkman/any other musical mobile device to drown the sounds of the songs?

    2. Or do you encourage piracy?
    If you encourage piracy –
    a. DO you actually haunt railway stations and other shady quality pirated CD places for em?
    b. Do shaking head mounted cameras, shadowy late comers and hacking coughing sounds add to the over all quality of these movies making em maybe a tad more tolerable?

    3. How do you sleep at night after such sap? DO you need pills? Do you need a sponsor for em pills? Can I find you a shrink? Or do you wanna help me find a shrink for Dir. Sooraj?

    You must be scarred…for life….I feel for you bro!

  31. have’nt watched this movie and won’t ever for the life of me. movies like this drive me plain crazy. beyond my patience.

    just wish there was some acid in this review 😦

  32. Dear Jabberwock, u better write reviews of boring books and old movies rather than f*****ing ur mind.

  33. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB:I find this post just as humorous as your other posts.

    Those who found this post less humorous than others had too much ‘fun’ somewhere else during these holidays.

    I am told that this heroine is the current heart throb of M. F. Hussain.- did you know that?

    Lastly, I won’t watch a movie where the hero looks so idiotic.

  34. Awesome review buddy! Loved it… and loved some of the “patent worthy” comments as well. Keep it up!!!

  35. Don’t people tire of this tripe? Why do we keep on seeing the same stuff?

  36. Aah, theres nothing wrong in having a lovey-dovey, everything is perfect movie. Just wait till Hollywood copies the idea and makes a movie. We will all go ga-ga over it. Just like Entrapment (Director Jon Amiel, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones)was an idea copied in 1999 from Dhoom 2 of 2006 😉

  37. Amazingly hilarious review… but the best part is those comments that think you have actually praised the movie…

  38. YOURFAN writes:
    @Joy Forever: You wrote: “but the best part is those comments that think you have actually praised the movie” – I totally agree with you although I forgot to mention that in my earlier comment. I was also surprised about some readers’ comments about this review being less witty!!

  39. I’ve been a reader of GreatBong’s blog for a while now. And I’m not sure if it’s just me, but has anyone else noticed the growing sycophancy among the writer’s ardent fans?
    I mean these are people who actually take offence to others who find certain GB posts not witty enough!!!

    Man, a lot of us need new hobbies…and a life.

  40. @Shubhodeep 🙂 [well you did say ardent fans though]

  41. GB, I am slightly puzzled : are you saying that a movie on marriage should necessarily involve husband swapping etc.? Or is this an impertinent question because I am not supposed to see this article as anything other than humour? Or am I missing some common info. about the movie that is implicitly assumed in the post?

  42. Shubhodeep:

    I agree with u 100%. I don’t know why Jabberwock (who used ugly language and covered it with symbols like mindf!#$!ed) and Yourfan immediately attacked any negative comments. Only answer is real sycophancy. Anybody who has been reading this blog regularly would notice that the usual sting is lacking in the last 5-6 posts and they seem to be posted in a hurry. Dear Jabberwock, u write a lot about patience and understanding cultures on ur blog, but i don’t know why u really reacted in such a silly manner. Maybe ur writings are to preach others only ?

  43. Sadly, we ardent fans are like this only. But Shubhodeep, just clarifying: my comment wasn’t directed at those who didn’t find the post “witty enough”, it was in response to those who didn’t understand the tone of the post at all (there was a comment up there which said “I have read many negative reviews of this film but your post says an entirely different story…”).

    Kishor: apologies for hurting your sentiments with the ugly language or the symbols, whichever you found more offensive. I agree that the “#” sign in particular can be like a barb directed at the heart. It looks so ugly too.

  44. @Kishor: I, who consider myself GB’s fan, can tell you that I have never attacked any negative comment. Yes, I do argue with people with whom I don’t agree, but I don’t attack them. With my very limited intellectual abilities, I felt that anybody reading this particular review will realize at once that it is a sarcastic review and not real praise.
    Obviously I was wrong.
    I am not angry with the people who thought GB praised the movie. I’m not going to attack them. I only feel pity for them. I’m sure Jabberwock feels the same way.
    For those people I can only suggest they read more and more of sarcasm so that they know when they see one. Going through earlier posts on this blog will be sufficient I think.

    As for you and Shubhodeep, the best course of action has been suggested by Shubhodeep himself, “…a lot of us need new hobbies…and a life.”

