Director: Abhiraj Minawala
Starring: Aayush Sharma, Warina Hussain, Ram Kapoor & Ronit Roy
Screenplay: Niren Bhatt
Sushrut aka Susu’s (Aayush Sharma) only passion in life is to teach garba to kids in Vadodara, but this time, the 9-day Navratri festival changes his life. He falls head over heels in love Michelle (Warina Hussain) and does everything he can to win her over. Manisha aka Michelle (Warina Hussain) is originally from Vadodara but stays in London with her father Sameer aka Sam Patel (Ronit Roy), who is a rich businessman. Manisha is studious and is about to get admission in a reputed business school. A day before Navratri, both arrive in Vadodara when their family members trick them. But, Susu is not compatible with Michelle in worldly terms. He is juvenile, impractical and carefree. She is a research scholar in London to be precise. However, nothing holds Susu back from expressing his love for Michelle. Encouraged by his maternal uncle Rasik (Ram Kapoor), Susu pursues her. Manisha too begins to get fond of him. Sam learns of this romance in the making and he tries to manipulate the situation. Susu has a fight with Manisha. By the time Susu realises his mistake, Manisha has already left for London. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
LoveYatri is a straightforward love story – nothing more, nothing less. What works for the film is the rich supporting cast; majorly the camaraderie between the friends in the first half works and the character of Ram Kapoor makes the proceedings worthwhile. But this obvious ‘Indian father of the girl’ obstacle is very bland even though Ronit Roy tries his best, the whole angle is seen to death and adds nothing new for the film.
Technically, the film is first rate. Cinematography by Jishnu Bhattacharjee is decent enough. Editing by Ritesh Soni could have been much better. The screenplay written by Niren Bhatt is weak and far too predictable and it brings the film down. The costumes worn by the protagonists in the film during the Navratri festival are a visual delight. The production design also brought out the right flavor and the matched visuals of the Garba festival. The music which was done by Tanishk Bagchi was probably the best part about the film. In the coming week and more people will definitely be doing Garba on the new rendition of Chogada. Rangtaari and Akh Lad Jaave are other two songs which have constantly been on the chartbuster.
Performance wise, both the debutants Aayush and Warina are raw, but both have a charming screen presence with enough chemistry. They have done more than a decent job considering that it’s their debut. The dancing capabilities of Aayush sign throughout the film. Pratik Gandhi as Negative and Ram Kapoor get the funniest one-liners. Ronit Roy is good in his role. as one would expect him to be. Kenneth Desai is alright. Manoj Joshi is wasted. Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan appear in a cameo.
Director Abhiraj Minawala plays it safe by sticking to a tried and tested formula but is let down by the poor screenplay.