Tips Industries Ltd.’s Ramaiya Vastavaiya (UA) is a love story. Ram (Girish Kumar) is a rich, young, fun-loving lad who has come from Australia to attend the marriage of his cousin, Ria (Aanchal Singh), in India. Accompanying him is his arrogant mother, Ashwini (Poonam Dhillon). He meets Sona (Shruti Haasan), a simple village belle, at the wedding and falls head over heels in love with her. Sona, who is Ria’s bosom pal, is not easy to woo but gradually, she, too, falls in love with Ram. As the wedding day approaches, Ria realises that her cousin and her best friend have, in the days leading to the marriage, fallen in love with one another and she is very happy about this development.
But the one who is unhappy about the budding romance is Ram’s arrogant mother as she has given her word to Jayprakash (Nasser) that she would get her rich son married to his daughter, Dolly (Pankhuri Awasthi). Jayprakash and Dolly are also attending the wedding and they can’t bear to see Ram romancing Sona. Ria’s father, Krishnakant (Satish Shah), is as arrogant as his sister, Ashwini. Both, Ashwini and Krishnakant, insult Sona and accuse her of having trapped the rich and handsome Ram so that she can marry him. Not just that, they also insult Raghuveer (Sonu Sood), Sona’s elder brother, whom she almost worships, when he comes for the wedding. Raghuveer and Sona are humiliated and asked to leave. Rather than retaliating, Raghuveer opts to walk out with his devastated sister without attending the marraige. They return to their village.
Within days, Ram lands up at the village and, apologising on behalf of his mother and uncle, asks Raghuveer for Sona’s hand in marriage. Raghuveer, livid as he is, beats him up and throws him out of his house but Ram comes back in no time, once again asking for Sona’s hand in marriage. He even tells Raghuveer that he was prepared to do anything to marry Sona.
At this, Raghuveer, who is a farmer, asks Ram to prove his worth by working in one field. He challenges Ram to show results by producing more grain than him in the field. Ram accepts the challenge and starts to work hard in the field in the village in spite of his luxurious upbringing in Australia. He is further tortured by Raghuveer’s man, Afzal (Harry Josh), who gives him only rice and red chilly powder to eat everyday. Ram takes all the humiliation in his stride as he loves Sona and wants to win her hand at any cost. He soon becomes adept at farming and moves heaven and earth to realise his goal. Sona, whose heart also beats for Ram, eats the same food and lives in the same tough conditions as her beloved. She prays everyday for Ram’s victory.
Meanwhile, Jayprakash does all under his command to ensure that Ram cannot marry Sona. Ram’s father, Siddharth (Randhir Kapoor), flies in from Australia to convince his son to give up the madness. There is also a village zamindar (Govind Namdeo) who is hopeful of getting his son (Sarfaraz Khan) married to the pretty Sona. As against Raghuveer, Afzal, Jayprakash and the zamindar praying for Ram’s ouster, Sona and her maid, Gauri (Aarti), are hoping for Ram to succeed. There is also a noble-hearted station master (Vinod Khanna) who wants Ram and Sona’s love to triumph.
Things reach a stage where Jayprakash, blinded by his evil mission to get his daughter married to Ram, hires the services of Rao (Zakir Hussain), a contract killer, to eliminate Ram or, at least, frustrate his efforts.
What happens thereafter? Does true love triumph or is love sacrificed at the altar of ego and revenge? Does Ram succeed in producing more grain than Raghuveer? Does Raghuveer relent? Do Ram’s father and mother have a change of heart? Does Jayprakash succeed in his mission? Does the zamindar also act to ensure that Sona becomes his daughter-in-law? What about the zamindar’s son?