  45. Dear Jabberwock:

    I am sorry, I couldn’t control myself, and my ego took over me. Liked ur comment on # symbol, really funny. As u said on one of ur posts “some people are ever ready to get offended and letting the wolrd know that they are offended” seems perfectly applies to me. I am sorry for venting out my anger over a small issue. I really love ur blog and like u very much. Seems I have to grow up.

    Thank you

  46. Apologies all around…didn’t mean to start a war!!
    Let me clarify that I have great respect for GB as a writer. It’s not easy to maintain a flow of articles for a blog exponentially growing in popularity.
    Can’t say the same for many of us readers though. Yours truly, for example, spends an awful amount of time trawling through nameless blogs and posting inane comments. Apart from the resultant ever-expanding waistline and diminishing intellectual capabilities beyond the regular pot-shots at fellow commentators, doesn’t look like the lifestyle is helping…hence the heartfelt plea for new hobbies and a life…;-)

    Meanwhile, enjoy the man’s posts. His early ones are real gems.

  47. Dear Joy Forever:

    sorry, i used the wrong word “attacked”, but u know i am new to writing, having started my blog very recently. Yeah, i need to be careful with words. but to be frank, i have re-read it 3 times but still cannot get the tone. yeah, may be i must cool down and read it after 2 or 3 days. thnks for ur comment.

  48. There has been a noticeable trend after the first few comments. Subsequent commentators have either been satisfied with the level of acerbity of the review or disappointed with it. This has led to the second camp on speculating whether the author of this blog has lost his ability to churn out caustic reviews or whether hes writing the posts in a tremendous amount of hurry resulting in the detriment in the quality of writing.

    Sycophancy or no sycophancy, its a pointer to 1 thing – as to how big and revered an opinion maker GB is in the Indian blogosphere nowadays. There is such a huge halo around him due to the popularity of past posts that it often bears on him like a cross. Indeed the next generation of Indian babies may grow up on D for desibaba, M for Mithunism and H for 1-900-Hotties.

    To those who thought that this review was less casutic than other ones – I just want want to say even if I convince myself to believe that its true, I would like to think that it is not due to a lack of effort on the author’s part but simply because the film in question does not deserve the same kind of attention and involvement like say a much hyped trash like KANK or a really good film. Take any good book reviewer, movie reviewer or even a cricket writer. The intensity or involvement is not the same in all reviews or reports. GB has reviewed many movies- if he dishes out the same kind of review to all – then he does so at the risk of being perceived as monotonous and unidimensional, which he clearly is not.

    Also blogs like GB’s and Jai Arjun’s are original blogs, not merely a bunch of hyperlinks. Its easy to write a filter blog, but difficult to write an original blog without the hits and not-so-hits – in the eyes of the the reader that is. The same goes with any aspect of creative output- films, paintings etc.

    @Shubhodeep- You are most welcome to differ on views on posts. Your close scrutiny is a pointer and a testimony to GBs ability as a writer who not only makes his readers think but judge him iteratively on a time scale. He is now like a revered director whose past hits are so popular that his future films are bound to be judged on them. So feel free to criticize but also try to understand with the “director’s vision”.

    @Kishor- 🙂 You certainly don’t seem to like boring books or old films do you? But I found the line “May be age is taking its toll on u” hilarious as on Dec 30, GB completes the 31st year of his life. Have you read his birthday post last year. Do read it if you haven’t. And lets hope that instead of deteriorating, his posts age like old wine.

  49. >> If anything I thought it was a really sarcastic post…


    GreatBong is lucky to have you as his fan. He must be happy to find someone praising even his toned down posts. 🙂

  50. @YourFan2,

    >> There is such a huge halo around him due to the popularity of past posts that it often bears on him like a cross. Indeed the next generation of Indian babies may grow up on D for desibaba, M for Mithunism and H for 1-900-Hotties.

    Hahaha… LOLzz.. fanboy again…

    Ok, yes, we know GreatBong is great (thats why we visit this blog), but such sycophancy is cheap, to say the least. Greatbongs posts wont reduce in quality if people criticize and point out mistakes. In fact they will improve as he gets honest feedback. Now as his fan, dont you want that ? 🙂

    GreatBong is great.. GreatBong is great.. GreatBong is great.. … phew…

  51. Dear Your fan2:

    Your comment is more hilarious than the GB’s post. But what about GB’s future with fans like you.

