'Toilet, Ek Prem Katha' review: A film not to be ignored
The lead pair makes the film relatable
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha deals with a socially relevant and not widely discussed topic in our living rooms - open defecation.
As the trailer showcased, the film is about a newly married couple, played by Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar, living in rural-ish India. The wife walks out of her husband's home within days of her marriage as they don't have a toilet at home and she is against the idea of defecating in the open, with the 'Lota Party' of the village.
Enter the age-old traditions of the village, disagreeing with the newer generation on the need to have toilets for safety and better hygiene of the women. How the couple spearheads a revolution and finally makes the village and the government at large agree to build toilets in their community, forms the crux of the film.
Talking about the lead cast, Akshay Kumar has always delivered his A-game in Neeraj Pandey films - be it Special 26, Baby or even the not-so-successful Rustom and this role comes naturally to him. He is playing his age, of a not-married bachelor in his late 30s and dons the role of a helpless crusader, fighting for his wife's cause. Bhumi is a refreshing face in Hindi cinema and made an impressive debut in 2015's Dum Laga Ke Haisha. She plays her role of a traditional wife as convincingly as the strong-willed lady who challenges male stereotypes like covering her head in the house, riding a male bicycle to open defecation.
A special mention should be made of Divyendu Sharma, the excellent actor from Pyaar ka Panchnama, who plays the role of Akshay Kumar's brother. He is the perfect wingman and stands with Akshay through thick and thin and probably has equal, if not more screen time than the leading lady. We would have loved to see more of Anupam Kher too. All we know is his is a man with progressive thoughts and is fixated with Sunny Leone!
The first half of the film is crisp and tightly packed but the same can't be said about the other half. After interval, the film tends to get a bit preachy but that is expected if you have a much-debatable topic like open defecation to be addressed. It might feel a bit predictable but it is not something you can't sit through. Neeraj Pandey, after his last film, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story doesn't disappoint with this one.
Overall, it is a good entertainer which leaves you with a food for thought after you exit the movie hall. Yes, you might hear the word ' toilet' multiple times throughout the film but you will soon get comfortable with it. Go for the film, if you are looking for a well-scripted film backed by power-packed performances by the actors.
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Divyendu Sharma, Anupam Kher.
Directed by Shree Narayan Singh
Now playing at theatres in the UAE