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Review Hindi

Loveyatri review: A dispassionate, lethargic love in the times of Navratri

Release Date: 05 Oct 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 19min

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Suparna Thombare

Director Abhiraj K Minawala's garba sequences are way more enjoyable than the love story unfolding in its midst.

In a pub in London, Rasik (Ram Kapoor), a garba orchestra singer, tells his nephew Susu — yes, that's what the hero is called through most of the film! — aka Sushrut (Ayush Sharma) that Indians have learnt how to love from filmmakers like Yash Chopra, Sooraj Barjatya and the three Khans in films like Veer-Zaara (2004), Tere Naam (2003) and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988). And the entire crowd in there forgets about the football match they were so into moments ago to cheer for our hero.

The hero is reinvigorated and sets out to pursue the girl who he clearly believes is dating someone else. Not that he does anything significant after this to win her back. The chips just fall and things work out for him and they live happily ever after.

Loveyatri's screenplay (by Niren Bhatt) is filled with such cliches and superficial depictions of love.

Susu is a garba teacher whose dream is to start a dance academy. He sees Michelle aka Manisha (Warina Hussain) and grows wings and begins to levitate on the first night of Navratri.

Manisha is an NRI from the UK, who is in Baroda only for the nine days of Navratri. She has just graduated with top grades and is confident of getting into a top business school in London and eventually drawing a salary of 70,000 pounds.

Despite their seemingly different backgrounds, the two find something in common — the director indicates their inherent Indianness and love for the simple life — and fall in love quite quickly.

Manisha's father (Ronit Roy), who has big dreams for his daughter, is the token villain of the story. And in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) style, after resisting the union throughout the film, he suddenly has a change of heart at the climax. 

Warina struggles to act and this comes through quite glaringly in the crucial emotional scenes. Sharma definitely has the dancing skills but does not manage to internalize the struggles of his character, giving a very flat performance.

The director wisely pads up the newbies with effective actors Pratik Gandhi and Sajeel Parakh playing his friends. Some of the scenes involving them do bring a smile to your face. And, of course, experienced actors like Ronit Roy (playing the unyielding father yet again!) and Ram Kapoor try their best to go beyond the screenplay.

While the music by Tanishk Bagchi, Lijo George, DJ Chetas and JAM8 is enjoyable, especially the 'Chogada' song which comes right at the end, it is made in keeping with the theme of the film. The garba scenes are choreographed well by Vaibhavi Merchant. But the same cannot be said of the lethargic storytelling of director Abhiraj K Minawala.

A pure or clean love story is not one which has no kiss or love-making scene, but one with heart and soul. While Loveyatri plays out in a 1990s filmi NRI style with a few contemporary touches, it does not have the same heart or even the entertainment value of those, which are necessary to create a lasting connection with the audience.

In the end, the garba sequences in the film are way more delightful than the stale love story unfolding in their midst.

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