An Ayushmann Khurrana movie is not merely a movie but an event. He is one of the most exciting actors currently and makes outlier choices that combine social messages with quality cinema. Unfortunately, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is not one of them.
It has all the ingredients, make no mistake. That Romeo can love Majnu, it doesn’t always have to be Juliet. That Jack doesn’t always have to go up the hill with Jill, he can do so with Johnny as well. And that “Jaa Simran jaa, jee le apni zindagi” can sometimes apply to Aman as well.
But the movie restricts itself to the high concept. The relationship between Aman (Jeetu) and Kartik (Khurrana) is not developed enough before they are thrown into the Tripathi family in Allahabad which like all Bollywood small-town families is shown as a collection of quirks and comics.
There is the cousin Maanvi Gagroo who is called Googles because that’s what she wears; there’s Neena Gupta, the mother and Gajraj Rao, the father, living their adhi adhuri zindagi and making the best of not having married their first loves. And there is the always dependable Manu Rishi playing the uncle.
But we’ve had our fill of that, charming as these characters are. There needed to be more than mere progressive speeches and passionate kisses between the two male leads to keep our interest in the movie. Unfortunately, the direction is very loose and Hitesh Kewalya, the writer of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, is not in control of the subject.
The most exciting thing about the movie is the end credits, which is a seventies-style disco rendition of Yaar bina pyaar kahan re, with a surprise appearance by Bappi Lahiri. If only the rest of the film was as much fun.