'Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari' review: A comic caper that will light up your Diwali
Great laughs, excellent acting and a hint of political messaging make for a good watch.
The story of a desperate-to-get-hitched Punjabi lad whose attempt to tie the knot with a suitable girl is scuttled by an over-zealous wedding detective, Abhishek Sharma’s Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is exactly the kind of movie to lighten your mood this season.
Starring the ever dependable Manoj Bajpayee as the disguise loving neighborhood detective Madhu Mangal Rane and the hilarious Diljit Dosanjh as Suraj Singh Dhillon, the 28-year-old Punjabi heir to a flourishing dairy business, the comic caper never loses steam from the word go. When their paths cross all astrological calculations are thrown aside and the duo go after each other like cats and dogs. Caught up in the midst is Rane’s sister Tulsi (a gorgeous Fatima Sana Shaikh) a seemingly traditional Marathi mulgi who unknown to her family is also moonlighting as ‘Bombay’s first female DJ’.
The writing is brilliant and the humour flows effortlessly, be it the jokes about the family dairy business or Rane’s penchant for dressing up in all sorts of disguises to gather evidence against disreputable grooms. Interestingly it’s a one-sided business with Rane going after only rogue bachelors due to his own tragic back story.
For such a gifted actor surprisingly Bajpayee takes to hamming his way through most of the scenes, in contrast to Diljit’s natural act which seems more spontaneous. But there’s no doubt these two ace their respective roles and with a tight script that gives enough twists and turns, we are kept engaged. Manoj Pahwa and Seema Pahwa as Suraj’s parents stand out as do Annu Kapoor as Rane’s assistant and Supriya Pilgaonkar as his long suffering mum.
The movie is set in 1995 Bombay ahead of the city’s name change to Mumbai and the period is alluded to often enough to drum it into the audience. But oddly it has not much bearing on the story as such especially with most scenes looking as if they are set in current times. Sharma (Tere Bin laden, The Zoya Factor) also references the city’s migrant population - and the fact that they are as much an integral part of the city as its original inhabitants - a powerful message of assimilation and multiculturalism in the current scenario.
If it’s laughs you are looking out for then Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is bound to give you a rollicking time at the cinemas.
Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is currently playing in UAE theatres.
Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Diljit Dosanjh, Fatima Sana Shaikh
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5