wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)
Brings up many important issues related not just to religion, culture or even sanitation. It points a huge finger at sexism and the politics of both home and nation. But, is extremely preachy through most of it.Read more
Another film that wears a social cause on its sleeve. A boy meets girls story which isn't marred by the rich-poor divide, which isn't separated by caste or religion, but rather by the toilet or no toilet question. Anyone who has been to a public toilet in India, let alone one in a public bus or railway station, knows the dire state of affairs. The topic of women's toilet is best left undiscussed. That's when there is a toilet. What when 'not having a toilet' is the norm? What when superstition/religion requires that there be no toilet inside a house?
Toilet - Ek Prem Katha takes on an issue that is finally receiving some attention from the government too. The trailer at least seems like toilet humor has been completely avoided. That constraint is laudable. Almost off-sets Akshay Kumar's distracting uneven accent. I am surely looking forward to Bhumi Pednekar's performance.
I do worry though that the trailer has covered all that has to be said and understood. I hope there is a lot more to it and the inevitable toilet humor will be non-slapsticky.
Toilet - Ek Prem Katha releases on 11 August, 2017.
- meeta, a part of the audience
It is not easy. To make a film about a social issue while keeping things light and the smile on. In fact, it is much riskier than make a serious film that takes on a taboo social message. Toilet - Ek Prem Katha is not just about absence of toilets in villages and the relatted sanitation, safety and shame issues. It is about religious superstition, it is about everyday sexism, it is about domestic power dynamics, it is about politics and corruption. And because it is about so many things, it doesn't do justice to most of the issues and leads to a lame, convenient climax while being preachy in bits and spurts, through the film.
I'm unable to reconcile this unevenness in writing. At one hand you have heavy-handed dialogue and shabbily written scenes that focus only on the drama. And on the other hand, you have important issues taken up with reasonable detail.
The one thing that Toilet - Ek Prem Katha attempts to attack from all angles is sexism. Any Indian woman who has spent a reasonable amount of time with the older generation and/or in rural areas has been told or seen someone being told all of these, “you are the woman, you have to compromise”, “what's the big deal, everyone does it”, “education has corrupted your thoughts/culture”, and so on. From the relatively liberal comes the gem, “a woman is a woman's worst enemy” - there is no response to that, there cannot be. Because, very often, it is true. But, should society get away with saying that?
In that sense, the film feels quite real. Sure, there might not be an Akshay Kumar fighting your cause, but other than that, the lines strike a knowing chord. There's a scene in the film where a woman is being supported by men around her when she is standing up against other women. It made me scoff, “what's the point, she needed a man to protect her.” At the same time, of course, we do need men's support in reel life and real to deal with day-to-day gender-related issues. The problem is, in scenes like these, reality breaks down. Real life doesn't have so much drama. Real life isn't a constant shouting match. Real life doesn't have one scene with all men who are in favour of women's liberalism and another with all against. This is where Toilet - Ek Prem Katha gives way by making the characters or even parts of the screen either black or white.
Sure, they went deeper into the problem and exposed the multiple facets of the problem. When we hear of the toilet situation in India or when we experience it first hand, we think of sanitation, of government mismanagement. We expect and indeed find bureacracy and corruption. But that the slogan, “every house should have a toilet” could be opposed on grounds of personal beliefs is something we completely ignore.
Unfortunately, even though this is hammered down quite fervently, the resolution comes about quite easily. At one point, well past intermission, I was thinking, “oh dear, how are Keshav and Jaya going to get out of this soup, there is hardly an hour left”. But, little did I think they will take the easiest route out. I felt like I was cheated by the writers. And not only because they served me songs instead of story. The film is unevenly paced with a lot happening in the last hour.
Also, it's not like the writers gave me insight or entertainment in terms of dialogue. Save a few here and there, there aren't great quips. There is toilet humor sprinkled around, but it is more matter-of-fact than slapstick. Thank goodness for some mercies. However, there one-too-many speeches that are holier-than-thou monologues. Of course, they become quite exasperating.
