Film Reviews Reviews

Toilet Ek Prem Katha : When Toilet Isn’t The Bad Thing

Written by Omair Alavi

By: Omair Alavi They don’t make prem kathas like this anymore. Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey’s Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is one of those films the title of which depress you but the content and execution impress you. One look at the trailer suggests that it might be a docu drama about the lack…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Aug 23, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

By: Omair Alavi

They don’t make prem kathas like this anymore. Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey’s Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is one of those films the title of which depress you but the content and execution impress you. One look at the trailer suggests that it might be a docu drama about the lack of toilets in India but in reality, it is one of those films which make people like us in Pakistan thank the Founder of the Nation more than ever for being so far-sighted.

The Plot

36-year old bachelor Keshav (Akshay Kumar in yet another impressive performance) has just one wish – to get married. When he finally does so after fooling his father (Sudhir Pandey), there comes another problem. His wife Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar) is a well-educated individual who doesn’t want to go outside to defecate. Hence, she leaves him because of a toilet, with the hint that she will only return when he has found the solution to her problem. Along with his brother Naru (Divyendu Sharma), Keshav goes out on a mission to do what no man had done before in his village. Does he get back his wife or does she leave him for good … watch the film to end the suspense!

The Good

The best thing about the film is that Akshay Kumar gets to play his age (36, instead of 49) with a common Indian problem – his father has conditions for his marriage that humans can’t fulfill. Before the Toilet saga, he had to encounter that and believe me, had the script not been as good as it turned out to be, many would have left the cinema before the arrival of the issue. Some of the dialogues even have repeat value that can’t be said of many Indian films released this year. Sudhir Pandey is excellent as the father who believes in everything except his sons while Anupam Kher in his small role is as efficient as the modern grandpa who decided to move ahead and prosper. The direction is top notch because to convey such a message, you need brilliant packaging which is available here.

The Bad

In the first half, Bhumi Pednekar doesn’t look like she is fit to play the character of Jaya but post interval, she matches each and every dialogue by Akshay Kumar. Shubha Khote doesn’t have many dialogues in the film which doesn’t suit an actor of her caliber. There is a lot of Hindi used in the film that people in Pakistan couldn’t understand – in fact, they laughed at many a joke assuming that it was supposed to be a joke. The Hans Mat Pagli track and its background score have been credited to Vickey Prasad when in fact it has been lifted from Laxmikant – Pyarelal’s song Main Sola Baras Ki from Karz. The film is 155 minutes long and had it been 20-25 minutes shorter, it might have come out as even better.

Verdict – 3.5/5

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is one of the few intelligent films that Bollywood has produced this year – what if it carries forward the message of the country’s Prime Minister! Had it been a propaganda film, it wouldn’t have been inspired by a real life story where a new bride demanded a divorce from her husband due to the absence of a toilet. The best thing about this Shree Narayan Singh flick is that be it in India or in Pakistan, you end up cheering for Akshay Kumar who tried everything to win back his wife, including buying the (kitchen) sink, literally!

About the author

Omair Alavi