Generally the reaction of Indian Audience towards small budget movies is very lousy and dreadful, but not this one. Face value, glamour, star cast is a much abused term in our mainstream films and gives us rigid definitions of beauty. And Yash Raj Films is often the culprit in creating these chiffon thick definitions. But this time the banner breaks the stereotypes with a flourish as debutant director Sharat Katariya takes us to the holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh to celebrate ordinariness.
Set up in Banaras amongst the beautiful banks of river Ganga, the movie takes you to that early 90’s feel when people used to listen to the radio and reel cassettes. The story is the basis of a solid, honest-to-goodness script, a lead couple that wins you over gradually but surely, and a bunch of actors who know exactly where they are at. Prem, a high school fail boy who runs a music recording shop, is forced to get married to a plump Sandhya in group marriage. Sandhya is overweight but unlike Prem she is educated and talented. In her, Prem’s father sees a bahu who could help improve the family’s economic condition. But Prem can’t look beyond the size. Add to it Sandhya’s brimming self esteem and their relationship hits a rough path even before it gets started.
Ayushman Khurana has always given us something different every time he comes on screen, be it Vicky Donor, Nautanki Saala or Hawaaizaada. He does a great good job as the ‘chota shehari’ Kumar Sanu fan who learns to dust off the cobwebs in his mind, and to apologise to the woman he has hurt : it takes courage to play this not very likeable character without demanding sympathy from us. But the one who steals camera, movie and our hearts is Sandhya, beautifully played by Bhumi Pednekar, the overweight girl burdened by her size, aware that her love could, heartbreakingly, be out of her reach yet very confident and self-dependent fearless women. The rest of the cast which includes brilliant actors like Sanjay Mishra, Seema Pahwa, Alka Amin and Sheeba Chadda are the backbone to the whole movie. Sharat Kataria the director is not only good at creating the scene, he slips in simple observations on love, marriage and divorce and how ego can ruin relationships.
It is a story of an anachronism, a mismatched couple, and some great acting from the leads ends up making for a charming movie.