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Like going to a typical North Indian wedding banquet with loads on the menu—from golgappas to chowmein. But not one dish catches your fancy and you actually return home hungry.

Starring: Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Govinda, Shannon Azra, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, Vidya Balan, John Abraham, Suhail Khan, Isha Koppikar
Directed by Nikhil Advani
Rating: **

After giving a snazzy twist to the great Indian family sagas in his debut venture, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Nikhil Advani held enough promise for us to expect an entertaining flick if not uplifting cinema. In Salaam-E-Ishq that promise comes undone.

Much like KHNH, Advani decides to go berserk with the narrative here: multiple frames, split screens, quick cuts. And he does more, he chooses to make one film with six tracks, some parallel, others colliding and overlapping. In the process, SEI doesn’t quite come out so neat and clever. The story-telling is terribly self-conscious and weighs too heavy on the film, making it extremely ungainly and boring. In focusing on the style, Advani conveniently forgets there’s also something called story. Not one of the six tracks are bright and original. Ok, Advani wanted to present various facets of love—from commitment phobia to infidelity. But none of the stories runs deep, nor do they have anything new to offer. There is a point in the Vidya-John track when you wonder if Advani is heading towards something like Pedro Almodovar’s Talk To Her. No such luck. Love remains a terribly cliched entity. It should have, at least, warmed our hearts but leaves us irritated. Three of the tracks, featuring Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Akshaye Khanna do come to a good boil but it’s only towards the fag end when you are anyhow dying to get out of the theatre.

As for the long list of stars, well, John sheds some glycerine tears, Vidya cries fetchingly, Salman proves yet again he has no clue about what acting means, Priyanka goes hysterical and sports bad make-up, Akshaye is Aamir of Dil Chahta Hai gone hyper, Ayesha is just a plastic doll. Anil, Govinda and Juhi hold their own but the surprise element is the English girl Shannon, be it melodrama or comedy, she gets her act right. Watching 3 hours and 40 minutes of SEI is like going to a typical North Indian wedding banquet with loads on the menu—from golgappas to chowmein. But not one dish catches your fancy and you actually return home hungry.

High Fives

1. Salaam-E-Ishq
2. Guru
3. Bhagam Bhag
4. Vivah
5. Dhoom 2

1. Epic movie
2. Smokin’ Aces
3. Night at the Museum
4. Stomp the Yard
5. Catch and Release

R&B/Hip Hop
1. Dreamgirls (Soundtrack)
2. Evolution of Robin Thicke (Robin Thicke)
3. Konvicted (Akon)
4. The Inspiration (Young Jeezy)
5. Hip Hop is Dead (Nas)

Courtesy: Film Information

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