Love's labour lost
Shahjahan is a 'love story with a difference'.
As a matter of fact, it makes makes you wish it hadn't been so different after all.
Let me explain why.
Vijay is a hopeless romantic who's sole aim in life is to facilitate marriages of young couples who meet with family disapproval and other hurdles.
The marriage registrar and the local cops, also, keep tabs on the 25 weddings he has masterminded so far.
Next thing, he falls in love with this cute lass (Richa Palot).
Under normal circumstances one would expect a seasoned guy like him to stroll up to his object of affection and pour out his heart in a jiffy.
Instead, what you do get is a Vijay who decides to wait and watch, rather than profess his love.
Of course, there is a reason for this--earlier, Vijay intervened on behalf of a friend, a Hindu boy in love with a Muslim girl.
It was a perfect case of one sided love, with the boy standing at a distance admiring the girl.
Vijay will have none of that. He berates his friend for his timidness, drags him over to the girl's house and tells her parents that the two of them are in love.
The girl protests and tries to convince her parents that she doesn't know the boy from Adam.
The inevitable recriminations ensue, the girl commits suicide, and the boy ends up in an asylum.
At this point, another friend pops up who reveals to Vijay that he is in love.
Vijay guides him at every stage: how to get talking to the girl, if she likes him or not?
All this while, Vijay is ignorant to the fact that the girl in question is the very Richa he has fallen for.
Vijay organises what should be wedding number 26 and lands up at the registrar's office.
There he gets the shock of his life when the bride to be appears.
Thereafter matters move on to a rather messy climax.
Shahjahan follows all the tried and tested methods of filmmaking replete with the mandatory songs, fights, dances and comic sequences.
There is nothing remarkable about either plot or execution.
Behind the scenes buzz claimed that R B Choudhary, the producer, had Vijay's bulk dates (RBC, incidentally, gave Vijay his first big break with Poova Unakkaga, and
has had other hits with the star like Thullaatha Manamum Thullum)and roped in director Vikraman to make a film.
The director came up with a storyline reportedly similar to this one.
However Vijay didn't think much of it, and turned it down.
Why did he agree to do Shahjahan which is pretty much the same film is, with another director, is an unsolved mystery.
Vijay and rest of the cast, sleep walk disinterestedly through their roles.
After that, one can't blame the audience for adopting the same mindset.
Music: Mani Sharma
Camera: Arthur Wilson
Stunt: 'Jaguar' Thankam
Dance choreography: Lawrence, Raju Sundaram, Dinesh and Ashok.
Producer: R B Choudhary.