  52. GB, r u posting comments on your fan2’s name ?

  53. YOURFAN writes:
    @Shubhodeep:You wrote: “I mean these are people who actually take offence to others who find certain GB posts not witty enough!!!”

    Could you please tell me where I wrote that I have taken ‘offence’ because others have found this post not witty enough? Don’t you believe that just like any body and everybody I have a right to like or dislike, agree or disagree with certain comments? Where did you find me taking offence? Can’t I express my opinion without being categorized?

    Even when you wrote “but has anyone else noticed the growing sycophancy among the writer’s ardent fans?” I did not take offence only because it is YOUR OPINION which may be wrong, may be right, may be the opposite of my opinion or may be it tallies with mine.

    The dictionary meaning of sycophant is “person who uses flattery to win favor from people with power or influence”. With this universal definition, all I can say is that I don’t even know GB personally and as far as I know from his blog he is not a person with power or influence! So how can I flatter him with the possible motive of gaining something in return?

    You wrote to Shubhodeep: “I agree with u 100%. Yourfan immediately attacked any negative comments.”

    I sincerely want to know where you found me ‘attacking’ any ‘negative comments’? I ask you this because if you have also read my previous comments in previous posts of this writer then you must know that I abhor any sort of ‘attack’ – be it personal or with words. I have never used abusive words no matter how much I disagree with some one including GB. I may try to explain my points through multiple comments but I have always detested any form of ‘attack’. I believe in differences of opinion and I believe in the axiom of ‘agreeing to disagree’ – the same thing that I wrote to Shubhodeep.

    With regard to the meaning of sycophant (and what I had to say about that) what I wrote for Shubhodeep is also written for you since you wrote that you agree with him 100%.

    Lastly, if the comment is not that of abusive nature or personal attack, I never consider any comment to be ‘negative’ or ‘positive’. All I do is consider them as in agreement with mine or in disagreement with mine or indifferent from mine.

  54. Dear anon:

    Brevity is an art.

  55. Want to see Shahid Kapoor just because you sais he “fitting into the role like a right hand into a left-handed glove”.
    Loved the review as always

  56. >>> Indeed the next generation of Indian babies may grow up on D for desibaba, M for Mithunism and H for 1-900-Hotties.



    Hahaha…. I am still laughing at this… Man, you are really funny. Keep going, this blog needs a resident fanboy for entertainment.

  57. @Puneet
    “with an “ah” in the name … i suspected the movie would be painful reminder of all things wrong with this genre of hindi cinema … bang on” – man u have to buy me a new laptop, I guffawd coffee all over it.

  58. I planned on getting “I survived Vivah” t-shirt made online … my wife did not get the humor. I’ve had poha for last 4 days.

  59. A very happy new year to you Arnab.

  60. I was away for a few days and hence the delay in replying to the comments. Let me say a few things in general.

    @Kishor: You are not the first person to think that yourfan and yourfan2 is me and you certainly wont be the last. I know it’s tough to swallow the fact that there may actually be real people who like what I write and who declare themselves to be fans of someone who has been writing crap for some time now.

    In this context, there is little I can say to you…if I point out, like a few other readers, that you failed to appreciate subtle forms of humor and sarcasm I would be accused of being insensitive and touchy of criticism immediately. The irony here is appealing. If people criticize *your understanding* of humor then they are my sycophants. And if people criticize me, then they are honest critics who point out *mistakes*.

    In any case, if you feel my quality has gone down and the “years have taken their toll” ( the connection between decrease in quality and age is of course an amazing one),you have only to stop coming and reading the trash I churn out. Simple isnt it?

    @Shadows: “Greatbongs posts wont reduce in quality if people criticize and point out mistakes. In fact they will improve as he gets honest feedback.’

    Now let me say ‘Shadows is great.Shadows is great’. For coming here and pointing out my mistakes ! I feel I am a naughty schoolboy giving my exercise book to the great Shadows to “point out mistakes”! Do tell me where I made my “mistakes” here…I will rectify myself. There are many ways to write reviews…even critical reviews….sometimes you can club a movie with a blunt object and sometimes rip it with a scalpel. Pity that my ‘mistake-finders’ think that they need to tell me which way to go about it.
    Now as to ‘honest feedback’ let’s look at some of the “feedback” I have.

