Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, directed by R.S. Prasanna and presented by Aanand L. Rai, is the second Hindi film starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar. It is a remake of Prasanna’s 2013 Tamil comedy, Kalyana Samayal Saadham. The Shubh Mangal Saavdhan trailer dropped last week, and from what we’ve seen, it is the movie you cannot miss out on this year.
Shades of Vicky Donor
The trailer, at first glance, is as quirky and unorthodox as Khurrana’s 2012 debut, Vicky Donor. Shoojit Sircar’s film broke glass ceilings for the kind of stories our filmmakers could tell. There, Khurrana had played a Punjabi sperm donor under the tutelage of Annu Kapoor. The film pivoted on the amusing culture gap as well as the mildly informative narrative on the taboos associated with a largely misunderstood and red-faced ‘profession’.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Here, too, the movie talks about a ‘condition’ that is traditionally treated as embarrassing and discussed only in whispery tones behind closed doors. Mudit Sharma (Khurrana) is a shy, under-confident and suppressed young man – this is demonstrated by the first few shots of the trailer. Meanwhile, Sugandha (Pednekar) is frustrated about how he has chased her without making a move for so long. His un-blossoming personality traits can rightfully be connected to the condition he discovers he has when they try to have sex after getting engaged – erectile dysfunction. We see shots of an empty tap as well as those of a biscuit dropping into a cup of tea – all visual innuendos to depict something that is banned to speak about in conservative households. Even terms like ‘sex clinics’ are mocked and frowned upon these days – which is why this seems like a timely comedy to lighten up desi attitudes.
Perhaps this is where the fun part of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan looks to be at. The two families involved take it upon themselves to solve this highly misunderstood problem. In fact, the trailer starts with Mudit and his disgusted potential father-in-law at a veterinary clinic, struggling to explain the issue. Amusingly, the father-in-law is more concerned about the pre-marital sex, rather than the looming issue, which he promises is a deal-breaker if Mudit can’t ‘solve’ it soon. It’s not often we get to see the older generation in films acknowledge sexual issues in the open. The writer has smartly pitched them as ignorant with the bandwidth to learn instead of letting their egos and izzat destroy their children. There will, therefore, be a lot of comedy concealed in the awkwardness of communication here. This is likely to be replaced by a hot-headed Mudit coming of age – in the most literal way possible.
This is Bhumi Pednekar’s third film, and her second consecutive release after this week’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Her first, the delightful 1990s-themed family rom-com Dum Laga Ke Haisha, too, was with Ayushmann Khurrana. There she played an overweight small-town girl slated to be married to an idealistic and red-blooded video cassette shop owner. This will be Ayushmann Khurrana’s third film of 2017 after Meri Pyaari Bindu and the soon-to-be-released Bareilly Ki Barfi.
The film releases on September 1, 2017. Keep an eye out for the review on the BookMyShow blog.