Film: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Writer/Director: Hitesh Kewalya
Cast: Ayushman Khurana, Jitendra Kumar, Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta
Actor Ayushman Khurana was a radio jockey before he made his debut in films in 2012. In the last 8 years he has made 15 films out of which many have been superhits. What is commendable about his choice of subjects is that all these films have addressed relevant issues be it physical like obesity in Dum Laga Ke Haisha or alopecia in Bala, marital as in Shubh Mangal Savdhan which was about erectile dysfunction or Badhai Ho about parent pregnancy.
If Bareily Ki Barfi addressed small town complexities and Hawaizaada elaborated on professional aspirations, Article 15 enlightened us on our constitutional rights.
Dream Girl was about deception but more about repression and sexual fantasies while Vicky Donor unapologetically celebrated sexuality. In all his films, Ayushman Khurana wittingly or unwittingly played the victim who has his say in the climax. For the first time in Shubh Mangal Zyaada Savdhan which addresses homosexuality, Ayushman plays the aggressor egging on his docile partner to defy his family and come out of the closet.
In the very first scene the lead pair Aman/ Jitendra Kumar and Kartik/ Ayushman Khurana are established as a couple, boarding a train to Allahabad, Aman’s home where Aman’s cousin/ Goggle is getting married.
The following sequences are a replay of what we have watched in earlier small-town movie releases that is a large joint family with innumerable characters running up and down, shouting instructions. Shot inside a dilapidated ancestral home, the characters are forever venting frustrations. In short, a story of family problems, family conflicts, family drama and family bonding!
Clearly there is no dearth of excitement in the Tripathi household where the son is discovered to be homosexual, the daughter runs away on her wedding night and the to be daughter-in-law is nabbed by the police with the family jewelry. There’s more, the parents have a past, the family has a history and the brothers, the co-sisters are all fighting old battles, with so many complications the story should have got us hooked, it does not!
The pace is slow, screenplay unengaging, dialogues lack-lustre and narrative devoid of any surprises. Some scenes are meant to shock you like the prolonged kiss scene between the heroes beneath the windcheater a la Aashiqui irritates more than amuses. Some scenes are meaningless like Ayushman in superman costume delivering gyaan and some annoyingly regressive like Gajaj Rao performing funeral rites of his alive son and women of the house obsessed with Streedhan.
Ayushman Khurana and Jitendra Kumar make a drab pair devoid of any chemistry and nothing about their portrayal or interaction makes me believe that they are genuinely in love. On the contrary there is a sparkle though not as strong as Badhai Ho between Neena Gupta aur Gajaj Rao and they are responsible for you to sit through the utterly boring film.
I rate Shubh Mangal Zyaada Savdhan with 2 stars.