Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is the official remake of the Tamil hit Kalyana Samayal Saadham. Directed by RS Prasanna, who also helmed the original, the movie reunites Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar after their 2013 sleeper hit Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Aanand L Rai, the director of Tanu Weds Manu series and Raanjhanaa, is producing the movie. Here’s our review of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan… (ALSO READ: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan music review: The album for Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar’s romcom packs a melodious punch)
What’s it about
When Mudit (Ayushmann Khurrana) couldn’t find the opportunity or guts to talk to the girl he is interested in, he does what any Indian guy would do – send an online marriage proposal to her family. Luckily for him, the girl Sughanda (Bhumi Pednekar) is also attracted to him and her parents readily agree for the marriage. As their families start preparations for the wedding, Modit and Bhumi also develop their love story in the process. A few weeks before the marriage, they try to get intimate and that’s when Mudit realises that he suffers from ‘gent’s problem’. As he worryingly tries to cope with this issue, Sugandha does her best to keep him confident about their upcoming wedding.
But with days left for marriage and their over-bearing parents breathing down their neck, their secret soon reaches the ears of their relatives, turning their wedding into a family circus.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan goes where no mainstream movie has gone before – into the bedroom and discussing problems that could affect your performance there. Rarely has a movie been made in Bollywood, where erectile dysfunction is a theme (though the movie, perhaps fearing the Censors, never refers it with its scientific name) without making a crass comedy of it. And Shubh Mangal Saavdhan does that in a clean and entertaining way. But erectile dysfunction is just a plot device – the main thread is the love cum arranged cum love story of Mudit and Sugandha. Their romance gives Shubh Mangal Saavdhan enough heartwarming moments to engross the viewers. It also helps that Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar share a terrific chemistry that they displayed in Dum Laga Ke…
Ayushmann Khurrana deserves a pat on the back for taking on the role that no mainstream hero would have dared to touch. He delivers a charming performance, though the role doesn’t much of a challenge to the performer in him. Bhumi Pednekar is going from strength to strength with every release of hers. With just three movies, she is already putting her claim as one of the best actresses in Bollywood. Her girl-next-door image is a refreshing change from the glammed-up dolls we are so used to see. Just check out that scene where she miserably tries to seduce Ayushmann using porn music, and you will realise she has so much depth in her performance. The supporting cast is pure awesome, with Seema Pahwa and Brijendra Kala stealing the show from the lead pair quite a few times.
RS Prasanna has given a different treatment to Shubh Mangal Saavdhan as compared to the original movie. While it has its cons (we will get to that later), the change in the treatment helps in making the remake distinct from the original. Humour plays a huge part in endearing the movie to the audience, and the credit goes to the actors as well as the dialogues (the Digital India jibe is a scream!). The first half, especially, has loads of scenes that will keep the smile pasted on your lips. Mudit and Sugandha’s sensual encounter is shot very naturally with dollops of humour (RJ Nilesh Mishra’s late night storytelling is a brilliant touch). Also the scene between Sugandha and her mother talking about protecting virginity will make you laugh so hard that you will be clutching your stomach after that. Prasanna also has managed to depict the middle-class sensibilities in an efficient manner.
The songs are all good, with Kanha being my most favourite romantic track of the year.
After giving such an entertaining setup to the premise, it is with utmost regret that I have to say the writing sadly loses steam in second half, especially in the climax portions. As Mudit and Sugandha’s wedding approaches the D-Day, the makers look clueless as to how to end the saga. So the writer throws in everything (ex-girlfriend, bickering parents, hero’s monologue) except the kitchen sink to give a proper conclusion to the plot. Sadly, apart from the few forced chuckles here and there, the audience would be left wondering how can such a lovely movie turn into a sad PJ.
While Mudit’s gent’s problem is handled in a careful manner during most of the portions, it is suddenly turned a farce in a scene near the climax. The climax, involving a mid-air stunt and bad CGI, is a disaster. Then there is also a completely pointless cameo from one of Aanand L Rai’s regulars.
It’s a shame since the original movie not only restrains itself from making a joke out of erectile dysfunction throughout, it also has the perfect conclusion to the tale.
It is also difficult to understand how Mudit easily jumps to the conclusion that he can’t ‘perform’, after one ‘failed’ attempt. While Sugandha encourages him every now and then, he easily gives up without giving his libido a second chance. A little more understanding of topic would have clearly helped here, since many among us do suffer from this problem at some point of time. Even his relationship with his parents is given a short shrift, unlike that between Sugandha and her family.
What to do
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan could have been the best romantic comedy Bollywood has seen in years. It tackles a risky premise, the humour was brilliant and the performances were first-rate. Unfortunately, the writing suffers a ‘gent’s problem’ towards the end, leaving us high and dry. Still, I would recommend you to watch SMS purely for the humour and Ayushmann-Bhumi’s amazing chemistry.
Reviewed by Sreeju Sudhakaran
**** Very good