    1. I have become old (the years have taken their toll !!!) and cannot write.
    2. It’s a mild review.
    3. I churn out mediocre writings.

    Now dear master tell me which of these are “constructive criticism”? Firstly the review is anything but mild (as some people “understood”). Secondly, even assuming that I loved the movie….why is it okay for people to come and dictate what I am supposed to like and not like? You can disagree with my review….I welcome that. But making statements like “age has taken its toll” does nothing in the way of honest criticism. I know you did not make that statement ….the youthful Kishor did….but you are “supporting” him. Does that make you Kishor’s sycophant? I wonder.

    And let me repeat dear Shadows, my sycophants have nothing to gain from me. They are not getting a share of my will or my Adsense earnings. I am an “old” person so they don’t want to flirt with me either….yourfan and yourfan2 dont even have blogs that I can drive traffic to. So you have to wonder: why they are sycophants? Could it be that they *really* like what I write and that they think that I still write as well as I always used to and that they genuinely feel that some readers failed to understand this review? Did that thought ever cross your mind?

    @To all my sycophants/assorted versions of myself: Thanks for getting “it”….

    @SD: Happy new year.

  61. Hmm…it’s turned into quite a commenting match. “”””Sycophants”””” vs. ‘Don’t-get-it people’?
    In reponse to a comment about how it is good to criticize, I have this to say:
    Criticize where it is warranted. It might be good, but only when it is used to point out actual failings. As I said before, the more veiled and subtle sarcasm is, the more hard it hits. That’s the uniqueness of sarcasm, and indeed, all of humour. The central idea behind humour is when some expected thing is taken and turned on its head. Irony is an integral part of all humour, as you’ll notice when you rip apart a humourous-to-you situation and analyse it.

    So, back to “sycophancy”, I agree it is a fancy-schmancy word, but please look up the meaning before using it. To ‘support’ where warranted is sycophancy, eh? And yes, there was a great deal of ‘attacking’ done in the previous comments, but I see it mostly came from the ‘don’t-get-it people’. The fact that they were taking on a set of ‘fans’ who were supposedly being very sycophantic, ironically clouded their own objectivity. And where there’s no objectivity in perception, there’s no objectivity in the reality. Funny, no?

  62. @Puneet:
    >>> I planned on getting “I survived Vivah” t-shirt made online … my wife did not get the humor. I’ve had poha for last 4 days.

    Now, THAT was funny…:-)

  63. Hope everybody got “it”…

  64. Most amusing. I mean some of the comments.


    I told you man, you are not only fat but also aged. Retire before the janta forces you out of your own blog.


    Where ever you go, people take offense. Whats wrong with you? And please do continue to review ‘boring books’ and ‘old movies’…

    Note- Due to sensiblities of a particular commentator, smilies are not being used.

  65. Where ever you go, people take offense. Whats wrong with you?

    Confused: Well, as I’ve tried to explain on my own blog a couple of times, I have a bad gene and hence can’t be held responsible for the offence I cause. But then people took offence to even that remark and said “No, you don’t have a bad gene, you’re just deliberately churlish. Stop pretending that you have a bad gene.” I can’t win.

  66. Umm…there have been times when even I have got irritated with people (especially assorted yourfans) jumping to Arnab’s defence when I have posted any opinion contrary to him in the blog, even if my comments are addressed to him directly. Therefore, I can understand the thinking behind the original comment.

    However I can also understand the visceral need for a fan to defend the object of his/her adulation (some of us tend to do the same for, say Sourav Ganguly), so I won’t blame them for jumping to Arnab’s defence at the perceived criticism of his content. Just as we are free to post what we think, others are too. No point getting your panties in a twist about it.

    It is quite a different question whether Arnab’s unquestioned brilliance in writing really needs any defenders at all…but then fans will be fans! 🙂

    @Jai: Bad gene, eh? Maybe they just want you take your genes off! heh

  67. Dear GB:

    Now i don’t see any any difference between Bollywood film makers who make crass films and hide behind the explanataion “we are not forcing anybody to watch our movies” and you. Grow up man. Your blog is in public domain. There is no entry fee and not even registered entry. Yes, i do have the option of not reading ur blog. But ur saying that stop reading my blog is silly. Grow up man. Hope u got what i want to say.

