Film Review: Salaam-e-Ishq

Film: Salaam-e-Ishq

Director: Nikhil Advani

Producer: Mukesh Talreja, Sunil Manchanda

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Govinda, John Abraham, Sohail Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Juhi Chawla, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Ayesha Takia, Isha Koppikar and Shannon.

Rating: 2/5


Six different couples, 12 different lives, one common problem! That’s what sums up Nikhil Advani’s magnum opus – Salaam-e-Ishq.


This three and a half hours long epic dwells upon the subject of love. Love is the problem and also the solution to the lives of these six couples. Each couple faces hardships and this movie documents them all, leaving no bit edited.


To cut a long story short (literally), the film is about Tehzeeb (Vidya Balan) and Ashutosh (John Abraham) who are madly in love until Tehzeeb loses her memory in a train accident. Ashutosh stands by her, trying to help her regain her memory.


Then there is Raju (Govinda) and Stephanie (Shannon) in a bizarre “cabbie-loves-foreign-passenger” story. Stephanie has crossed the seven seas to confess her love to her loser boyfriend (Kushaal Punjabi). She travels half of north India with Raju, in a bid to find her boyfriend, who, by the way, is looking for an ‘Indian Patni’.


Item queen Kkamini (Priyanka Chopra), whose lifelong ambition has been to star in a Karan Johar movie, decides to fake her way through to get a role in his film. Rahul (Salman Khan), who has loved Kkamini all his life, right from their humble beginnings (from some pub in Dehradun, where she was a singer and he a waiter), decides to play her love interest in order for her to accomplish her plan. No prizes for guessing what happens next… they fall in love.


Couple number four is Gia and Shiven essayed by Ayesha Takia and Akshaye Khanna respectively. Gia loves Shiven and vice versa but the problem lies in the fact that Shiven doesn’t want to marry her and devices tactics to get her off his back. And successful he is. Just when you though their story was over, he now wants to marry her. He lands up to break her marriage, with none other than Rohit (Kushaal Punjabi) the same boyfriend Ms. Stephanie is looking for to confess her love.


Cut to father of two and husband to Seema (Juhi Chawla) – Vinay (Anil Kapoor). Vinay goes astray and begins to fall for Anjali (Anjana Sukhani). Realizing that her husband is cheating on her, Seema leaves home along with the kids. Vinay then meets Kkamini, who gives him a free counseling session in a London pub and tells him to gather his life and ask forgiveness from his wife (she is repaid with a similar session, wherein he tells her to admit to Rahul that she loves him). Off they are on their respective ways, running to their respective halves doing what the other instructed.


Lastly there is Ram Dayal (Sohail Khan) and Phoolwati (Isha Koppikar), a newlywed couple. Ram Dayal, who is blessed with more than his share of bad luck, looks for nothing more than a golden opportunity with his wife.


The concept is undoubtedly appealing, what fails to thrill is the duration of the film. A movie that could have conveyed the message effectively in two hours, dragged on till eternity. With six different stories, you are left feeling tired. It becomes difficult to follow beyond a point as to what is happening where.


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music by a long shot is the only thing that holds the film together and provides relief.


Understandably this is not a realistic movie or a completely fresh story. Touted as a ‘feel good’ film, one just doesn’t feel good about watching it.


The film’s prospects at the box office windows are, however, not fatal. Due to the immense hype around the movie and also the lure of the huge star cast, the film it expected to open to good responses in the metros. However, it may fail to hold forth at the box office in the long run due to word of mouth publicity.


On the acting front, except for Salman Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Vidya Balan and Priyanka Chopra, none of the actors have stayed true to their character. Moreover, an actress like Ayesha Takia who has Bollywood’s ‘the girl next door’ image is made to look like an exotic fish with bad make up throughout the movie. Her lines are insignificant and she, who has been appreciated in Nagesh Kuknoor’s Dor, is certainly not allowed to perform.


What one learns from the film is…

  • Love is a problem and a solution

  • Vidya Balan and Akshaye Khanna are great actors

  • Brands such as Ira and Times Now have a lot of money to spend (they are everywhere in the film in the form of product placements)

  • Nikhil Advani makes good but long films.

Sanjay Ram

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