Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma, Raghubir Yadav
He did it once with Dum Laga Ke Haisha, he took a story about a chubby girl and her reluctant husband, and turned it into a victory of love and relationships. It won him a national award. So when the same trio – Sharat Katariya, Maneesh Sharma and YRF came together – you automatically expected a sweet, sensitive film – this time with bigger stars. You are partially right – about the sweet thing.
So, we have Mauji (Varun Dhawan), and like his name he is a mann-mauji, who always believes ‘Sab badiya hai’, his mother is ailing but sab badiya hai, his father rants at him from sun up to sun down but sab badiya hai, his employer uses him mercilessly and yet, pokes fun at him and humiliates him – but sab badiya hai. It is when his wife, Mamta, finally tells him to grow a backbone, does Mauji realise there is someone who has faith in him, who sees him capable of doing something more, something better.
Of course, the situation at home doesn’t change but he quits working for his hideous employer and starts his own bijness (business). Of course, it doesn’t take off from the word go, after all nothing in Mauji’s life goes right. However, despite his spate of bad luck, his lady love who embroiders like a dream doesn’t give up and doesn’t let him give up either.
In the subsequent days, there is struggle, there is triumph and the underdog becomes the victor. The crux of the story is pretty regular but what works for the film is Varun Dhawan. The man comes with his own brand of charm. He manages to make the audience laugh and cry as spontaneously as he breathes. As a tailor, he is adorable and efficient. He manages to look the part efficiently too. Of course, part of the charm of this film is watching Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma play non-glamorous people. Just watching Anushka Sharma drape that floral saree, wearing a sweater, sans make-up playing a rural girl - a personality so against the grain of the Anushka Sharma we know – makes the movie exceptional. That and the chemistry between the lead actors…
Mauji and Mamta’s silent romance is one of the sweetest thing you see the film. With the kind of work hours the two put, romance is perhaps the last thing on their mind and yet, somehow their love is palpable, which makes it real and beautiful. Having said that, the pace of the film is a too slow, and there aren’t really any massive surprises you expect in the film, as a result there is nothing that you look forward to.
The audience might not be able to relate to the struggle of the characters, though they might empathise with them. So the film starts getting a little sad towards the middle, and the audience as a result, gets restless.
There is humour in the dialogues which are written very simply and thus effectively, but the situations are not ha-ha worthy. As a result the ending makes you smile rather than pump your fists in the air and say, ‘Yeah, Mauji, you did it, man!’ Unfortunately, the essence of an underdog film, should be feeling the latter!
Perhaps the lead in the film just wanted to be a part of a National award winning director’s film – but the ulterior motive behind the film is obvious and certainly doesn’t help in making the project entertaining to the audience. And the onus of making a good film falls squarely on the director’s shoulders, and while Sharat doesn’t disappoint, he certainly doesn’t impress.
Those coming into the theatres might certainly not look for a rollicking hilarious entertainer, but the movie could have been shorter and crisper by at least fifteen more minutes. This is a sweet-dhaaga, but it doesn’t create a lasting bond.