Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, the Bollywood remake of Tamil cinema’s Kalyana Samayal Saadham, is in theatres now. Ayushmann Khurana is back with his
Shubh Mangal SaavdhanEntertaining with good performances, but the film doesn't really 'take off'
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, the Bollywood remake of Tamil cinema’s Kalyana Samayal Saadham, is in theatres now. Ayushmann Khurana is back with his Delhi-boy act in theaters after the recent success of his previous film, Bareily Ki Barfi. This time, with his lucky charm, Bhumi Pednekar. The duo team up to tell us a story which demonstrates, in all it’s futility and confusion, the ill-conceived concept of male bravado. The happy couple sing and dance their way into a dysfunctional wedding organised by two equally dysfunctional families. However, to their amusing chagrin though, they realise sooner than expected that another sort of dysfunction will come in the way of their married bliss. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is two hours of a typical Indian wedding, loaded with all the regular confusion and madness, spiced up with the issue of Ayushmann being able to not being able to get it up. So would you want to watch it this weekend? Read on.
Let’s meet the actors:
Ayushmann Khurrana as the dramatic dulha
Bhumi Pednekar as the not-so-blushing bride
Ayushmann Khurrana is the average Delhi boy, who finds attraction in the form of Bhumi Pednekar. Once his efforts at a simple boy-meets-girl story fail, he tries plan B, which is a direct request on Shaadi.com. The film doesn’t dwell for long on the meet-cute and skips to the more meaty issue of the lack of physical tension between the two. Ayushmann isn’t able to consummate his marriage (before the actual wedding). Subsequently, as in any household with pesky relatives, everyone is notified of his ‘gents problem’. Chaos, misunderstanding, melodrama and a few sanctimonious lectures follow.
The great thing about Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is its realism. The filmmakers have done a good job in recreating the film so as to suit the North Indian palate. Ayushmann seems ideal as the belligerent boy from Delhi and Bhumi is absolutely believable as the new-age, troubled bride. They both ace their roles as the girl and boy next door. Their story seems so basic and possible (if not entirely relatable), that it manages to effectively engage it’s target audience.
Ayushmann rose to fame with Vicky Donor. Although we do not see this small budget film turning into a blockbuster, it most certainly is one of his better films. Ofcourse, he is the go-to choice for roles such as these. He acts well and to the best of his ability. The direction is also particularly good. One of the stellar moments is when he wraps his arms around an obviously embarrassed Bhumi Pednekar after she tries to catch his attention. Apart from this, even his outbursts, (which aren’t one of the best parts of the script), are engaging and heartfelt.
Bhumi Pednekar plays the girl in love with the idea of love. Or more correctly, the idea of Bollywood-inspired love. Like any other middle-class girl in her early twenties, she has an idea of her wedding, which she wants played out in front of her rasm-by-rasm. However, she is a little more humane than the superficial ‘M-block wali’ girls, and supports her partner through all his struggles like a dutiful wife. Her acting is plain and simple, just as the script demands.
The odds and ends are there. An ensemble of strange parents and in-laws who are a little over-involved in the personal lives of their children. Friends of the groom who serve as comic reliefs. Thankfully, the penis-jokes are kept to a minimum and aren’t as cringe-worthy as they could have been. The difference in sensibilities between the mother and daughter relating to this delicate issue is also highlighted (fearlessly if not tastefully). The film will make you laugh at times and it will entertain you throughout. It isn’t entirely predictable and keeps you on your feet.
The only problem with Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is the mediocrity of it’s screenplay. A few parts in the film will contradict its basic underlying realism and seem superficial and made-up. Ayushmann Khurrana cooking the food himself for the wedding instead of screaming at the caterer, seems like a ploy from a Panchtantra story. Similarly, a few parts fail the otherwise well written script. Also, you will never feel completely blown away by the film. It’s a simple story told in a suitable manner, but nothing phenomenal.
The direction and writing is good. The screenplay is average and the cinematography is real. The performances are stellar and the social relevance of the film is appreciated. The film is a good one-time watch, and need not be necessarily watched in the theatre. You can wait for this one on your television screens. I give it 3/5.
You will like this film if: You liked Vicky Donor and Bareilly Ki Barfi
You will dislike this film if: You don’t understand why a film on erectile dysfunction should interest you
Best performance: Ayushmann Khurrana