Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - Review

wogma rating: Even the keen, wait for DVD (?)
quick review:

Fresh topic? yep!
Middle-class setting that reminds you of films from the 70s? yepp!!
Great performances? yeppp!!!
Engaging film? No :(



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Wogma Review

For a movie that has so many departments working well individually, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is ultimately underwhelming. With Ayushman Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar at the helm of affairs, there is little doubt with the acting department even before the movie begins. In some sense, it is a given that the topic will be interesting given this cast for that's how they seem to pick their scripts. The reminiscence of the 70s style of narration – a story from a small snippet of a middle-class family is always endearing. That makes Shubh Mangal Saavdhan one of those times when the “how” is as good as the “what” and yet it doesn't work because they aren't in sync.

At first, the film might come across as a strong statement on feminism. While the film is that it is much, much more about gender roles, even more than it is about the taboo subject of erectile dysfunction. Gender roles and associated pressures of “being a man” and “lady-like” are even directly addressed without spoon-feeding or preaching.

There are other endearing behavioral observations. Such as, the woman wanting excitement before the wedding, especially in an arranged marriage. Despite being rather common in real life, this theme has been only fleetingly touched upon in movies off and on. Here it gets some space to bloom. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel wholesome.

Another huge part of the film is the exaggerated involvement of the family. The satire is amusing for a bit but the hyperbole gets tiring in a bit. I am always in awe when the writers go over-the-top but the actors don't. While Brijendra Kala seems repetitive. Seema Pahwa makes me want me to see more and more of her, with every film, even if it is similar kind of roles.

Similarly, Pednekar is getting slightly repetitive while Ayushmann Khurana brings more nuance with every film. Some of this might have to do with how the film is written and the characters these two play. The interactions between the lead pair seem out of sync. Before any chemistry is established they are shown alternating between being loving to and upset with each other. Their interaction seems random.

Fortunately it can be enjoyed one scene at a time. The brilliant actors that they are, they manage to create a few moments too. There is one scene that will stick with me for a long, long time. In one short situation which is very awkward for both characters, you see how much respect they have for each other and how much they are willing to do for the other too.

Bhumi Pednekar might be falling into a bracket – of a middle class woman who speaks her mind, while stays kind and caring. You could say the same thing about Ayushman Khurana, but I am happy with the small variety he brings within the romance genre. From the totally confident man in Nautanki Saala who draws the woman he loves close to him to this diffident, hesitant, gentle man.

It is disheartening that these moments aren't spread through the film's writing. It is disheartening that the writing feels disjointed as if it was written over years and the writers lost objectivity. It is disheartening that the next time the topic and these behavioral observations are taken up in a film, they will seem like a repeat. In some sense, we have lost the “freshness” of this topic within a romantic relationship to “done before” in a sub-optimal way.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: There is attempt at making out. However, the film revolves around erectile dysfunction.
  • Concept: Boy meets girl in an love-arranged marriage setting. Boy has erectile dysfunction.
  • General Look and Feel: A middle-class setting.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - Movie Details

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - Trailer

If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

Comments (4)

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Did I enjoy the film? Yes.
Do I recommend it? Yes, with a rider.
Is it a masterpiece? Not at all. An out and out entertainer.
Does it generate awareness on erectile dysfunction? None whatsoever. No attempt is made to explain the medical causes, symptoms, modern medical solutions, the irrationality of the stigma attached it.
What is the purpose of the film? Have an out and out sexual adult comedy film that can be enjoyed with friends or (in not so old) couples.
What is the rider that I talked about? This is a full on adults comedy, have no two doubts on that. If you watch the trailer then you know what to expect throughout the 105 odd minutes. There is no respite from the innuendos. They are not vulgar or obscene. Nice, kind of 1980s Shaukeen type. Really enjoyable, but most likely a very embarrassing watch with parents/children/siblings for a majority of film goers.

As a film, not a great piece. I can cite several defects. But given the fact that the intentions of the producer are clearly to entertain and not to educate, I can accept those faults under the guise of entertainment.

The film's setting is clearly north Indian village/town/city. Ayushyaman is yet again very good as an actor. But this North Indian Hindi is now starting to get too much. There are just too many Hindi films with that Hindi Punjabi setting, I am just missing the good Bombaiya Hindi. Bhumi excels yet again. She is once again believable as the girl next door. All the other character artists are superb in their caricatured roles. Coming to annoying aspects other than the non Bombaiya Hindi is the umpteenth time this year that a Hindi film insensitively makes fun of certain Hindu rituals by exaggerating the act of marrying off a human to a non human to tide off some calamity. Enough of it guys, don't make fun of what you have not even bothered to understand the origin.

Finally, several critics and reviewers are giving brownie points to the film for increasing awareness on erectile dysfunction problem that plagues the society. I have already written above on this topic. But I would also like to clarify that less than 2% of men in the 20s suffer from this. Sad as it is, there are far too many other serious issues that affect more than 2% of a set of people, so there is no nobility in making a film on this subject. Especially as there is no intention to educate. The one and only noble purpose is to give unadulterated adults comedy film. And for that very high marks to the film on my behalf. Keep it up (no pun), heartily recommend watching this with peer groups or in couples.


@Meeta: I read your review a few seconds ago. I had written my above post before reading your review, my way of trying to get the least influenced by the vocabulary used or the examples cited or subconsciously picking up the style.

I noticed the similarity in my opening style and in the style of your quick review. My apologies for the similarities, I can assure you it is sheer coincidence. I had no idea of this similarity until after I had posted my above comment. You might be tempted to say that great minds think alike, but I cannot claim to have a great mind :-).


@Fan ha ha ha ... no worries! No great mind at this end either :D

Suresh Kumar :

Mudit sharma and sugandha both engaged and love eachother parents are ready for their marriage but one day mudit come to know that he is suffering from erection dysfusion.hatts of film director R.S.prassana and screenplay writer Hitesh kewalya. This is remake of 2013 tamil film Kalyana samayal saadham which was popular for his very new and fresh script. Film potraya middle class mentality very successfully .Film is coming with new fresh pair and show their chemistry .after dum laga ke aisha. But gilm film also remembered for some best performance of seema pahwa of sugandha mother.a specific scene in which she try to teach her daughter about guffa and sex. Dialogues are preety good.some songs also give flow to movie.this is go positive with film that deals with such topic but no vulgarity. Ayushmaan khurana is remind you about amol Palekar . boy next to your budget is 15 crore and this will be a win position for film distributors a gus film

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