It is not that the dialogue delivery is exceptional. It is what one would expect, though I did find Bhumi Pednekar (Jaya) a little too loud when she goes into her activism mode. Akshay Kumar (Keshav) does nothing new, it could be any other film where he isn't an action hero. Sudhir Pandey on the other hand, and Divyendu Sharma bring better relevance to their characters. I also liked Shubha Khote's presence – well, at least until her last scene.
In that sense, the film feels quite real. Sure, there might not be an Akshay Kumar fighting your cause, but other than that, the lines strike a knowing chord.
But then, her character as Keshav's grandmother seems back-calculated and forced. Just like the comment on Keshav's sunglasses in a court scene. It is to create a particular situation or for a particular line to be said that Keshav's grandmom exists, and for that matter, the sunglasses. The same goes for Anupam Kher's character, who seems to be always around at the correct time to say the appropriate line. They don't even bother to have him present in the scene, he just enters the scene to say the line, as if he was eavesdropping. This snap in continuity is bothersome because it happens with other characters too, with one aim - to add drama.
I'm unable to reconcile this unevenness in writing. At one hand you have heavy-handed dialogue and shabbily written scenes that focus only on the drama. And on the other hand, you have important issues taken up with reasonable detail. For Toilet - Ek Prem Katha is also a lot about how one segment of society takes the other for granted - be it across the urban/rural, powerful/oppressed, man/woman, educated/uneducated or rich/poor divide. Each of these divides has one party with an upper hand and that party is oblivious to how the other party is thriving. You do see multiple facets being played out. Unfortunately, they are bogged down by their own heavy-handedness.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...Don’t look for subtlety in the storytelling in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and you will come away a happy viewer with some relevant thoughts on how non-metropolitan India exists without caving into a depression. ... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, TOILET – EK PREM KATHA, despite the minuses, integrates a strong social message with entertainment wonderfully and also questions several age old practises in the society. At the box office, no competition, holidays in the next week as well as tax exemptions in certain states are bound to help the film resonate with the audience. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Overall, Toliet Ek Prem Katha is a perfect weekend getaway for your family, unless you don’t enjoy such soft yet propagandist cinema. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rahul Bharadwaj, Desi Martini : ...The best part of TEPK is the fact that its climax could have very easily become preachy and boring it thankfully stays away from that danger and the way a rigid orthodox father’s attitude changes in favour of what his daughter-in-law is demanding is such an underplayed yet convincing story twist that you are totally left impressed with the director as to how he has delivered a very intelligent yet entertaining and easily understood story to the audience. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Smita Vyas Kumar , Desi Martini : ...The movie has a strong line up of actors and they come together well to give us a story that we feel involved in. I only wish they had started telling it earlier into the game and stuck to the core of the message, taking it from the personal to a global level instead of also bringing politics into it. Definitely worth a watch, and send up a silent thank you when you use the rest rooms in the theatre, that you are privileged to enjoy the bare necessities of life and not struggle for them. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is a solid entertainer with a strong social message. It may not have the most polished screenplay, but director Shree Narayan Singh's deft handling of the subject makes the most out of its noble intentions. It makes a strong case for the ongoing Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan too. A film with engaging dialogue, smart characters and outstanding performances, this one's a clean and relevant entertainer.... full review
Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ... It must be said that the director’s hold on the narrative is supreme and confident. This is a charming entertainer that will in all likelihood bring glory to its collaborators come awards season.... full review
