Dear Manoj Bajpayee,
Happy Diwali to you and your team and I admire your guts to be the first film to march into the theatres after the pandemic.
I’m not sure if the audience will flock in when the trailer was rather tepid and Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari seems more apt for an OTT platform than for a large scale theatrical release.
However, director Abhishek Sharma whose Parmanu impressed me immensely took me by surprise. What a joyful ride, at least up to a point.
With you playing Madhu Mangal Rane, a mean marriage spoiler, it was a refreshingly different character to encounter. A detective with a flair for disguises who spies on prospective grooms to warn the bride’s families, you aced the first scene. Dressed as a traditional Maharashtrian lady on Vad Purnima, it was the perfect start.
But Diljit Dosanjh as Suraj Singh Dhillon, the hearty Sardar whose family runs a prosperous dairy business, has such a flair for comedy that he matched you at every step. And Diljit has a way of bringing an endearing energy to his act especially when his heart is on display.
Abhishek also built up the romance between Diljit and your sister Tulsi (pronounced Tulashi) rather convincingly.
Many of the dialogues too matched the characters with lines related to dairy products for the Sardar family and the Maharashtrian Ranes breaking into zaala and chalaa.
I loved your banter with Supriya Pilgaonkar though she definitely didn’t look like your mother. Unconvincing casting out there.
Manoj and Seema Pahwa as Diljit’s parents were comfortable and though Fatima Sana Shaikh looks slightly manly, she carried herself well as Tulsi Rane.
Now, let me crib.
I’m curious why it had to be set in the mid-90s when the background wasn’t always consistent with the period.
Also, think about this. Madhu Rane’s mission was only to ensure that a girl didn’t trapped by a wrong marriage. But going to the extreme of wrecking his sister’s happiness with a pack of lies was far-fetched and out of character, wasn’t it?
I also thought a light-hearted film like this should’ve been short and sweet. Itna lamba kaiko banaya?
But Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari does make a good celebratory start for post-lockdown entertainment.
Wishing all of you auspicious times,
Bharathi S Pradhan