Released September 1, 2017. Written by R.S. Prasanna and Hitesh Kewalya. Directed by R.S. Prasanna. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar.
Mudit (Khurrana) fell in love with Sugandha (Pednekar), but when a performing bear interrupted his attempt to talk to her, he lost confidence and resorted to an online proposal, which Sugandha’s parents accepted before consulting her. When she saw that her online proposal was the young man who was attacked while trying to meet her, Sugandha became willing, but mourned the lost chance at the kind of love story made famous by 1990’s Bollywood movies. She put up just enough resistance to make things interesting, but when a genuine issue threatened their future together, that’s when Mudit and Sugandha dug in their heels and everything that made those 90’s romances magical began to happen.
Who said romance is dead? So many other films have tried to make modern romances that portray the realities of mediocrity, with its fear of commitment, awkwardness, and dysfunction. Films like these, however, don’t satisfy when it comes to romance. Good romance calls for brave hearts, and “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan” delivered that in spades. It remembered the most important thing that many newer romances have forgotten: romance is about the heart, not about sex.
In classic romance fashion, Mudit and Sugandha defied their parents and never once questioned their feelings. Once the trouble was known, Sugandha never wavered in her support. There was also the beautiful series of grand gestures on the part of Mudit that was reminiscent of the classic heroes. All while still maintaining a modern essence. This film really knew what it was doing when it chose to show a montage at the beginning of clips from classic romances. And the climactic moment really brought back images of a particularly powerful scene from Aamir Khan’s “Dil” (1990)! So great!
The script was original and solid, with rich characters and depth. Though the movie skirted several social issues, it never lost itself in them. It remained first and foremost, a romance about Mudit and Sugandha. When the messages did come, however, they were well blended and appreciated. The absolute best was the one about love and sex, and how modern society has raised the bar of expectation for women to either be super-models or porn stars. Anything less has become unacceptable to many men, and so lots of ‘regular’ women go unappreciated. It also does a great job of enforcing the ideal that being a strong and brave man, as well as a legendary lover, has very little to do with what’s in your trousers.
Thanks to having starred previously in “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” together, Ayushmann and Bhumi had great chemistry, and both delivered fantastic performances. The romance was real, the heat was real, and the sentiment was strong. Their characters were not only likeable, but also admirable and sympathetic. It was a pleasure to spend two hours with them. For the ladies specifically, Ayushmann had no problem filling the shoes of his predecessors. He was charming, he was intense, and he was sexy. The look in his eyes while Mudit and Sugandha were preparing food for the guests was nothing short of steaming…just like the greats of the 90’s! He was a natural in the role.
Though its box office earnings were low, it was still a hit because it nearly doubled its investment. VBB considers this one of the best, most entertaining and enjoyable romances of 2017. A box office sleeping giant!
Availability for Indian films online changes regularly. Check for this movie on Netflix, Amazon Video, ErosNow.com, and einthusan.com. Sometimes, films can also be found on YouTube with English subtitles.
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