Mikhil Musale decides to tread the narrow path that our cinema is getting increasingly familiar with. The presence of Raj Kummar Rao ensures a certain sensitivity quotient. Invariably there is something to take home about in most of his films. As one of the prime runners of sane Avant Garde cinema, he alongside the likes of Ayushmaan, Nawazuddin, carries not just the film but the cause of middle-stream cinema on his shoulders. While Nawaz goes off-track ever so often, Raj continues to add credibility to films he is part of.
Somewhat in lines with Khandani Safakhana, hereto cinema makes bold to get sex out from the closet and into the public arena for discussion. Raghu (Raj Kummar Rao) is the unsuccessful blundering branch of a family of businessmen. His cousin Devraj (Sumeet Vyas) and uncle Vhinde Bhai (Manoj Joshi) have constant digs at his multiple aborted business vehicles. On a trip to China with cousin Devraj, he meets up with traders of a Chinese recipe: Magic Soup. The new recipe is an aphrodisiac. The narrative begins with a high-ranking Chinese visitor to an Indo-China summit in Ahmedabad falling prey on consumption of the said recipe. An investigation begins pointing to the doorstep of Raghu. Raghu’s wife Rukmini (Mouni Roy) is a seemingly liberated woman – has a drink and shares the carcinomic stick with him. When the scandal of his spouse selling sex drugs goes public, she is unable to take it. Assisting Raghu in the sales of the Chinese recipe is the local andrologist Dr Vardhi (Boman Irani). A high-level inquiry stalls the entrepreneural success of the doctor businessman. While orthodox moral policemen ridicule the new business idea, on the sly the business of their product goes up. It is here that the film gets a thematic punch with the protagonists pushing for more transparency and light on talking about sex and selling the idea that sex is not a four-letter word. How the linear solution is sorted out makes for the upward swing part of the story.
The cast is too pigeon hold and even those who defy definition are defined. The film, however, belongs partly to the later part when it thematically calls the bluff of double speak and to the no-nonsense performance from Raj Kummar Rao. Yet again, the actor is typically commonplace and yet is aesthetically endearing. Boman Irani may be a tad theatric which he overcomes with customary confidence. The earlier part of the narrative is meandering. You wish you had the fast forward remote in your hand.
This long lasting Made in China product may cater but will not last.