  68. Jai,

    Now I take offense. You attribute your bad gene to your year of birth which ahem for personal reasons is entirely unacceptable.

    I reiterate, I claim the full credit for my dysfunctional personality.


    I thought you said GB was already too old…

  69. @Confused: :-)….wonder on whom age has taken its toll.

    @Kishor: Exactly. I do not charge admission. Which makes me different from movies. The reason we do movie reviews is so that people can get to know our “opinions” either before they see the movie (and be warned or enticed) or can discuss the movies after they have seen it. Telling me that “age is taking its toll” on my comment space—-does it count as a warning to others? Or a spinning-off point for discussions about my blog?
    Now here is my point (just as you have yours, I have mine). Because age has not taken its toll on you, you failed to see the subtle humour and sarcasm in the post—-now you can say that my subtelty sucks but the fact that some others (including of course alternate versions of myself and Jai who I think is not me) did appreciate the tone shows that I did not exactly “fail”.

    And kindly be sporting enough to accept that despite your youthful words of negativity, there may be some genuine readers (as opposed to me in disguise) who may disagree with your opinion on my writing skills.

    Now I hope you understand what I have to say. And for your benefit, I am not being subtle.

    @Jai: Geena Yahan Marna Yahan. Yes age has taken its toll on me. More so as my birthday is tomorrow and what better time to realize the passing of age and onset of senility than today.

  70. I think people did not get “it” from my comment on “age taking its toll”. Peek can be achieved at any point in life, but from thereon, it is just downfall (courtesy Amit Verma’s blog). it may be just one film (sholay sippy), just 10 years of cricket (sachin), or after just 4 or 5 years of blogging. I don’t say GB is drained out and obsolete. Yes, a lion reviews its path after walking for a certain distance. We call it simhavalokanam in Telugu.

  71. Peek can be achieved at any point in life

    Yes, we’re all Peeking Toms at this point. As we get older we’ll start to squint…

  72. Oh extremely sorry for the spelling mistake. Please read it as peak.

  73. Arnab, I’ve refrained from commenting on this post before -I did find the style different from your usual – more subtle, more ironic than your previous reviews. I had to read it twice to be sure that you hadn’t short-circuited your neuron connections while watching the movie.

    Now, as you are aware, your usual style has its admirers, who would/could object to a different style, accusing you of inconsistency in style (among other things). Well there’s a quote from Emerson, which might be of comfort to you:

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”

    Please do continue to expand your repetoire of style. That’s the way a writer continues to grow (as opposed to growing old). Have a great new year!

  74. Dear Jabberwock, u r really true to ur name. U never leave a chance to jab.

  75. Hi Joyforever, got this quote from the same site u have referred: “Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they’re going to catch you in next.”

  76. @Kishor: Two things – firstly, I am not Joyforever. So the poor guy, who has not been quoting anyone or anything, will be confused about the quote you are talking about. Secondly – about the quote you refer to – how very true! 🙂

  77. ‘Emerson’ is a website ??

    I thought he was a nineteenth century American writer and poet.

  78. @Rima: Also the webmaster of mugglenet – a Harry Potter fansite! 🙂
    Of course, this Emerson hasn’t thought up as many quotable quotes!

  79. Sayon, don’t bluff yaar. did u really read Emerson from first page to last page and took this gem of a quote from his books? Innocent childs like Rima might believe that. Everybody knows that lot of sites for quotations are there and u just have to enter the subject and get the quote u want. Internet is making life easy. Really.

  80. Dear GB,
    The review of Vivah was priceless. Perhaps has subtle shades of Eveylyn Waugh rather than savage Swift. That is perhaps why people might feel that the review wasnt scathing enough. I think within the subtlety there was adequate vitriol.

    Honestly I believe the quasi regeressive Rajshri/pretentious Johar and Chopra and RDB varieties are infinitely more dangerous than the mindless Dons and Dhooms.

    Keep them coming my friend and as Voltaire has it we must destroy the infamy

  81. @Kishor: Er… you really had me confused for a moment. As Sayon said, ‘the poor guy’ (which is me) did actually peek back at his own comment to check what website he has referred to other than his own blog. Maybe age is taking its toll on people other than GB as well…

    @Sayon: You a HP fan too? Nice meeting you… 🙂

  82. sorry joyforever, was working and checking comments in between, got confused and confused u too. but i think harry potter is child’s stuff, isn’t it.

