Cast: Salman Khan, Ali Larter, Nandana Sen, Helen, Suchitra Pillai, Ian Bohen, Shari Watson, Vikas Bhalla, Vijayendra Ghatge, Kiran Juneja, Gulshan Grover, Rakesh Bedi, Roopak Saluja, Marc Allen Lewis, Lea Moreno Young; Director: Willard Carroll Rating: *
Marigold – An Adventure in India is riddled with all the clichés that could be seen in bad Bollywood movies.
When an American filmmaker decides to make a very Bollywoodish film with an American actress and Bollywood’s pin-up boy, it naturally generates curiosity because you want to know how Bollywood is seen through a foreigner’s eye. But after watching Willard Carroll’s movie ‘Marigold’, you wonder if Bollywood is really that bad, or is it Carroll’s directorial abilities (or the lack of it).
The movie harps on every stereotype that we have already gotten dead tired of watching umpteen times on the silver screen. The love angle and the romantic dialogues are utterly inane. The music is forgettable.
And to top it all, Salman Khan , with his highly accented English, is at his superficial best (or worst).
The film has Ali Larter (from hit TV series ‘Heroes’) playing Marigold Lexton, an arrogant and bad-tempered American actress whose tryst with India begins with a series of misadventures. Her luggage goes missing. And the film for which she had come to shoot in Goa gets scrapped.
Stranded in an alien country, Marigold takes the help of a production assistant Rani (Suchitra Pillai) who offers her a ride to Mumbai.
On a visit to a Bollywood film set, Marigold catches the attention of the director who offers her a role in the film. The role requires her to dance. But that is where the problem lies. Marigold can’t dance.
This is where the handsome choreographer Prem (Salman Khan) steps in and teaches her to feel the music and shake her leg to it. In the course of teaching the dance steps to Marigold, Prem ends up winning her heart.
But the union of lovers isn’t that simple. Marigold discovers that Prem actually is a prince. The scene then shifts to the swanky haveli where Prem’s rich father Mahendra (Vijendra Ghatge) and mother Nandini (Kiran Juneja Sippy) live. There, Marigold experiences the Indian family values and traditions. But, to her dismay, she discovers that Prem’s marriage has been arranged with a girl named Jhanvi (Nandana Sen). On the other hand, Marigold’s American boyfriend Barry comes to India looking for her.
Will the love of Marigold and Prem be accepted?
‘Marigold – An Adventure in India’ is not even close to an average Bollywood romantic drama. Firstly, the storyline is very flimsy. On top of it, Willard Carroll’s treatment of the subject reminds you of TV soap operas.
Secondly, the writing – dialogues, in particular – is highly amateurish. The situational turns in the story are predictable. And the song-and-dance, against the backdrop of ho-hum music, grates on your nerves.
If there was anything that could have salvaged this movie, it was performances by Salman and Ali Larter.
Salman Khan, may God bless him, hams throughout the film. Not only is his dialogue delivery highly accented, it is also unclear. In short, Salman’s performance has superficiality written all over it.
Ali Larter looks gorgeous. Even her acting is not that bad. Moreover, she does manage a few dance steps and poses with conviction.
On the sidelines, Nandana Sen is pretty passable. Vikas Bhalla is expressionless. Vijendra Ghatge is too uptight. Suchitra Pillai is quite good.
To sum it up, ‘Marigold’ is an utterly forgettable film. The movie leaves you feeling wilted.