Sab Kushal Mangal movie review: Akshaye Khanna having fun with his part can't save a film from its flimsy script

Sab Kushal Mangal hits the right notes when Akshaye Khanna is on screen but declines to near pallid when it focuses on the flimsy romance between the couple.

Udita Jhunjhunwala January 03, 2020 12:40:27 IST

2/5

Jabariya shaadi or pakaruah vivaah is the practice of groom-napping: capturing an eligible bachelor and forcibly marrying him to a prospective bride, all for an agreed sum paid to the fixer. In writer-director Karan Vishwanath Kashyap’s film, co-written by Brijendra Kala, local politician Baba Bhandari (Akshaye Khanna) is the designated and reputed fixer of marriages between kidnapped grooms into families unable to pay hefty dowry demands.

Sab Kushal Mangal movie review Akshaye Khanna having fun with his part cant save a film from its flimsy script

A still from Sab Kushal Mangal. YouTube

Papu Mishra, host of a TV news show, identifies Baba Bhandari as a goon committing crimes by forcing young men and women to marry without consent. Baba is displeased and gets a perfect opportunity for reprisal when Papu comes home for Diwali.

At the same time, Mandira’s (Riva Kishan) family, which cannot find an appropriate groom at a mutually acceptable price, has gingerly approached Baba for his intervention. Baba identifies Papu (Priyaank Sharma), kidnaps him, and sets up the marriage.

But what happens when the fixer/kidnapper himself falls for the bride-to-be and the kidnapped groom too is in love with the same girl? And then in order to woo the said girl, what happens when the older, rougher gent enlists the younger more urbanised chap to mould him in a metro type? It is a set up rife with comic possibilities. Except it does not turn out that way in Kashyap’s film.

Khanna seems to be having fun with his moustache, mischief, heartland politician, and rough around-the-edges Casanova character. The film hits the right notes when he is on screen but declines to near pallid when it focuses on the flimsy romance between Sharma and Kishan. There is greater chemistry between Baba’s two sidekicks. Satish Kaushik and Supriya Pathak add sparkle as Papu’s flummoxed parents. Besides the simmering love triangle, there is a fourth character – Baba’s long-time lover, enthusiastically played by Yuvika Chaudhary.

Will the women finally be allowed choose or will the men continue to call the shots? The song ‘Zamana Badal Gaya’ pays lip-service to changing gender dynamics, which, besides Papu’s beliefs, is the only evidence of the commitment of the film to gender equality.

Rating: **

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