  83. @Kishor: Definitely not! You read all the HP books in order and you’ll know. The fifth one in particular has a lot of adult politics in it…

  84. Yeah joyforever, i think i need to read HP. Saw HP part-1 on TV and was really put off. So, never tried to read HP books. is that the case of inability to make a good movie?

  85. GB,

    OT, but which time zone is the blog on? Its not Indian time and its definitely not EST.

    I wonder if its a secret location where Mithun bhakhts assemble. 😛

  86. @Kishor: My dear chap – no bluffing – no reference to a website – in the pre Cambrian era I come from, we used to read books. And these days, I find quote-websites useless, it’s hard to find a suitable quote at the drop of a hat. It’s easier to remember a good essay which one has mulled on the throne of thought.

    This lovely quote – remembered it in a reference from an Asimov essay in IASFM. Did read some Emerson while in college, but missed out on this one.

    Oh, BTW, the other Emerson I’m talking of is Emerson Spatz, the guy who runs the Mugglenet site. Only quote from him that got famous was “Delusional” at the JKR interview, refering to the Harry-Hermione shippers. That did cause a minor storm in HP fandom…

  87. Wondering if i should or shouldn’t jump into this love-hate match. I think I will stay out.

    Greatbong, I like the way you write. Your way of putting the point across amuses me. Lest I be accused of sycophancy, let me make it clear that I appreciate greatbong’s sense of humor and his writing style.

    Now I may or may not agree with what he writes but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating his writing (and increasing his adsense earnings). He has his opinions and I have mine (and ne’er the twain shall meet?). If a certain topic doesn’t interest me, i just skip over it without reminding Greatbong of the passing years. I am sure the increasing number of candles on the birthday cake can take care of that.

    If I read it right, it is your b’day today, O’ Greatbong. Hope you have a good one. Be mindful of the age taking it’s toll. 😀

  88. @Jabberwock: Peeking Toms! LOL!!!

  89. Lol @ peeking toms @ Jabberwock. And seeing as Kishor is proficient in the gult language, please see the pun.

    @ Tintin: Nicely put. Subtly chiding the chiders. And it’s the greatbong’s b’day today? If I remember right, there was a post about his b’day not too far back in the past.



  91. Absolutely well written. Many would have expected you to dismiss the movie with blatant sarcasm, but you have written the right stuff. Many had questioned me how could i like a movie of this sorts. The movie works mainly for its brilliant characters and simple story telling.Thanks for the review!

  92. Happy Birthday GB.
    Your blog is my constant source of entertainment.


  93. Carey (Mariah? ) above said:

    “Absolutely well written. Many would have expected you to dismiss the movie with blatant sarcasm, but you have written the right stuff. Many had questioned me how could i like a movie of this sorts. The movie works mainly for its brilliant characters and simple story telling.Thanks for the review!”

    GB…well …now now…I admit it …I’m beginning to doubt my own judgment after that piece. Or maybe your writing has now reached a new height – deep, complex and multi layered posts which can have many explanations and open to various interpretations:) ….and even if its true……the queer thing is that such a thing had to surface with a review of a movie like that!

  94. @Yourfan2: You said it pal! Very very true! Arnab has found a style which will please readers of every viewpoint – everyone thinks that the Greatbong shares his/her viewpoint, and the readership fights in his comment-space on exactly what that viewpoint is!

  95. I just can’t believe it( maria’s post is the final nail)!!

    When media say Indians lag behid in this and that ( in fine art esp.) I used to abhor!! But I just cant believe how many of us can not recognize simple sarcasm!!!!!!!!!

    But i must say, comments in these particular posts are as memorable (if not more) than the post itself!

  96. Barrackpore is besotted with Vivah.

    All concerned has treated it like a wedding shopping guide.

    So, we had:
    Young ones, holding hands.
    Their parents, counting costs.
    Gaja the caterer and his various business cronies, trying to see what’s IN.

    Barrackpore saw Vivah for five houseful weeks at Deboshree.

    I didn’t see it.
    My daughter is only eleven.

  97. fitting into the role like a right hand into a left-handed glove….


