India’s relationship with sex and its problems is a strange one. While you will see public ads of Babas claiming to cure all sorts of सेक्स related problems in every nook and corner, talking about the same to your family is almost impossible. Lack of sex education at home or in schools can make the most confident people go completely quiet when it comes to matters about bumping uglies. The crux of R.S. Prasanna‘s Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is this. A remake of his 2013 Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham, the Hindi adaptation stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar as Mudit and Sugandha, a soon-to-be-married couple facing problems because he can’t get it up.
This ‘gent’s problem‘ as Mudit calls it, is shown hilariously through the depiction of a tea soaked biscuit that slowly bends and falls into the cup. How the two (and their families) deal with this issue is the basic premise. The film has a lot of ‘laugh out loud‘ moments, including Sughanda’s uncle, played by the hilarious Brijendra Kala leaning in to kiss everyone from the guy’s side and her father and the said uncle bonding over hitting Sugandha’s brother with a shoe. There’s also a bittersweet scene when Sugandha tries to ‘seduce’ Mohit in a park in Delhi by sucking on a fruit (thanks, Katrina Kaif) and repeating the corny lines she has watched in a porno. While the start makes us all laugh, Sugandha’s change in tone while calling him ‘Danny boy‘ and the sadness which comes with it immediately shows on Mudit’s face. He was embarrassed first, but is completely shaken and touched by the lengths his fiance will go to make this work. Mudit gently embraces her while she cries, it’s very sweet.
But that doesn’t mean the movie is devoid of problems. Much like the hero, the film’s climax is shockingly bad, with a totally random Jimmy Shergill cameo. There’s also Mudit’s ex-girlfriend, Neha who suddenly appears anywhere, be it the streets of New Delhi or Haridwar where the wedding is taking place. Thankfully, there aren’t many songs in the film and the length is pretty short (haha, sorry), making Shubh Mangal Saavdhan a breezy watch. The entire cast, especially the leads and Sugandha’s mother, played by the brilliant Seema Pahwa have done an exceptional job. The dialogues by Hitesh Kewalya go perfectly well with the tone of the movie. Despite all the jokes about erectile dysfunction and strange sex problems, the film addresses important things like toxic masculinity, the strange parallel universe our elders are living in, and the importance of sex in a relationship.
Take your parents along for this one!
PS – Have you ever read those sex problem columns in the papers? You know you have. We got Ayushmann and Bhumi to react. Check it out.