Ayushmann Khurana is on a roll this year. He kicked off the year with Meri Pyaari Bindu in May, Bareilly ki Barfi in August, and now Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (SMS) in September. If one actor is rocking this year with great roles in amazing movies, it’s Ayushmann Khurana (Also, I’m a certified Ayushmann Khurana fanboy!).
Just like Ayushmann Khurana’s Vicky Donor tackling the issue of sperm donation in India, SMS tackles the issue of Erectile Dysfunction and the stigma surrounding it. It doesn’t talk about the disease or how it happens or its cure, but it sheds light on the impact ED has on the person having it and the people around him.
SMS treats the subject of ED with utmost respect and dignity. It doesn’t make comedy at its expense or give it a quick magical fix. Ayushmann Khurana’s Mudit Sharma is struggling with under confidence and coping with his shattered self-esteem; all the while running around trying to find a cure for his ED, going as far as suggesting his future wife, Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar) they break of their marriage since he would be unable to keep her happy.
There are so many psychological effects that something like ED has which we all fail to realise when we think about it.
The families of Mudit and Sugandha react differently, but authentically to the news of Mudit’s ED.
Sugandha’s parents, Seema Bhargava and Brijendra Kalra are worried her daughter will be unable to have a fulfilling life with a husband who has ED and the blame and pressure which the society will put on her, not her husband who is the one who has a problem. All throughout the film, they are trying to get Mudit’s ED cured or breaking off the marriage for their daughter. Mudit’s parent’s reactions are more diverse. His father cannot obviously digest the fact that his son can’t get it up, and resorts to blaming Sugandha for the problem. He even goes as far as to get Sugandha married to a Banana tree to cure his own son’s ED; precisely what Sugandha’s father wanted to save her from.
Mudit’s mother on the other hand is aghast; she can’t believe it because she knows Mudit could masturbate before meaning Mudit’s ED is psychological. But like all mother’s, she is supportive of her son throughout.
When both the sets of parents keep on intervening and interfering, it is the children who step in between and tell them to stop. Both of them stand up to their parents for their own decisions and do things on their own terms, which they feel are right.
In Mudit, Ayushmann Khurana brings out the vulnerability and essence of the common man, without overdoing it. Hi face, more often than not tells what he is going through and how much he’s struggling.
The undeniable star of the film is Bhumi Pednekar and her character, Sugandha. Sugandha is the heart of the film. She is the reason why Mudit even tries so hard; why Mudit actually tries to cope with his shattered self-confidence and esteem, fighting against everyone who comes his way. She is a bold, strong character and makes you in awe of the human spirit. The lengths she goes to for her marriage to Mudit, despite the pain she feels, her optimism about Mudit’s ED, and the lengths she goes to make Mudit feel okay about his ED and help him overcome it anyway possible. Her story when seen in isolation is a tear jerker; the length she goes to for Mudit are length most people wouldn’t even go for themselves.
There is a scene where she takes Mudit to a picnic to try and overcome his ED. It starts off funny, but gets too intense too fast and made the entire audience go silent from laughter in seconds out of respect for her emotions.
SMS is also one of the year’s funniest movies. It oozes comedy in funny scenes, and is able to inject a dose of comedy in intense situations. But it never makes any fun at ED and its effect, which is commendable, given how easy it is to make ED into a topic for slapstick comedy and one liner.
All the characters in SMS themselves are half or 3/4 crazy, leading to some awesome double meaning jokes and insanely humorous conversations. You might never see Alibaba as the same ever again.
While one of the leads has a tough time getting it up, you are able to get your sense of humor, happiness and social awareness levels up (What a bad joke XD). It is definitely one of the funniest and most eye opening films of this year.