  98. So much fuss over a review of vivah….obviously some of us have nothing better to do

  99. @GreatBong,

    Whoa, man, you are taking it too seriously… ok ok… one thing I have noted is that you go to extremes very often. If I say something that doesnt agree with you, you take it to the extreme. Like I said it should be okay if readers comment on your posts and point out mistakes “if any”. That does not mean you are a naughty schoolboy who needs corrections on his answersheet…..

    Note that I havent pointed out anything wrong with your current post. Now, I really do enjoy reading your stuff, and so I visit here.
    1. I am not calling you old
    2. I am not saying yourfans around here and you are the same. (cos 🙂 I dont think you are capable of writing like yourFan2)

    But itna bhi nahi yaar, like your fan2 says – schoolkids growing up on M for mithunism etc.. yeh bahut jyada ho gaya yaar… LOLzz.. I dont have any problem with that.. I was found it funny, so my comment.

    Also, apart from the A-list bloggers and your legion of fanboys, you seem to be really vitriolic towards your other readers. Dont you think you should be putting across your point clearly, and resorting to other tactics only when a commentor does something bad to you ? You (more often, your fanboys) often attack anyone who disagrees with you without answering their valid arguments, and I have seen it often. Examples would be the Buddha bar post, the Ganguly post, RDB post etc.. and many more. In fact, your comment section follows a pattern. The first few commentors praise and add to the jokes. Some disagree or add some facts you missed. Fanboys jump in and the fire starts.

    Like recently for example, I thought yourFan2 accusing Bhogle of being anti-Ganguly too much chauvinistic, and replied back that it doesnt seem to be so.

    Not for nothing do people comment – Madhumakhi ke chhatte mein haath ghused diya. Do consider.

  100. but you are “supporting” him. Does that make you Kishor’s sycophant? I wonder.

    Hey hey ,, come on.. I havent even addressed a single post to Kishor. Nor have I said anything like yourfan2 is GB.. (like I said,, you cannot be so dumb).

    And I am seeing him here for the first time, while this is not the first time that your “sycophants”(as you like to say) have gone around attacking anyone who has disagreed with you.. do you see the difference in numbers…

    BTW, what is wrong if someone says that this review of yours has toned down a bit. Just a comment boss. Yeah, commenting on your age is again bad, but even a comment like – this review was mild – has your supporters shooting wild.

  101. I told you man, you are not only fat but also aged. Retire before the janta forces you out of your own blog.


    Err… does that one offend you.. no, I guess by your response. After all, coming from an A-list blogger. Cant afford to antagonize the DesiPundit guyz, can you?

  102. @Shadows:

    “Also, apart from the A-list bloggers and your legion of fanboys, you seem to be really vitriolic towards your other readers.”

    What’s up pal? Unhappy that Arnab isn’t honouring you with gentle and subtle rejoinders? Wouldn’t you feel that with age he’s toned down his rejoinders if he had?

    Maybe if your criticisms were a bit less harshly worded, you’d get a more courteous reply? Think about it…

  103. Maybe if your criticisms were a bit less harshly worded, you’d get a more courteous reply? Think about it…

    Read my above posts, and let me know where have I specifically harshly criticized GreatBong.

    I am returning after quite a few months, but I guess you are the funny guy who said – vacuum tubes burst when singers sing loudly in studios…. Interesting…

    Leave alone thinking, just read fully before you post.

  104. @Greatbong,

    Hey, you got another fanboy – Sayon. YourFan2 has some competition. 🙂

  105. @Shadows: Even more interesting, you have the ability to think that you are the most charming and politest of writers!

    Yes, I read your comments. I found it rather condescending, to say the least. I’ve found other commentators on this blog criticising Arnab without sounding as if their viewpoint is the only one which could be possibly correct.

    A new year’s wish for you: May you gain the ability to see yourself as others see you… It’s a added benefit of consuming plantago ovata, if I remember correctly, but it might be too mild for you…

  106. I guess the sarcasm is subtle but I wasn’t able to see it. Sorry.

    Thanks for the post.

  107. @Sayon: Agree with you. First of all…ignore Shadows…he does not deserve a rejoinder. His purpose is only to drive traffic to his blog which few read….GB has a wonderful term for it…”blog whoring”…and shadows is acting as an exemplary whore I must say. Notice whatever he writes, whether it be bullshit or making a little bit of sense…he never forgets to insert his homepage link… get the pictures surely….like those irritating salesmen[edited by GB].

