Modi is the flavour of the season.
However, a 3-hour potty flavour is a stench hard to take. That is in offer in
Shree Narayan Singh’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. He is constipated, potty
concerned. There is no dictate that as a nation open defecation is almost a
national emblem. It needs correction. It is not a minute early. However, when
popular cinema becomes political propaganda, questions throw up serious issues
Keshav (Akshay Kumar) falls in love with Jaya (Bhoomi Padnekar). Living under the patriarchal of his Dad (Sudhir Pandey) and his Brother (Divyendu Sharma). Everything is fine until Jaya is asked to join the ‘lota’ gang which would require the ladies in the village to go out for open defecation in the fields in twilight hours. After a few futile attempts to build a toilet in the home, she walks out of the matrimonial home. A real life incident of a lady asking for divorce on the ground that the house does not have a toilet becomes the theme of the story.
What works: Bhoomi Padnekar (heroine) and Divyendu Sharma are so spirited and honestly engaging that you are tempted to sit through potty drama for nearly 3 hours. The topic is obviously of great national concern and therefore relevance helped. Then there is Akshay Kumar. Purple form. Except Entertainment, he hasn’t put a foot wrong in the last few years. This outing again places him in amazing form. He brings a signature sincerity to the toilet visit.
What doesn’t: Everything else. The film maker hasn’t eaten enough to engage you for 3 hours in the toilet. The flush isn’t working. Propaganda with pot shots at the Congress and awesome reference to the party in power gives the film a needless political hue and robs the film of its artistic credentials.
Hopefully, some day, film makers here will understand the value of brevity and learn to use sharp scissors.