The film, remade from Telugu blockbuster Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, has an interesting story (by Veeru Potla) which has all the ingredients of a commercial entertainer, viz. romance, comedy, emotions, sacrifice, action, revenge, family drama, music etc. Although the story reminds of Maine Pyar Kiya and Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, it appears fresh because of novelty in the incidents that unfold. The screenplay, adapted by Shiraz Ahmed, is fast-paced and engrossing, keeping the viewer’s eyes glued to the screen. There are so many twists and turns in the drama that Shiraz Ahmed doesn’t give time to the audience to get bored. In spite of there being so many characters in the film, the writers have done justice to each one of them, which is rather creditable. The story and screenplay have inherent appeal for women, which is the best part. The constant thread of emotion, which passes through the drama, also makes it heart-touching. There are several scenes which make the viewers sit up and wait with bated breath for the drama to progress further. In particular, the interval scene is a highlight. Among the other brilliant scenes are the one in which Ram kneels down in front of Raghuveer to plead his case, the one in which he happily eats red chilly powder everyday, the scenes of Sona praying in the temple, the scene in which Sona, having passed her examination with flying colours, asks her brother to host lunch for the entire village, and her reason for doing so (which is a tear-jerking scene), the scenes in which the station-master keeps prodding Raghuveer to relent, the entire sequence between Ram and his father in the field, the scenes involving the toy horse gifted by Raghuveer to Sona and, of course, the climax and the revelation made by Raghuveer in it. In short, the emotional undercurrent is so powerful that the drama will make a place in people’s hearts. No doubt, the second half, set in the village, may appear unexciting for the multiplex audience but the fact is that even that audience will be taken in by the strong emotional connect of the drama. The multiplexes may take a while to show their acceptability but show they will! Dialogues, penned by Shiraz Ahmed, are excellent and often touch the heart.
Girish Kumar makes a confident debut as hero. He looks fairly nice and acts ably. His character becomes endearing quite early on in the film. His dances are nice. Shruti Haasan looks pretty and acts with effortless ease. In fact, her nuanced acting shows that she has matured greatly as an actor. Sonu Sood shines in the role of Raghuveer and gives a rivetting performance. Vinod Khanna has some of the best dialogues to mouth and he does an absolutely fantastic job. Randhir Kapoor makes his presence felt very well. Nasser does his comic villainy to great effect. Poonam Dhillon leaves a mark in a vampish role. Satish Shah is suitably earnest. Govind Namdeo has his moments. Zakir Hussain evokes a lot of laughter. Paresh Ganatra’s comedy is entertaining. Harry Josh (as Afzal), Aarti (as Gauri), Aanchal Singh (as Ria), Pankhuri Awasthi (as Dolly), Sarfaraz Khan (as the zamindar’s son) and Sulbha Arya lend very good support. Prabhudheva and Jacqueline Fernandez dance very gracefully in an item song. Anjali Gupta (as Raghuveer’s mother), Girish Sachdev (as Raghuveer’s father), master Namit Shah (as little Raghuveer), baby Saanvi Ugle and baby Taashvi (both, as little Sona), Varun Shukla (as adolescent Raghuveer), baby Jiya Khan (as school-going Sona), baby Divya Chauhan (as school-going Ria), Shiraz Ahmed (as police inspector in the jail) Chander V. Loni (as temple priest), Ashok Beniwal (as school master), Kishore Nandlaskar (as village temple priest), Ram Babu, Satyajeet Rajput, Arihant Rathod and Bhagvandas Patel (all four as goons), Charu Rohatgi (as Ria’s mother), Shirin (as Jayprakash’s wife), Anshul Trivedi (as Ria’s fiancé), Mushtaq Khan (as the father of Ria’s fiancé), Vijaylaxmi (as the mother of Ria’s fiancé) and Krishna Shetty (as Ria’s ex-boyfriend) do as desired.
Prabhudheva’s direction is excellent. He has made a wholesome entertainer and maintained the emotional undercurrent throughout the drama. He has taken care to make a universally appealing film for all age groups and classes of audience. Sachin-Jigar’s music is hit. The ‘Jeene lagaa hoon’ song is already a runaway hit. ‘Jaadu ki jhappi’ and ‘Hip hop Pammi’ are also wonderful numbers. Priya Panchal’s lyrics are lovely. Vishnu Deva’s choreography is excellent. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background music is effective. Kiran Deohans makes the film visually rich and eye-filling with his splendid camerawork. Kaushal-Moses’ action scenes and stunts are perfectly appropriate. Vaishnavi Reddy’s art direction and Sunil Babu’s production designing deserve special mention. Production values are grand. Technically, the film is rich.
On the whole, Ramaiya Vastavaiya is an entertainer all the way. The enjoyable drama, especially in the second half, and the emotional undercurrent make it a wonderful fare for the entire family and for all age groups. It will fetch handsome returns from ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ class centres, from multiplexes and single-screen cinemas. It is a film for the classes and masses alike. It can do hit business in several circuits.