Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Directed by Shree Narayan Singh, the film is produced by Akhsay, Neeraj Pandey and KriArj, so yes you do in effect have the team of Baby/ Special 26 around. Which is a good sign.
Based on a true story of a lady leaving her husband’s house due to the fact that it required her to go to the fields every morning in the absence of a toilet at home. Bhoomi Pednekar plays the outspoken girl with liberal parents who have taught their daughter to stand up for the right. Something beautifully shown by the writers and the director in the film.
Akshay plays a 37 year old bachelor pandit, living with his brother Divyendu Sharma and orthodox father, who wont get Akshay married till he finds a lady with two thumbs in her right hand, since his birth charts are wrong. this is post getting him married to a cow, called Mallika.
Somehow these both meet in a train which connects their nearby / adjacent villages and in a sweet romantic manner somehow she too falls in love with Akshay.
A brilliant and topical subject, played by an A lister star, is bound to get eyeballs and will help the cause to cleanliness further. Unfortunately, somehow one doesn’t feel connected by either of the characters, and you tend to have a very detached approach towards the entire film. the film takes too long, right till the interval, to come to the actual process of the toilet building, which required more screen time. Somehow towards the end, everything seems pat on time, including the government machinery of 7 departments including the CM.
Also, the geography of the place left me confused. Akshay and Bhoomi are shown from different villages, apparently couple of train stops away, but still the people in the village move around as if it was the same neighbourhood. For example, the ladies of the lota group, who are to be introduced to Bhoomi on the first day for their morning rituals, (confirming Akshay’s village folks were different), seem to be walking by Bhoomi’s house too along with the lotas! Similarly quite a few instances where the distances between the respective homes left me a little confused.
Akshay is atleast trying to play his age (although 14 years short but not like other superstars, still romancing 26 year olds in the name of ‘seeking something’. ) and it is commendable that a star of his stature who is also king of action and masala entertainers, keeps coming with movies with a social/ serious message too. They might not all be entertainers but still the time, effort and money being put in by him and his team is commendable and kudos to that.
Divyendu is the entertainment aspect in the film and has the best dialogues throughout. He carries on the role of the younger brother who has his father’s ear, brilliantly.
Rajesh Sharma, Anupam Kher provide adequate support but Anupam is brilliant in his cameo.
This is a serious subject and hence might not be entertainment, laced with poor songs, but this is cinema one should watch once atleast. So you realise how life in rural India (and many cities) still is.
Does it have The Y Factor : YES
RATING : 2/5