Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Movie Review

Bhumi Pednekar gave a super-hit film ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ on 11th August. Ayushmann has a hit film in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ on 18th August. Now they’re back together just two weeks later collaborating once again after ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’. The trailers have made it clear that it is a light-hearted take on important matters below the belt but can it be enjoyed with the family? Will the actors continue their streak of hits?

Story: The story is about a boy Mudit Sharma (Ayushmann Khurrana) who gets engaged to a girl, Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar). It is going to be an arranged marriage and the extended families of both are looking forward to it. However due to erectile dysfunction, Mudit can’t get it up and on the advice of his friends tries out various quacks treating impotency. It is an official adaptation of the hit Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham by the same director RS Prasanna.

Screenplay and Direction: Even though, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is an official adaptation of the Tamil film, it has only maintained the core from the original film and adapted its story to a Delhi NCR milieu with vastly different quirks and characterization. The writer Hitesh Kewalya deserves credit for getting the crux of the story and not making a scene by scene remake. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan does not treat it’s concept with haste and every scene initially is crafted with a lot of care and humour. This is the sort of humour which never transcends into vulgar or cheap territory. The way it started, it had potential to be a classic comedy like Vicky Donor but unfortunately it falters towards the end when the plot becomes too heavy handed and the movie ends almost abruptly. But it is not a huge flaw as the writer and director lay the foundation for the movie in the first half which is one of the breeziest of recent times.

Delhi NCR particularly in the winter has been a recent muse of sorts for Bollywood directors and here too it is showcased perfectly without ever showing the most famous landmarks. The cinematography is excellent and is perfectly complimented by the production design and costume design departments. The editing is also great because to keep a Bollywood film under 110 minutes in length is a minor achievement. Major props should go to the music department because the songs are hilarious in their own rights and the innocent will miss the innuendos.

Acting: Ayushmann Khurrana deserves all the credit in the world for deciding to play a character with such manly restrictions. It takes guts to play such parts where he is dominated by other characters. He has perfected his accent and mannerisms and the way he pronounces (and mispronounces) certain words add a lot to his character. Bhumi Pednekar is one of the brightest young talents to have been discovered recently. She is great in her role and her chemistry with Ayushmann is cracking. It helps that both of them have such a normal demeanour about themselves which lends easily to such rooted characters. Seema Pahwa is a powerhouse of acting and here too she proves it. Other actors like Neeraj Sood, Anshul Chauhan and the veteran Brijendra Kala are perfectly cast.

Conclusion: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan could have been a cult film, it settles with being a very good film. An opportunity lost? Perhaps. But it does so much right. It starts a conversation about such a prickly topic, it fights for equality and women empowerment, and it does all this through a lighthearted treatment of the whole story. It may still be too early for normal middle class Indians to watch this movie with their family members but it does need to be seen by a lot of people to break their conventions about manhood and masculinity. Go watch it!

Pros:

  • Rooted characters and story
  • Talks about an important topic without haste and keeps it light
  • The costume design and production design are top class
  • The cinematography and editing is perfect for the sort of film it is
  • Ayushmann and Bhumi are cracking together

Cons:

  • The climax is heavy handed and lacks imagination
Rating: ★★★½☆
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