‘In today’s times it is important for the younger generation to watch a film like Vivah‘ – Shahid Kapoor

How did Vivah fall into your lap?

Honestly, it was like telepathy. My secretary, friends and I were naming 10 films that we love and Sooraj Barjatya’s films were on everyone’s list. My secretary called Zaki at Rajshri and spoke to him and in a week’s time I got a call from Rajshri saying that I was called for Sooraj Barjatya’s next film. It was a great feeling. 


What prompted you to sign Vivah?

The most important reason for me to sign Vivah was Sooraj Barjatya. I have been his fan and have seen all his films and hence I wanted to do a film with him.


He gave me a five hour narration of the script and I thought it was a nice story. I have always played exuberant characters in my earlier film but this is slightly subdued compared to the others. So it was interesting and challenging for me.


We have seen many movies being made on love marriages but very rarely do we see a movie that talks about arranged marriage, even though a large part of our nation still follows the arranged marriage system.  


Can you elaborate on your character in the film?

Prem is well educated young scion of one of New Delhi‘s most prominent business families. He is a soft spoken, shy and introvert boy.


The film starts at a point where every youngster is in life – thinking about his profession, his life and the girl he’d like to get married to. Through the film’s journey, Prem discovers himself and transforms from a boy who is getting engaged to a man who is getting married.


On the one hand Vivah talks about sanctity of marriage and on the other, a few weeks ago a film released talking about how marriages should end if they don’t work. So how do you think the audience is going to react to your film?

We live in a society wherein we face varied situations. Filmmakers try to depict different situations in a person’s life. So there is no contradiction.


Sooraj has made a statement about what the institution of marriage stands for. He believes in this idea of marriage and that is why he has made this film. In Vivah I am playing a part of what he wants to say. This script was a revelation for me.


In today’s times it is important for the younger generation to watch a film like Vivah to get a deeper and positive understanding of marriage. The audience always remembers Sooraj’s film for the moments, scenes and dialogues; in this film too the audience will connect with the film and its moments.


Hum Apke Hain Kaun (HAHK) was also largely based on marriage, so what are the chances of Vivah being compared to it?

Comparisons are inevitable but fair comparisons are something, which I can comment on. Simply because they are his films, they will be compared regardless of whether they need to be.


Sooraj is not trying to make Maine Pyar Kiya (MPK) or HAHK that he has made in the past. This is a different story from all other films. This is an original story with original characters and the way he has directed it is also different.


In a way I feel Vivah is similar to MPK keeping in mind the youthfulness of the characters and the innocence of their love. That was the main aspect of MPK and has been repeated in this film. But in every other way, it is a completely original film and cannot be compared to any other film.


HAHK largely dealt with the celebrations surrounding marriage but this film talks about the development of relationships during marriage. Vivah is probably the simplest film Sooraj has made. This film is more close to reality than any of his previous films. There are no larger than life sets, or expensive costumes and out of situations songs.


What is the message that Vivah is conveying?

Getting married is not as simple as it seems. There are difficult times in a marriage too that one has to go through and that is when the true test of a relationship takes place. You have to hold each others hands and go through the difficult moments in life.


It is largely an emotional film but has light moments too. It doesn’t have any depressing moments in it.


Why has the Shahid – Amrita pair clicked more than Shahid- Kareena pair?

This is my fourth film with Amrita but only two of them have been love stories. Any two actors that you have loved to see together have always started with a love story. Amrita and I started with a love story in Ishq Vishq and because the film did well, our pair clicked.


With Kareena I have not done a love story per se until now be it in Fida, 36 China Town or Chup Chup Ke. So people are actually falling in love with our characters and not with us as people. If they love the characters they will like to see us again.


Kareena’s Main Prem Ki Diwaani Hoon with Sooraj wasn’t as successful as expected. Did that ever create a hitch in your mind to work with him?

Even I have had many flops as an actor, so who am I to have a hitch to work with Sooraj. None of us are perfect. Besides, Sooraj is far more qualified than I am. I have been a fan of his, so there was no doubt at all when he approached me for this film.


What are your expectations from Vivah?

I quite like the film and I want the audiences to feel the same.


With over 10 of your releases already hitting the screens by the year end, what more can we expect from you in the coming year?

I am open to any kind of script that excites me. Whether the director is old or new, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the script.

Rohini Bhandari

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