Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - Review
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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
- 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.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Eros International, A Colour Yellow Production
- Producer: Anand L. Rai, Krishika Lulla
- Director: R.S. Prasanna
- Lead Cast: Ayushman Khurana, Bhumi Pednekar
- Supporting Cast: Brijendra Kala, Seema Pahwa
- Screenplay: Hitesh Kewalia
- Dialogues: Hitesh Kewalia
- Cinematography: Anuj Rakesh Dhawan
- Editor: Ninad Khanolkar
- Action Choreography: Suniel Rodrigues
- Lyrics: Tanishk Bagchi, Vayu
- Costume Designer: Ankita Jha
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 120 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Relationships, Romance
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan - Trailer
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