3 Stars (out of 4)
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Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (“I’m in Love with You”) is a funny romantic comedy with quality performances. It took careful planning by director Mandeep Kumar and writer Abhijeet Sandhu to make a movie that seems so effortlessly enjoyable.
Take the efficient and effective opening scene, a song featuring the male lead, Viren (Ritesh Deshmukh). As “Jeene De” plays, Viren smiles and sings along as he goes through his day: rising early to drive his auto-rickshaw, playing with the kids he picks up from school, gratefully stashing his days’ earnings underneath the rickshaw’s seat.
In the span of a few minutes — and while the necessary opening credits roll — the audience learns that Viren is a good guy. He’s happy, polite, thrifty, a hard worker, and he can dance. By the end of the song, we know who the main character is, and we like him.
Viren loses his life savings when Bhatti (Tinnu Anand), the man from whom Viren leases his rickshaw, sells the fleet and upgrades to cars. In an uncharacteristic drunken stupor, Viren crashes the engagement party for Bhatti’s daughter, Mini (Genelia D’Souza).
Mini doesn’t want to marry the rich oaf her father has chosen for her, so she tricks Viren into kidnapping her. He reluctantly agrees to participate when Mini promises to get his money back from her father in the form of ransom. But Viren is so inept at pretending to be a criminal that Mini has to make the ransom demand herself.
Mini’s dynamic personality is irresistible. D’Souza imbues the character with charm, as Mini gets her way without being bossy. Mini takes charge of the phony kidnapping plan to make up for the fact that she has no say in the biggest decision of her life: who she’s going to marry.
Viren isn’t cowed by Mini so much as he is out of his depth. He’s a principled guy who has deliberately chosen to avoid any activities remotely criminal. Since he doesn’t know what he’s doing — and faces prison if he’s caught — he lets Mini run the show. The characters have a nice rapport, undoubtedly helped by the fact that Deshmukh and D’Souza are married in real life.
The fun continues into the second half of the film, as Viren and Mini grow closer and we meet Viren’s family. The story is well-balanced, and dance numbers are spaced appropriately. A wedding number in which Viren and Mini get drunk is a highlight thanks to D’Souza’s overly enthusiastic dancing.
The scenery is gorgeous throughout, whether the action takes place in the fields or in the mountains. Costumes are likewise vibrant and beautiful.
Overall, Tere Naal Ho Love Gaya is a really well-made film and a great example of its genre.
- Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya at Wikipedia
- Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya at IMDb