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Trailer Talk: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

No fireworks in MBRB HQ!

Prem is back. Excited much?

It’s back.

Another edition of Trailer Talk that is.

And also- err– Prem.

Prem as in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.

As in that obnoxious Salman Khan character who reminds you of every single slightly lecherous family friend who hit on you at weddings. You know the type. He is the son of that obscenely rich relative who flirts with the subtlety of an axe cutting a twig, and is convinced that he is the smartest guy in the room. The one who all the mausis love , because of his slightly ribald sense of humour, the one you avoid because you just knew he would ask you why you don’t smile enough, or laugh at your idealism in a knowing way.

Not surprisingly, those mausis (and the boys they tolerated), made the celluloid Prem a resounding success, and even as you squirmed in second-hand embarassment through the whole of Hum Aapke Hain Koun, they lapped it up and dreamed of a damaad like him. He would be impossible to live with- you’d argue. He would make any girl happy, they’d say with stars in their eyes.

That Prem is back- and in fact the entire trailer is an exercise in reminding you just how much you missed that Prem (you didn’t, really).

And then there’s the other problem.

When Prem was twenty-something you could blame a lot of his over the top personality to his being a sheltered young man just coming into his own. You held out hope that eventually he would calm down, and learn that those technicolored shirts weren’t a great idea. You hoped that experience would teach him that women don’t necessarily respond to his style of seduction, and that the mausis who pulled his cheeks are also responsible for keeping him in a state of arrested adoloscence.

But now he’s nearly fifty. He still likes those wispy young things, he still hits on them with the subtlety of a Sehwag sixer, and his dress sense has clearly not improved.

Everything is glitzier now. While once he came from a world of over-the-top affluence, he is a prince of some sort now. Where a scruffy Pomeranian made his animal entourage a couple of decades ago, there are horses and horse-driven carriages now. Where Mohnish Behl looked slightly out of place acting as a credible foil to him in Maine Pyar Kiya, he has a buff ex-Bigg Boss participant now . And his love interest – is the impossibly beautiful, but woefully miscast Sonam Kapoor.  She doesn’t have Bhagyashree’s demureness, nor Madhuri Dixit’s star wattage. She wants to make films for young girls, and young girls love her. But here she is- stuck in a film she probably wouldn’t watch herself, desperate for a Blockbuster against her name.

And then there are the stories- of the things that Prem did in the interim since you last saw him. He wants you to forget them and focus on how “family” oriented he is. But you can’t unsee their ravages on his face, botox be damned.

When this Prem asks you to be thankful that you have a family (albeit with Upen Patel shaped problems), your mind rushes to the family he has allegedly destroyed, and you shudder. And yes, if the film is sufficiently good it can perhaps transport you out of real life crimes and misdemeanours. But this is not it.

Prem may be back.

But the doors to your house are closed.

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