Thumbs up, by Josh, fullhyd.com : ...The only thing is, unlike Joker and Dangal which both stir up deep emotions by the time they finish, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha ends up being a film you'll applaud and likely soon forget. There's a sincere attempt at poking at people's conscience and also sugarcoat it with humour and triumph, but the reconciliation of these two opposite ends is an exercise that needs more than has been afforded. You may forget it eventually, but for now you're likely better off applauding it in the halls. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Samrudhi Ghosh, india today : ...What works for the film is the hinterland humour. In an elaborate sequence, Akshay Kumar's character gets married to a buffalo to get rid of his "manglik dosh". It is the laughs which take away your unease about the length of the two-and-a-half-hour-long film.... full review
Thumbs up, by Anita Iyer, Khaleej Times : ...Overall, it is a good entertainer which leaves you with a food for thought after you exit the movie hall. Yes, you might hear the word ' toilet' multiple times throughout the film but you will soon get comfortable with it. Go for the film, if you are looking for a well-scripted film backed by power-packed performances by the actors. ... full review
Thumbs up, by ANISH MOHANTY, Kia Gia : ...Akshay Kumar is quite natural as the slightly uncouth but essentially good natured Keshav who evolves gradually. His character reminds one of Badrinath (Varun Dhawan) who went through a similar process of self-discovery during the course of the film. Bhumi Pednekar, who has lost oodles of weight post her debut film, puts on a superlative act just as she did with her first film. It is a delight to see Divyenndu play a substantial role in a film after a while. The hugely underrated actor who started off with some sterling performances in 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' and 'Chashme Baddoor' should be seen much more. Sudhir Pandey is very good as Keshav's ultra-conservative father. Anupam Kher has a brief role but makes his presence felt as the mischievous Kaka. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...This is an honest attempt to tackle something that exists but not many are aware of it. This film will make you laugh, feel and most importantly think. Watch this for Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar’s true-to-the-soul performances. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...You can sense this film seriously wants the audience to rethink this cultural oddity. It genuinely wants to change the world—hey, I'm the last to argue that movies can. But how can you not laud a mainstream pic that honestly tries to, and happens to entertain, for the most part? ... full review
Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Toilet details that the Government's role cannot be limited to furnishing facilities but extends to familiarising one to the importance of utilising them. A propaganda or not, this one's watchable only for Akshay Kumar and his ability to hold it together. ... full review
Thumbs up, Sify Movies : ...Don't look for subtlety in the storytelling in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and you will come away a happy viewer with some relevant thoughts on how non-metropolitan India exists without caving into a depression. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...So whether you have pressing matters to attend to or not, please take a detour to this toilet. Each of us needs to raise a stink about what our countrymen do in the open. ... full review
So-So, by Sarita A. Tanwar, DNA : ...Despite the flaws, TEPK is worth it for the pure intent and purpose behind its making. And of course, the brilliant chemistry between Akshay and Bhumi. ... full review
So-So, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...Akshay Kumar deserves an extra pat on his back for highlighting it through a mainstream cinematic medium. Watch it at least for Akshay Kumar, his efforts and the cause the movie tries to raise. ... full review
So-So, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...While the intention of this film is noble and should be lauded, the love story gets lost in the din of indoctrinating the glorious Indian government’s honourable campaign. Watch this if you are in the mood to witness earnest acting performances, but if you are looking for a propaganda-free film, then this is not it. Don’t miss it... full review
So-So, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Kumar and Pednekar have a chemistry that’s visible in songs, even in the weirdly worded ‘Has mat pagli pyaar ho jayega’. Kumar, of course, is the backbone of Toilet Ek Prem Katha, but Pednekar is no less a contributor to this story. ... full review
