Satyaprem ki Katha feels like a film that was made with the idea of how one should make Amitabh Bachchan starrer Pink for those who loved watching every Housefull movie from Sajid Nadiadwala. And the script feels like a series of balancing act dialogues just to make things politically correct. With some Kapil Sharma jokes and loud messaging, it feels a bit sad that we need to educate our audience about rape and shame through such a tasteless entertainer.
Satyaprem, aka Sattu, a naive Gujarati boy who failed to complete his LLB course, is our hero. He is a bachelor, and he is in this unrequited love with Katha. When things miraculously favored Satyaprem, his wedding with Katha happened very quickly. But it was evident that Katha wasn’t pleased about the marriage. The reason behind Katha’s dismay and how that affected their relationship is what we see in Satyprem ki Katha.
SPOILER ALERT! See, the intentions here are very noble, and they may even have an excuse that they wanted to cater to a bigger audience who should get involved in the debate. But as someone who has seen many other small-town films like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Badhaai Ho, Bareilly Ki Barfi, etc. I wondered whether it was necessary to make it so loud and full of song and dance to hold the interest of the audience? Writing is jumping from snoring issues and someone being asexual to finally settling on addressing date rape.
Sameer Vidwans, who has predominantly made Marathi films, seems to be clueless about mixing masala and messaging. That five minutes climax of the movie actually deserves to be the entire second half of the film, where Sattu stands with Katha in her fight. But again, the film prioritizes the chance to include humor and songs over addressing the core issue. The interval punch is quickly forgotten as our naive hero turns supportive and optimistic overnight. The “what will the society say?” argument of Sattu’s father, which comes in the film’s last quarter, feels odd considering how “cool” he was made to look until that point. Ayananka Bose brilliantly stages all the beauty shots to give the film that happy outlook. The music is not that catchy, and I don’t even want to get into the whole Pasoori debate. And dear Bollywood, you either don’t make your heroes wear Dhoti or hire a stylist from the south who knows to wear it.
Kartik Aaryan is in his safe zone when he is playing that jobless and unreasonable version of Sattu in the beginning portions of the movie. But the tone-deaf complaining his character makes towards the middle parts and even in the climax is kind of irritating. I know it is intended to make his character look innocent, non-judgemental, and naive. But the way he delivers those lines made me feel that the character was insensitive and borderline stupid. Kiara Advani, on the other hand, gave an excellent performance. She underplays the character’s grief neatly, and I loved how she performed the crucial scene where he talks to Sattu’s family about what she went through. Gajraj Rao and Supriya Pathak are largely wasted in characters that work more as comic reliefs rather than supporting characters with hefty contributions.
Satyaprem ki Katha is not a problematic film. But the thing is, it just feels like lazy filmmaking that uses pertinent topics more as an excuse to glorify the hero’s non-judgemental attitude. The real drama and the inner fight in the story of Satyaprem and Katha will be the one that happens after the climax we saw in the film. And if they had chopped off some of those songs and comedy side tracks, the movie might have actually managed to attain something films like Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Badhaai Ho, etc. achieved.
If they had chopped off some of those songs and comedy side tracks, the movie might have actually managed to attain something films like Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Badhaai Ho, etc. achieved.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended