Connoisseur · First Watch · Movies

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan

A mother and a daughter have the most hilarious conversation about Alibaba and him finding the cave. This was my favourite scene of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. Sugandha and her mother start to discuss the topic of sex in a rather awkward fashion and then end up questioning assumptions regarding male sexuality. Erectile dysfunction does not cross the mother’s mind at all as the duo tackle this rather touchy subject. Seema Bhargava and Bhumi Pednekar​ carry this scene like the boss actresses they are. Not enough hearts to shower on them. ❤
I’ve always had a thing for Ayushmann Khurrana​’s naughty boy next door appeal. He now declares himself the poster boy of taboo topics. Why not? I mean, which other actor in the Hindi film industry would have the guts to play this character? He not only makes it very believable but also plays it with subtle humour and utter grace. Classy, rustic and pathbreaking all at once: a lethal combination in an actor as far as I am concerned.
This romantic comedy is the brainchild of director RS Prasanna who remakes it in Hindi from his own Tamil version Kalyana Samayal Saadham from 2013. The original was written and directed by him. Hitesh Kewalya rewrites the Hindi version for him and it is co-produced by Anand L Rai of Tanu Weds Manu and Raanjhaana fame.
Ultimately though, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is not all about sex. It’s about Mudit and Sugandha and their journey into love. It’s about the unwanted pressures and expectations placed on the couple by their family as they try to navigate their way around their problem. It’s about two people trying to rise above their situation, tradition and figuring out what works for them as individuals and as a couple.
The characters actors are a shining example of the abundance of talent which exists in the Hindi industry but don’t seem to find a name and identity in mainstream cinema. Seema Bhargava is the first one I could place, Badki from vintage TV show Hum Log and recently seen in Bareilly Ki Barfi. She is an absolute masterclass in comic timing, each and every scene I could not get enough of her. Brijendra Kala was the other familiar face from Jolly LLB 2 and Tubelight, he plays Sugandha’s chacha. I could not place the actors who played Sugandha’s father and Mudit’s parents. Or his friends and the sticky ex-girlfriend he doesn’t want to speak to. They all are part of the charm and play their parts expertly.
It is so good to see subtle changes in female characters in some movies over the last few years. The ever refreshing Bhumi Pednekar seems to have scored on all three of hers, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and now Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. Watch her trying to seduce her man with “Come to me Danny boy’ – it is such another poignant moment in the movie and she does it so well. Ditto when she tells off her fiance who wants to bail on her the night before their wedding.
Ayushmann Khurrana gets his moment of glory in the pre-climax scene where he has that outburst and then marches off to win back his love. He wickedly riles up his father-in-law who takes him to the doctor and then throws a fit on hearing details.
So do the couple get their happy ending? Go find out. Miss it and you will skip the most delightful feast to have come out this year.

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