All great stories — of love and of war — have one thing in common. They depend on the central conflict of the story to either make, or break it. Without the Joker, Batman would just be a cosplaying rich man. Without Mogambo to give him purpose, Mr India would just be a creepy peeping tom who watches beautiful women dance in chiffon sarees without revealing his presence.
The point is, Abhiraj Minawala’s Loveyatri can boast of neither a plot nor any actual conflict, so where in the world does that leave us?
The story, if one can call it such, is about a young man, Sushrut, who dreams of starting his own garba school. Come to think of it, his obsession with garba could in a way be called the film’s plot as well as its conflict. Because Sushrut’s garba-love is the only thing taking the film forward, but you’re going to experience conflicting emotions about it.
Sushrut falls in love at first garba night when he sees Michelle aka Manisha, an NRI visiting her family. Their love story plays out on the garba grounds, and later all over Baroda as they go sight-seeing (and also dance some more). The only one unhappy about this millennial romance is the girl’s father, but because of the way the screenplay’s been written (lol?), the fight he puts up is perfunctory and not the tour de la resistance we’ve come to expect every time Ronit Roy plays daddy. The second half of the film takes place in London, and is comically tiresome. The boy from Baroda who has apparently never travelled beyond Rajkot before this, lands in a foreign country and finds Michelle faster than you can book an Uber. They meet, talk, and then randomly dance some more. Daddy (who runs a laundry service called Lord of the Rinse. ARGH!) saunters in yet again at this point and gets Sushrut arrested on a trumped up charge. Guess how our hero resolves conflict with potential father-in-law right after he’s let go? Two words: Chogada Tara.
If there ever is a Pretentious Movie Review about Loveyatri, it’s definitely going to be called Most Garba Ever.
The only one who has been shortchanged more than the audience, is poor Aayush Sharma, who goes by the name of Susu in the film. SK Films, we get it. You have your hand firmly on the flush when it comes to toilet humour, but did you really have to do this to Aayush in his debut film? Despite his Bhai-hangover, his enthusiasm and visible effort he seems to be putting in, is endearing. Sort of. Unfortunately, the lacklustre (and often downright silly) script lets Aayush down. Warina Hussain, the other debutante, isn’t intolerable as Michelle, but despite considerable screentime, she doesn’t really add anything to the film. Of the supporting cast, Ram Kapoor and Ronit Roy’s presence and constant hamming, is disconcerting to say the least. It also makes you wonder, did a certain TV serial tycoon write the wafer-thin plot of this film?