So-So, Indicine : ...Films with a socially important message need entertainment to make it work and Toilet ends up being a film that is not short on the entertainment factor. Cityfolk might have trouble connecting with the film’s plot but rural folk are sure to like the film’s rootedness.... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...It only works well when it allows Akshay Kumar's influential charisma and Bhumi Pednekar's fiery spirit to use their instinctive humour, warmth and spontaneity to build a relationship that's based on something more sound and striking than the sight of Sudhir Pandey's pee. ... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Then, there is the larger question of not quite being able to see the issue of sanitation in its complexity. Can the problem be solved just by building more toilets? What of our inherently unhygienic ways? What of Gandhiji’s call to keep toilets as clean as the living rooms? Using the swanky washroom in a plush Bandra hall I also wondered how much of the film’s messaging will reach out to the privileged side of an India split wide into extremes? ... full review
So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...This film spends too much time discussing an issue with a very myopic view. The search for a plausible solution begins only two hours into the film, after the major part is spent dwelling on temporary workarounds. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Unfortunately, that intention and all its positives are completely overshadowed by its cringe-worthy keenness to bow and scrape before the present government and its head, an aspect of the film that lingers as much as its pluses because all the obsequiousness is packed into the latter half. What should have been a paean to the potty has ended up being a dishonest paean to Modi. It may as well have been named Toilet: Ek Toady Ki Katha. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...Toilet Ek Prem Katha is too long and preachy. Despite standout performances by Akshay and Bhumi the film fails to engage or connect with you largely because of its snail paced tempo and long Sunday school styled monologues. ... full review
Thumbs down, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...Instead of sticking to social satire, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha takes on the mantle of an extended propaganda film—it’s just as tiresome, but with better production values and performances. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...The need of the hour is providing public toilets and teaching the masses to use these toilets instead of defecating and polluting rivers and ponds. But is this film any more than the filmmakers genuflecting to the government? Paying deep obeisance to the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India campaign)? That sort of stinks, methinks. ... full review
yadavanshuman11: Aap Ka movie toilet ek prem Katha kya gjab ki movie hai ... Nice Acting.....well done @akshaykumar
VjAnkit56: Toilet Ek Prem Katha Is A Must Watch @psbhumi @akshaykumar Absolutely Loved It
virenkhot: # Toilet ek prem katha very inspiring movie for masses n people of all communities to open their mind and think .apply this to all aspects
VinayKu9561: बहुत बहुत शुक्रिया akshay kumar जी आपको TOILET EK PREM KATHA जैसी मूवी करने के लिए। इससे देश जागृति होगा। देश की सोच बदलेंगी। God bless you.
tej_shimpi: Toilet - Ek Prem Katha.. Best movie... everyone should watch once #Toiletekpremkatha #Toilet #swacchBharat
Swapss11: Watched toilet ek prem katha. Best movie of the year for me, loved everyone's performance #ToiletEkPremKatha #AkshayKumar #BhumiPednekar
Sukdevc95: Toilet ek prem katha A movie to change the thinking of ordinary people. nice flim directed by #shreenarayansingh thanks my dear @akshaykumar
Sneha_Doc: Toilet -ek prem katha What a movie !! Kudos to @akshaykumar @psbhumi !! Deserves national award
ShaileshBugalia: enjoy today with filim toilet ek prem katha
sandeep53439556: Toilet ek prem katha rocks
sahneydeepak: Toilet Ek prem Katha is a good movie a bit slow. But Akshay n the heroine have acted very well
Sagar_S005009: Toilet : ek prem katha is One of the most inspiring movie I've ever seen in my life, A big thanks to @akshaykumar Sir for motivating us
sachinsir_fan: Good evening to everyone .. #Toilet ek prem katha is a nice movie based on our village basic problem @akshaykumar
RiteshJoshiCS: Jolly LLB2 में सिस्टम से लड़ाई Toilet:Ek Prem Katha में स्वच्छ भारत अभियान @akshaykumar #RealIndian works for #BetterIndia
rinku_mukherjee: Toilet Ek Prem Katha deserves at least one national award!!
RajnathMurkhHai: Toilet Ek Prem Katha is a nice movie. It is 100x times better than the bhai movies driving our secular journos to orgasms.
pure_singh: Btw I liked Toilet ek Prem Katha, worth a watch. First half is brilliant and second half bores you bit in between and then it picks up again
prof_peeves: Toilet Ek Prem Katha- Aah! Nice movie with amazingly hilarious dialogues! Divyendu Sharma is the new favourite!!
Praveen58537431: "Toilet ek Prem Katha" .....एक अच्छी फिल्म है जिसमें स्वच्छता ,रोमांस, कामेडी, भर पूर रूप से है आप ये फिल्म जरूर देखें...........!!!
PrashantBhoi8: Toilet. Ek prem katha ko national award milna chahiye
PraneshDas1999: Toilet : Ek Prem Katha is really a great film.
prafull_kumhar: Awesome Movie Toilet Ek Prem Katha. It should b released in Villages Swacch Bharat Abhiyan... #Charlottesville #herothehedgehog #Harsh
Prabhattri1: Yesterday i saw TOILET: EK PREM KATHA movie its amazing love this movie..
