Movie review – Shubh Mangal Savdhan

Written on 13th September.

I am still at my in laws enjoying pre Durga Puja vacation. Last weekend,an impromptu decision by the husband got us out for lunch and a movie date. Ever since we became parents, this was the first time we decided on doing both together instead of a movie date followed by a month long break for lunch date. I had read some real good reviews about Shubh mangal savdhan and these days, we both seem to have developed a penchant for off beat movies. We decided to give this movie a try and it turned out to be such a breath of fresh air.

Cast –

  • Ayushmann Khurrana (Mudit Sharma)
  • Bhumi Pednekar (Sugandha)
  • Neeraj Sood (Sugandha’s father)
  • Seema Pahwa (Sugandha’s mother)
  • Supriya Shukla (Mudit’s mother)

Director – R S Prasanna

Duration – 119 minutes

Genre – Romance/Comedy

This is based on a Tamil movie Kalyana Samayal Saadham. Two Delhiites, Mudit, and Sugandha like each other but Mudit doesn’t seem to find a way to let his feelings known. So, en cashing on the technological advancements in the era of digital India, he decides to try online matrimony and sends a marriage proposal directly to Sugandha. Sugandha’s Bollywood like idea of romance goes for a toss and she confronts him calling him a fattu. Nevertheless the families are introduced to each other over video conferencing and eventually Sugandha gives in to Mudit’s pursuance and efforts. Sugandha’s parents are progressive in more than one way. When they leave town along with her brother for pooja at Haridwar, Mudit and Sugandha get adventurous. Even though the word sex is never used, there’s a hilarious representation of what and how they try to get close. Unfortunately for Mudit, he realizes that he suffers from what is referred to as ‘Gents Problem’. And the audience is not embarrassed because the way it is depicted through a biscuit crumbling in tea is super creative. Mudit shuts Sugandha out of his problems despite every effort of her trying to help him. Mudit along with his two close friends try out all possible options available for cure, ranging from Bangali Baba to ayurvedic jari buti. However nothing works out. Mudit is in two minds about  his marriage, unsure of whether he can give Sugandha the happiness she deserves but Sugandha stays firm in her support. Both the families leave for Haridwar for the wedding and there are some real funny scenes involving Sugandha’s Tauji and welcoming of the groom’s family. Sugandha’s father gets involved in the process of curing his would be son-in-law taking him to the Veterinary Doctor. What follows is a hilarious turn of events on the day of the wedding. There’s a mangalik angle, there’s Mudit’s Dad suffering from false machismo, there are relatives trying to create ruckus and there’s an ex girlfriend turning up at the wrong time adding to the chaos. After a highly dramatic climax with a not much needed cameo by Jimmy Shergil, the movie gets reaches the predictable ending.

shubh mangal savdhan.JPG
A still from the film

Few aspects that really work for the movie are as follows –

  • The story – Even though the movie deals with a complex subject of erectile dysfunction, never for once it turns vulgar or cheap verbally or visually . It is very sensitively dealt with, wrapped in the package of humor.
  • Humor – I don’t remember when I last laughed out like crazy in theater . Rib tickling clean comedy is a rarity these days and this movie sets the theme going.
  • New thinking – It is so refreshing to see the new age portrayal of parents in movies. They are open minded, progressive, share their own secrets with children even those related to expectations from the first night. They get involved just the right way without seeming intrusive. Sugandha’s parents are a cool bunch. They want to see their daughter settled but her father has no qualms about Sugandha running away from the wedding to escape unhappiness that might lie ahead of her. Mudit’s father represents the side of patriarchal society while his mother is a quintessential supportive mom whose life alters between wifely duties and mother’s love.
  • Breaking gender stereotypes – without making a big hullaboo, this movie highlights on how inability to conceive is always perceived to be a woman’s fault. How the man’s mardangi can and should never be questioned! Yet during climax, when Mudit stands by Sugandha, publicly acknowledging that it is his issue and that she is not the reason, you can’t help but feel happy about Sugandha’s decision to stick to this guy.
  • Paradigm shift from the typical attitude of ‘mard ko dard nahi hota hai’ there’s a line in this movie that I am gonna keep in my heart forever. When Mudit’s father question his machoism , Mudit tells him that a man is not the one who doesn’t feel the pain, but is the one who neither hurts anyone nor lets anyone else inflict pain upon others (mard woh nahi jise dard nahi hote, mard who hota hai jo na khud kisiko dard deta hai na kisi aurko dene deta.) I so wanted to pat Mudit’s mom on her back and say -lady, that’s parenting done absolutely right!

Overall, one gets this beautiful feeling of watching a vintage Hrishikesh Mukherjee film in modern settings and surroundings . The director has done a fabulous job in putting the pieces together. Music by Tanishk – Vayu is soothing to the ears. The movie definitely leaves the audience with a feel good factor. Here’s a clean family entertainer that makes one laugh out loud and lets one enjoy with friends or family without any embarrassment.

shubh mangal savdhan1.JPG
A still from the film

Ayushmann, yet again is in great form and steals the show. He seems to have moved to the other spectrum of Vicky Donor in this movie. Bhumi in yet another role of a strong female protagonist leaves a long lasting impression. She’s definitely an actor to look out for in the future. The supporting cast of Mudit’s parents, friends and Sugandha’s parents, best friend Ginny and Tauji keep the momentum going. And the fact that the movie is just of 119 mins actually leaves us asking for more.

My rating would be –

4 out of 5

For people who like movies with strong content, good story line, convincingly good actors and genuine​ humor, this is a must watch. In a nutshell, the USP of this movie is the simplicity of its story and its the sincere efforts of the characters in dealing with a complicated and apparently scandalous ‘Gents Problem.’


Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An erstwhile banker turned blogger/writer/author. Any qualifications? A Post-Graduate degree in Chemistry followed by a second Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. I completed a one-year MFA in creative writing course from the Writer's Village University, U.S. in Dec 2020. Though I must admit that I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots. Have I done any real work? If two years in market research, six years in banking as a branch head, three-plus years of blogging, writing, and publishing a book can be considered as real work, then yes! Where do I live? After spending life like a nomad for sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Books, coffee, travel, food, and my five-year-old son. What is this blog about? Through Sonia's musings, I intend to explore writing in various genres, create social awareness, spread laughter, and give words to emotions. Anything for readers? You can check out my book 'Deal of Death' on Amazon Kindle. If you like fast-paced thrillers, this Detective fiction introducing the woman sleuth, Raya Ray could turn out to be your perfect weekend read.

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