A remake of the very successful Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham, this Bollywood version brings Ayushman Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar as a couple whose marriage is in chaos because the groom discovers he is suffering from erectile dysfunction. A one trick pony that is carried for two hours by a fine ensemble of supporting cast and some funny writing.
Ayushman Khurana plays Mudit Sharma, a shy lad who falls in love with Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar) who seems to be working in the same area and is hesitant to say so. Sugandha has grown up with ideas of love from the movies, and even though she likes the shy guy staring at her, she wishes, he would do something about it. He does. He sends her a proposal via an online marriage bureau.
Both Mudit and Bhumi thankfully have families played by what are India’s best character actors: Brijendra Kala, Seema Bhargava among others. They have just not given any credit for holding a one line plot so brilliantly together. Most of these character actors are seen playing bit parts in sitcoms and movies, and you know they are familiar, but you cannot place them in any particular movie, or know their names. It’s a commentary on the state of Bollywood cinema that is so star struck. So Ayushman’s parents and Bhumi’s parents, the uncles and aunts and the vet, the punditji, Ayushman’s two long suffering friends, Bhumi’s brother all have the funniest lines delivered fabulously, while the lead pair only have one thing to struggle with: ‘gents problem’.
The funniest visual gag is the biscuit dipped too long in the tea. But it’s how both families react to Ayushman’s very personal problem that makes the whole thing ha-ha funny. Imagine a the two mothers gushing over ‘how little they were when they were born, and now they’ve grown up so quickly’ and the groom’s father – still smarting from the insult that his son is impotent – saying vehemently, ‘There’s nothing little about my son!’
Good writing can only take the plot so far. The setting helps, of course. The local tea stall in the bazaar, the soulless offices, the home with water damage, the wedding area, the pictures of dead relatives staring down at the couple attempting to make out, the bride watching porn in order to learn how to seduce her lad… Everything is perfect. Yet, the movie seems to crash in the second half, because there seems to be no solution to the original problem about the lad’s inability to get it on.
Ayushman Khurana has been making interesting career choices, but his sad sack expression will only get him this far. He depends on his ever darkening stubble to do all the acting, and that’s not enough. Bhumi Pednekar is quite luminous, but then again we see her huff and puff and being irrational…
The best ensemble cast too ends up just watching a really bizarre physical stunt, a pointless cameo from a sweet Jimmy Shergill, and a daft ending that makes no sense at all. It just seems that the filmmakers had no clue about where and what to do with the good stuff they had. Alas, a limp ending to the film.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)