Manoj Bajpayee, Diljit Dosanjh, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Manoj Pahwa, Seema Pahwa, Annu Kapoor
Imagine how funny would it be with Diljit Dosanjh and Manoj Bajpayee, one of the best comedy actors, taking the leads in this comedy-drama by Abhishek Sharma. Well, obviously it is an entertaining one. Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is a story of Suraj Singh Dhillon (Diljit Dosanjh) who is desperately looking for a 'Susheel Naari' to get hitched with and then there is Madhu Mangal Rane (Manoj Bajpayee) who has vowed to get 'lafangaas' out of all the future brides' ways. Wonder what interesting combination it will be when both of these will face each other and will create a family comedy-drama.
Set in 1995 Bombay, the film is a blend of romance, comedy, tragedy which will surely leave you satisfied, at least with the performances. The drama starts with Gurunam Singh Dhillon (Manoj Phawa), the father of Suraj (Diljit) who has everything including his 'Jai Matarai Dhoodh Bhandar' which he has made with a lot of love, dahi and paneer. Basically a promotion for the dairy products. One thing he doesn't have is a charm in his son Suraj as the latter is very bad in winning over girls. But one day, after a greedy pandit brings home the kundali of an English-speaking, shorts-donning girl from Bhandup, the full Dhillon family dances on cloud 9.
Sadly the desperate Suraj wants to be the Bollywood baddie that girls usually run after. And guess what, the poor boy yet again loses the girl when a detective shares Suraj's set of snaps chugging bear. Yes, here enters the bad boy in the film, Madhu Mangal Rane (Manoj Bajpayee), a disguise-loving detective and an unmarried man who has taken it upon himself to expose all the bad boys out there. Dressed up in a nauvari saree, nath and that Marathi accent that can easily be mistaken for a local hottie, Manoj Bajpayee is as amusing as the lame undercover wedding detective. Sharing the opening scene with Kaka (Annu Kapoor), a family friend and a business liability whose only contribution is that he had once helped Rane's deceased father with 1200 rupees, the two beautifully supports each other's energies. The comic timing is on point.
Then we see Mangal's younger sister Tulsi (Fatima Sana Shaikh), who is an abla naari by the day and a party girl by the night. And as we saw in the trailer, Suraj gets his eyes on Mangal's sister Tulsi and what blunder it creates when Magal finds about this, is what the rest of the story is about. Now, taking a moment to talk about the performances, Diljit and Bajpayee have truly stolen the whole show. Diljit's desi language and the comic timing is just impeccable and worth appreciating of. His funny accent, cheesy pick up lines and confidence on the screen, all is up to the mark. His bond with Sukhi and the squabble with Bajpayee are what keep the momentum of the film racing in the first half. But this film has to be the Bajpayee's show as playing a conniving detective with inimitable sass, the actor proves his ability to take on diverse roles with the same enthusiasm and flair.
Fatima as Tulsi is beautiful, outspoken and has delivered a convincing performance on the big screen. Veterans Annu Kapoor and Supriya Pilgaonkar proved why they are the audience's choice while Vijay Raaz seems underperformed in the film.
The writers Shokhi Banerjee, Rohan Shankar, and Rohan Shankar must have invested their heavy time in writing as the dialogues are attractive and each character in the film has been given a satisfying time to prove themselves. The first-half is a visual essay of the lives of Dhillons and Ranes, with so many characters and situations jumping in and out of the sequences and giving us some good chuckles. However, the film in the second half becomes a bit rushy as scenes get predictable and viewers start losing their interest. The screenplay could have done better following the pace of the story at some points.
In a nutshell, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is a witty satire highlighted with some cheery performances. The film chronicles the clash of two men-children who takes a dig on the concept of arranged marriages in India. One thing which is not clear is the makers' idea of releasing the film in the theatres. The film's potential is pretty good for the OTT platforms. Anyway, it's a family comedy-drama that won't disappoint you in 2020.