  108. Why are some of you so anti-shadow?

    He is the drop of tart vinigar that enlivens this rotary radiating device (fans 1, 2 and hazzaar) cooled blog.

    He is still in the sound-vs-electromagnetism stage and who knows, may come up with the Disunity-of-Everything theory and will have to go to Stockholm in winter.

    THEN, all of you will be so proud of having been engaged in a er-debate aka slanging match with him.

  109. >> he never forgets to insert his homepage link

    Rest of the stuff ignored. The page remembers it, I dont insert it. 🙂 Get a crash course on Internet Explorer and Windows basics, if you have cleared SSC. 😉

  110. @Swati: Of course we are not anti-Shadow. If not for him, where would I get the chance to peddle Isabgul?

    Homepage link? For once Shadows is correct – the darn computer inserted mine too. Down with IE for peddling our boring trash to unwilling denizens of cyberspace!

    At least I took the trouble to remove my website link this time. Thanks, Yourfan2 & Shadows…

  111. “The page remembers it, I dont insert it. 🙂 Get a crash course on Internet Explorer and Windows basics, if you have cleared SSC. ;)”

    Sure [edited]…:)…that does make pimping easy for you doesn’t it? Nice way to obfuscate the intent though. And there are zillions of kids in India who haven’t passed SSC who know that there are alternative browsers and that cookies can be cleared. But I liked your comment though…[edited] like you are a symbol of how far the country has progressed in the field of IT….many of ’em know crash courses in IE and Windows!!!!!

  112. @yourfan2: okay okay…end of discussion and please nothing abusive or personal. Don’t give Shadows the martyr’s halo here.

  113. @GB…end of subject as far as I am concerned. Sorry. please edit if I have done an indiscretion one too many.

  114. A lot of my friends here in NY liked the movie…probably getting disgruntled with the dating scene here, huh 🙂

  115. I loved the movie very much.I loved the pair of Shahid-Amrita and hope that they would get married in real life(sorry Kareena).The role of Seema as Rama who didn’t like Poonam(Amrita)due to the beauty of her.Alok is good in the role of adorable Poonam’s uncle.Sameer is good as Prem(Shahid’s)brother.Lata as Prem’s sister-in-law is good especially when she gives Prem some advice.Amrita Prakash as the dark face Choti is good.The little boy is good who is the son of Sameer-Lata.Anupam has done a powerful role again of Shahid’s father.Manoj is good as the matchmaker especially when he sends the proposal of marriage of Amrita for Shahid in Delhi.My favourite scenes are:-
    1.The scene where Alok tells us about Amrita’s life and how Seema treated her.
    2.The first meeting between Shahid and Amrita followed by their engagement.
    3.The Som Sarovar scenes.
    4.The night of Shahid-Amrita together on the roof in Som Sarovar.
    5.The airport sequence where Shahid shouts ‘I love u’ on the phone.
    6.The fire sequence.
    7.The burning ward where Shahid marries Amrita.
    8.The marriage scenes of Shahid-Amrita in Amrita’s house.
    9.The scene where Seema starts loving Amrita.
    10.The nuptial night scene.
    I hope the three-Sooraj,Shahid and Amrita will do a film again together on the topic of marriage.

  116. Why watch such movies in the first place? Watch something better – go through IMDB’s top 250 list or something.

  117. I can’t believe my cousin who’s been in the U.S. for the last 14 years or so actually thought this was the best film of ’06. What?! Give me whatever (coke, heroin, LSD, etc) he’s taking so I could tolerate this! Sitting for hars at traffic jams is better than this torture of a movie. Everything was so sweet and ideal…which could not be further removed from reality….10x cheesier and mind numbing than a Johar or Chopra flick! you can wrap this movie in 10 min not 2hrs 45 min…guy is arranged w/ girl…they slowly fall in love…girl gets burned in fire and is hidious but the guy is in love w/ the girl and decides to keep her because he feels it is true love…the end…isn’t that short, sweet, and to the point…which is what this movie needs to be…

  118. vivah,a a great come back by rajshri productions.It reminded me the great hit of suraj barjatiya ‘hum aapke hain koun’ .I want some more traditional family pictures based on punjabi culture.I think that the role of shahid’s brother should have been played by monish behl as before.

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