With Ayushman Khurana carrying his very best Delhi accent and Bhumi Pednekar continuing the act of a rebellious new-age girl next door, their chemistry being already applauded in Dum Lageka Haisha and the subject in which Ayushman already excels, Shubh Mangal Savadhan runs the risk of resemblance at multiple levels. Not to mention the recent releases of the both the protagonists that too in a similar middle-class family setup. But just a few minutes into the running time and you know you are up for a riot of fresh meaningful comedy.
The story is set amidst the mayhem of a typical Delhi ‘love cum arrange cum love’ marriage. The girl being one step ahead of the guy, the shy bike rides leading to the first awkward kiss, the elaborate ‘Roka’ being attended for the cash exchange etc. perfectly capture the idiosyncrasies of a middle-class Delhi-NCR based family. Bhumi Pednekar has a whiny Delhi accent. Her act of being fiery and abusive like a ‘Dilli ki ladki’ is too naive. If that be ignored, she once again brings to life a very relatable character. Her best friend, on the other hand, is the one whom you end up cheering for. The struggle and the frustration of Ayushman Khurana as the groom with a ‘gents problem’ bring the story closer to reality. The equality that has been cleverly intended is so refreshing, we only hope this transcends more into reality. The narration is sprinkled with a very rusty North Indian wit throughout that manages to address some serious issues while you are still smiling. Also as a recent development, Indian cinema has started appreciating the inevitability of a talented ensemble for a great family entertainer. Both the parents, the uncle and the BFF deliver scintillating performances.
While the first half is well timed and sets a brilliant premise, the second half gets way too melodramatic. Suddenly everyone loses the plot and everything becomes loud and chaotic. There is also a very questionable and clumsy guest appearance by Jimmy Shergill, god knows why.
The heart of the film is in its beautifully placed dialogues. The quirky but non-regressive interpretations of things we are shy to talk about are worthy of applaud. Despite its tricky subject, the treatment is reminiscent of Hrishikesh Mukherjee times.
Not as impactful as Vicky Donor, but here’s another unconventional subject and some fabulous writing. Go give it a watch!