Friday, August 11, 2017 17:28 IST
Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Anupam Kher
Shree Narayan Singh
First thing first. Toilet - Ek Prem Katha endorses the Indian government's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan so seriously that after a point it starts to look like that Priyanka Bharti ad featuring Vidya Balan.
The idea is to highlight the disadvantages of open defecation through a humorous tale.
This film is a satirical take on the age-old 'tradition' of seeking fields to relieve ourselves. Mercifully it steers clear of being a documentary on sanitization. Instead, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is a robust love-story striking a balance between entertaining and educating. Writer-duo Siddharth-Garima takes us through this eye-opening journey of how we need to build toilets for our women (if not a Taj Mahal) through dramatic conflicts between the lead couple - Keshav and Jaya, followed by those between Panditji (Sudhir Pandey) and his older son. The easygoing equation between two brothers, Naru (Divyendu) and Keshav is also delightful. Not to forget the protagonist's war against his entire village for a latrine. Every characteristic of rustic UP life is captured through the ubiquitous sarpanch and the naughty Kaka (Anupam Kher). The second-half borrows the template for films that address causes and allows for some lecturebaazi. A 10-minute snip here would've helped the focus stay sharper.
Akshay is the backbone of this satire. His inner journey as an actor pays dividends and he delivers yet another topnotch performance. Half a star in the rating is rightfully his. Bhumi is perfect in her rendition of the feisty Jaya and Divyendu is a terrific comic. The presence of veterans, Pandey and Kher, is unmissable. The screenplay is peppered with loads of LOL moments balanced correctly with emotional outbursts. As a bonus, you get a hummable soundtrack with Hans Mat Pagli, Bakheda and Gori Tu Lath Maar.
The film doesn't look preachy at all; rather the issue of no toilet is shown in a quirky way. The USP of the film is its dialogues, which are written well. The first half is a little slow and overstretched but manages to sail through till the interval because of its comic punches. Despite all the positives, the length of the film is an issue.
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