Toilet Ek Prem Katha Film Review: Love’s Loo Lost

| August 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

Well in one of a parable there comes a time when all organs of the body have to acknowledge grudgingly that after all ar** is the boss.

Then there is a famous quip by Forrest Gump: Shit, it happens.

Between these two the entire premise of Toilet-Ek Prem Katha is encapsulated whereby the call of nature is mired in social customs,prejudices and traditions. Culprit as usual is religious sanction that in this case is Manu Smriti, the compendium of Do’s and Don’t for Hindus.

I wonder what about other communities that are governed by their own guidebooks.

Leaving aside these nagging issues  for a while, there is no denying the fact that open defecation is a big nuisance in our country.

The country itself is divided into two distinct terrains- rural and urban,whereby urbanites may wonder about what all one has to endure in a rural setting when it comes to answering nature’s call.

TEPK addresses the issue on the canvas of a fictional village near Mathura, where womenfolk go in groups before sunrise or after sunset to relieve themselves in fields,trying to hide their identities with duppattas and sarees. It is humiliating to say the least,but that does not take away from their daily chatter that mostly revolves around matters sexual.

In this milieu Keshav aka Akshay Kumar,shown to be in his late thirties woos a city educated girl Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar).
The wooing itself can in present environs be labelled as stalking-a criminal offence.

After much opposition she relents,as she has to,and they get married.

Post first night,Jaya gets shock of her life when she comes to know that there is no toilet at her husband’s home!

She throws a tantrum that leads to many jugaad(i.e.makeshift,improvised solutions) by Keshav to provide toilet facilities to his lady love.

But tantrum results in an ultimatum that without toilet at home Jaya is not returning from her parents’ home.

Rest of the story is how Keshav goes about fighting the prejudices,traditions sanctioned by religion, fixed mind sets ( especially his Bauji aka Sudhir Pande, the village Panchayat and the sundry menfolk).

Based on true incident and characters, TEPK has a frothy and funny first half till the wooing, mariage and jugaad schemes of Keshav.

It has some amusing romantic moments, some chukling one-liners.

Its in the second half that the whole scenario loses its sense of humour and goes ballistic on melodrama,forced emotions, some bizarre twists that talk of Toilet scams by govt, and lots of preaching about Swachh Bharat mission.

Its the performances and simmering chemistry between the lead pair Akshay and Bhumi that keeps you seated. Bhumi’s voluptuousness and feisty attitude give her brownie points.

Editor turned director S Narayan Singh has tripped on his forte–the editing,that could have been crispier,but fashions a reasonably well crafted film with the material available.

Siddharth-Garima as a writing duo spread the material thin resulting in a love story that results in numerous opportunities for loo breaks.

It could have been a searing satire on things unmentionable but is reduced to promotional campaign for the governments drive against open defecation.

Though many questions remain unanswered,still TEPK is watchable going by the recent yardstick : is the movie worse than #JabHarryMetSejal?.If not, then it can be watched depending upon how urgent is your need- not to relieve, but for relief in these constipated times.

Rating:

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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema's keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema's chameleon like traits.

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