Nikhil Advani may have knocked Bollywood's socks off with his directorial debut, Kal Ho Na Ho, but four years of hype seems to have marred his follow-up romantic drama, Salaam-e-Ishq, which bears a passing resemblence to Brit flick Love Actually. Despite boasting an impressive star cast, six stories, twelve characters and more saccharine coated dialogue than even Richard Curtis could dream up, this ode to amour lacks the power to make you fall in love with it.
An Indian actress (Priyanka Chopra) attempting to boost her flagging career with a phony boyfriend (Salman Khan), a commitment phobic bachelor (Akshaye Khanna) trying to ditch his fiancé (Ayesha Takia) and a couple coping with a harrowing event are just some of the stories at the heart of this romantic saga. But none of these are anywhere near as humorous or captivating as the tales of the newlyweds trying to consummate their marriage (Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar) and a middle-aged taxi driver falling in love with his young American passenger, played to perfection by Govinda and Shannon Eshrechowitz.
"TOO MANY CHARACTERS SPOIL THE BROTH"
What had the potential to be rip-roaring entertainment ends up a classic case of too many characters spoiling the broth. Add to that a disjointed script and unnecessarily long running time of over three and a half hours, and any fun audiences can have watching Salaam-E-Ishq is diminished. It's only thanks to a few good individual performances, rather than an ensemble effort, that this love fest is mildly enjoyable.
Salaam-E-Ishq (A Tribute To Love) is released in UK cinemas on Friday 26th January 2007.