niravsuthar29: Just watched toilet ek prem katha what a movie entertaining and messaging @akshaykumar,Bhumi pednekar,anupam kher,divyendu ,and other member
MySoulAkshayK: Make your sunday Beautiful with Toilet ek prem katha go watch in cinema's near you!!! @akshaykumar @psbhumi
mitu1974: "Toilet ek prem katha" A Gr8 initiative towards Swach Bharat Abhiyan! Rightly said toilet ek soch hai. Kindly tax free it across India
Mi31284077Vinay: Toilet Ek Prem Katha is the best movie of best 2017 Swatch Bharat base movie Such a great movie
maratha_pawar: Toilet ek prem katha what a movie salute @akshaykumar @psbhumi @AnupamPkher #divyamshu and to the entire team for making such a great movie
Manishksingh08: Toilet ek prem katha is a brilliant movie about defaecation and is a bigger problem in our country @akshaykumar #indiafreedefaecation
ManavDesai6: Toilet ek prem katha ! It's not only a movie but a revolution ! Thanks for making it happen @akshaykumar @psbhumi #WeStandTogether
Madhuchitkash: Guys pls dnt make jokes n go n visit this Toilet -Ek Prem katha .A must watch, brilliant performances by all d actors n a good message too
JaiveerChauha13: Toilet ek prem katha is a awesme..movie..yesterday i had watchd..prformnce of akshay sir is amazng..
ItsDevangana: I haven't watched a film as good as Toilet Ek Prem Katha! Amazing Dialogues amazing storyline! Love it! @psbhumi @akshaykumar @ToiletTheFilm
ihardikshah: Toilet- Ek Prem Katha, nice concept by @akshaykumar very well acting by him. Their is many village in all over India don't have toilet.
iampramodpatel: Watch Toilet Ek Prem Katha @akshaykumar Loved ur Movie bole to Ek Number movie Hai Boss
Harsh79599283: Toilet:ek prem katha really mind blowing
harinarayanti10: hello this move toilet ek prem katha it is very nice
gopaldas7908520: ! Salute akshay sir this movie #toilet ek prem katha.
EshwariMohite: Toilet ek prem katha is not just movie it's inspiration for all women let start n be proud of yourself thanks sir to inspire @akshaykumar
ddivyarajesh: #toilet ek prem katha a hit picture with a message.shd be tax free in whole india.@akshaykumar d best actor nd more thn tht grt human being
Chandramachau12: Toilet ek prem katha bahut hi achhi movie he i like this movie
blackhawkashish: Just watched Toilet - Ek Prem Katha, @akshaykumar @psbhumi. You both are legends.
BishalG44827685: Toilet ;ek Prem Katha is mind-blowing movie Akshay sir
avinash_tikoo: Many thanks for this amazing movie #Toilet Ek Prem Katha @akshaykumar. Beautiful script with a great message of SwatchBharat.
ashokdhakane3: Nice film toilet ek prem katha best of louck
AshishR67545024: Yeasrday i watched toilet ek prem katha movie of akhsay kumar...awesome movie but this movies must be shown in village.
archanaaina: A mst watch, Toilet- Ek Prem Katha. Should b tax free. Shud be shown free of charge to the target audience in villages.
AnkurGu78652113: Toilet ek prem katha is superb movie.
AnjaliGch: toilet ek prem katha superrrrrrrb movie
anilrajbhar2: Awesome movie by Akshay Kumar Toilet ek prem katha ...GOI should showcase this movie in Rural part of India. @swachhbharat @narendramodi
Anassk16gmailc1: toilet ek prem Katha is great movie by Akshay kumar
AbhayAmrite: Toilet Ek Prem Katha. A movie to fall in love with. Hell with the biased star ratings. Just go and watch and spread the word.
27devchoudhary: Today I watch Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. It is a Motivation Movie Rural areas. Watch it now.
nishad_nk: 'Toilet ek prem katha' handles the important subject of sanitation with good moments but on the whole its too long, preachy and melodramatic
gabbar_11: Toilet ek Prem Katha-good story,but not so good direction..kudos to @akshaykumar For being part of this project.
ajeykarthik: Toilet : Ek Prem katha is a decent movie with a weak ending. Disagree with those who say its preachy. Its a good time pass movie.
harish21_tweets: 1.45 hours of bakwas + 45 mins of substance = Toilet - Ek Prem Katha
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.