Bollywood filmmakers are habitual of lifting the story ideas, plots and sometimes the whole scripts from foreign movies(and old Indian movies too). Sometimes they do not reveal the source of the story and shamelessly take its credit but sometimes they reveal it in advance. Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (2002) is such a movie made under the prestigious Yashraj Films banner of Bollywood about which the makers had revealed in advance (much before the release of the movie) that its story had been lifted from Hollywood comedy – My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997).In a way, it was a prudent step on their part because those who had seen the Hollywood movie or heard about it, came to know in advance as to what to expect in the film. But the height of copycatting is that the makers could not think of even an original title for the movie and they translated the title of the Hollywood movie itself in Hindi (Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi means my best friend’s wedding only).
However, the difference between these two movies is that the pivotal character of My Best Friend’s Wedding is the heroine whose role has been played by Julia Roberts whereas the pivotal character of Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai is the hero whose role has been played by Uday Chopra. In other words, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai is that version of My Best Friend’s Wedding in which the gender of the main protagonist is changed from female to male. Otherwise neither the screenplay writer Mayur Puri, nor the director Sanjay Gadhvi, nor the filmmaker Aditya Chopra has done to insert anything original in the movie.
The complete movie, though it’s entertaining, takes the oft-beaten path in terms of characters, events and milieu seen many earlier movies made under the YRF and the Rajshri (Sooraj Barjaatya) banners of Bollywood. The same wedding environment, the same plethora of characters (with the task of understanding their mutual relationships being left to the audience), the same colourful garments, the same jovial songs, the same intermittent doses of sentiments and the same all’s well that ends well kind of climax after a few twists here and there in the story.Producer Yash Chopra has tried hard to establish his youngest son Uday Chopra as a romantic hero and this movie seems to have been made especially for himself only. That’s why My Best Friend’s Wedding has not been directly adapted for this movie and its female version has been made instead. So, like Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, the hero of Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, i.e, Uday Chopra comes to know that his childhood love Sanjana is going to be married to a suitable boy Jimmy Shergill.
He gets disheartened because he had never expressed his real feelings to Sanjana and now he does not see any possibility to get the love of his life. However his close friend Bipasha Basu encourages him not to lose heart and motivates him to do something concrete instead of cursing his fate and his error to have kept his feelings hidden from Sanjana before it’s too late. Now motivated and recharged Uday Chopra, heads to the wedding venue as a unique guest whose hidden agenda is to break this matrimonial alliance and stop this wedding from taking place.
So now our hero reaches the venue of the colourful Yash Chopra style wedding which is going to take place. Everybody is enjoying in his/her style. However he finds his task a Herculean one when he comes across his Raqeeb (rival in love) Jimmy Shergill who is better than him in every respect – education, career, wealth, manners, culture and noble human traits. Again he is disheartened (had he sought inspiration from the fact that he’s Yash Chopra’s son, then he would have been able to keep his morale constantly high) to be motivated again by the ever-reliable Bipasha Basu.
After some time, the very intelligent Jimmy Shergill realizes that Uday Chopra is actually against him and he wants to break his wedding arranged with Sanjana so that he himself is able to marry her. Quite naturally, when the prize (i.e., the bride) is one and the contestants are two (i.e., the boys desirous to be her groom), then the rivalry is bound to be intense. The game of chess between these two with regular checks given to each other proceeds till the climax when the time for final checkmate has come for one of them.Candidly admitting, I have not seen My Best Friend’s Wedding properly and completely. However once I happened to watch its final few reels when it was being telecast on HBO channel. The thing I felt that My Best Friend’s Wedding is a pure comedy whereas in Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, the focus has been kept less on comedy and more on romance. The movie does not make the audience laugh very often. Romance and sentiments (alongwith the blows and counter-blows being exchanged between the two gentlemen confronting to get the lady’s hand in marriage) have pervaded the movie and attempts have been made to make the viewer getting romantic or emotional.
The movie is very entertaining, no doubt. Except for the dose of sentiments administered to the audience in the final phase of the narrative, the movie carries on the entertainment-filled journey, heading smoothly towards its destination which is well-known to the audience in advance. It reminds of various Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra and Sooraj Barjatya movies and renders the viewer what he / she expects from it.
The complete milieu of the movie including the sets and the costumes is that of a typical Yash Chopra movie has been made lavishly (though it could have been made with a low budget also). This length of the movie is also on the higher side. A 15-20 minute shorter version would have been crispier and better. All the same, this formula-studded movie can be termed as a well-made one.
Uday Chopra has done reasonably well courtesy the hard work done with him and for him by many others behind the curtain. Debutante Sanjana (whose real name is Tulip Joshi and she worked in many other movies later by her real name only) is a clear disappointment at least in this movie. She looks pretty but that’s all. The complete supporting cast is well in place with Saurabh Shukla being the best performer. Jimmy Shergill has delivered a lovely performance and proved that he’s a horse meant for a long race. The surprise packet of the movie is Bipasha Basu who has infused life into the role of the hero’s best buddy.
Music directors Jeet-Preetam have composed admirable music for the movie. Humne Suna Hai Tumne Jeevan-Saathi Chuna Hai is my favourite song from the album. The other songs viz. Resham Si Hain Ye Hawayen, Ek Ladki Ki Tumhen Kya Sunaaoon Daastaan, Hum Dono Jaisa Hai Kaun Yahaan, Sharaara Sharaara and the title track all are quite good and in sync with the mood of the movie.
Due to its high entertainment value, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai was a box office success and it had knocked out the movies made on the life of the great martyr Bhagat Singh which were released along with it on the same date (07.06.2002). Anybody who is romantic by nature, can watch it many times without getting bored.
If Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai is to be given the analogy of a delicious dish, then its recipe can be spelled out as follows: take ten tablespoons of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and two tablespoons of Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai and mix them properly, fry this mixture in the family pan of Sooraj Barjatya and serve the cooked dish with Yash Chopra brand sauce to the consumers (i.e., the audience).
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