Director: Nikhil Advani
Producer: Mukesh Talreja, Sunil Manchanda, Nikhil Advani
Screenplay: Nikhil Advani, Saurabh Shukla, Suresh Nair
Story: Nikhil Advani
Stars: Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor
Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Sohail Khan, Juhi Chawla, Shannon Esra, Ayesha Takia, Ishaa Koppikar
Cinematography: Piyush Shah
Release date: January 26, 2007
Running time: 216 minutes
Director Nikhil Advani borrowed some major ideas from Hollywood romantic flick “Love Actually”. And he presumed he could successfully deliver a nicely woven series of six romantic stories, all sharing the 70 mm reel space. Well sometimes bad assumptions lead to irresolvable mistakes and in Advani’s case, his mistake was a 3 and a half hour long movie called ‘Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love’.
After his much acclaimed debut direction, Kal Ho Na Ho, Advani fails to recreate the magic. The first half of the movie is wasted in the introduction of each character and their unnecessarily elongated individual background. The inessential scenes dedicated to Anil Kapoor’s mid-life crisis are one such example. The audience is intelligent enough to understand what mid-life crisis mean and they don’t need to be spoon-fed scene by scene. Such fine details are pointless. What the audience expect from a romantic movie is strengthening of love between the characters which is absent here.
The director has tried his best to introduce different problems of love showcasing different couples, going through different phases of life.
The story has six couples: John Abraham-Vidya Balan, Anil Kapoor-Juhi Chawla, Salman Khan-Priyanka Chopra, Govinda-Shanon, Akshaye Khanna-Ayesha Takia and Sohail Khan-Ishaa Koppikar.
Couple 1 – Salmaan-Priyanka Jodi: where Priyanka has to choose between her love for Salman, her childhood sweetheart or the career she always dreamed about.
Couple 2 – Akshaye-Ayesha Jodi: where Akshaye gets cold feet on the day he is about to be married to Ayesha.
Couple 3 Anil-Juhi Jodi: where Anil’s boring life turns upside down when he dates a younger woman which leads Juhi heart broken.
Couple 4 John-Vidya Jodi: love marriage between a Hindu and a Muslim. All is peaceful until Vidya ends up in an accident in which she loses her memory.
Couple 5 Govinda-Shannon Jodi: an inter-racial love story.
Couple 6 – Sohail-Isha Jodi: a young married couple seeking for intimacy but weird comical circumstances prevent them from doing so.
Even though the story had much to offer, due to poor editing and unwarranted length it movie failed miserably at the box office. Nikhil Advani made the mistake of blending six different stories into a single one; as a result the movie became long enough to test the audience’s patience.
Among actors, Govinda portrayed his role with conviction. John Abraham, Akshaye Khanna and Vidya Balan did exceptionally well too. Even Juhi Chawla leaves a mark behind and Shannon is a wonderful surprise.
Salmaan Khan can be barely heard, while Priyanka Chopra’s screeches cannot be considered as acting and Anil Kapoor just looks bland and faded throughout the movie.
The only acceptably funny scenes in the movie were that of Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar’s story, but the scenes dedicated to this story were very limited and barely there.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is pleasant and Adnan Sami does justice to the song ‘Dil Kya Kare’ while Sonu Nigam gets accolades for the title track.
On the whole, Salaam-e-Ishq made it to the theatres on mere hype because of its massive star cast.
A very long and a disappointing movie.