'Sab Kushal Mangal' review: Everything is not fine with this romantic comedy
Akshaye Khanna is probably the only good thing about this convoluted film around forced marriages.
Whether Sab Kushal Mangal is a mindless romantic comedy or a paean to forced marriages is a question that will plague you throughout the movie.
Helmed by debutant director Karan Vishwanath Kashyap, the movie centres around a small-town political goon Baba Bhandari (played with absolute aplomb by Akshaye Khanna) who forcibly gets local boys married off to girls whose hapless families can't meet the dowry demands of the grooms' side.
When a hotshot media personality (their words, not ours) Pappu Mishra (Priyaank Sharma) is kidnapped off the streets by Baba's henchmen to be married off to local girl Mandira Shukla (debutant Riva Kishen) confusion abounds.
Without giving off too much plot points suffice to say the convoluted three-way love story that develops between the trio ensures the movie meanders through 2 and a half hours before coming to a final end.
Padmini Kolhapuri's son Priyaank makes a decent enough debut though we have to admit his 'Pappu hairstyle' is a huge distraction throughout the movie. In fact, it is the roguish Baba who captures our hearts and drives the movie, rather than the fickle 'love at first sight' couple Pappu and Mandira.
Udayprakash 'Pappu' Mishra, we are constantly told, is something of a celebrity in the small town of Karnalganj. He is described as a local hero who is a hit with the girls. While admittedly the charm doesn't translate well on the big screen, even the tepid romance that develops between him and an infatuated Manda, who initially shows great potential as a spunky girl, fails to excite us.
Supriya Pathak and Satish Kaushik who play Pappu's parents and Rakesh Bedi who essays Manda's father, in fact, do more to keep us entertained. And of course, Khanna, who single-handedly needs to be credited for lifting this movie from a flaccid small-town romantic comedy into a watchable one.
As a love-struck small town don who undergoes a 360-degree transformation into a coffee guzzling, jeans-clad 'metro' man, only to please a girl, he strikes all the right notes. Faced with the truth about Mandira's real love, at the end of the movie, when he asks, 'but why didn't you tell me earlier?', you tend to echo his sentiment.
Sab Kushal Mangal is a film that's confused about its own intentions. Watch only if you are an Akshaye Khanna fan. And hopefully, the sequel (the message is loud and clear at the end of the movie) will be built around a more robust and feisty story between Baba and his 14-year-long romance with Nilu.
Movie: Sab Kushal Mangal
Director: Karan Vishwanath Kashyap
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Priyaank Sharma, Riva Kishen, Supriya Pathak, Satish Kaushik, Mrunal Jain, Rakesh Bedi
Rating: 2. 5 out of 5