On its release, Shubh Mangal Savdhan had turned out to be a good success. It was also more to do with the fact that it was a concept based film made on a controlled budget and hence even with limited audience footfalls, the economics were safe. Moreover, the concept was truly new as well (erectile dysfunction) and hence audiences were shocked and in the process also entertained. That said, the film didn’t entirely boast of many convincing moments. As a matter of fact the climax was truly unbelievable and found its share of polarized views.
Circa 2020 and now that the second installment of the franchise has been unveiled, it’s the same issue all over again. Just like the first in the series, this one too has quite a few now-what-was-that moments that prevent it from turning out to be a wholesome entertainer that it aimed to be.
Of course the very genre and the theme has its own limitations. When you are making a film about two homosexuals [Ayushmann Khurranna, Jitendra Kumar] and that too in a mainstream set up, you are already in an experimental mode where you have to get things truly right. It is one thing to go niche in your treatment [My Brother Nikhil] or camouflage the whole premise [Dostana]. However, when you are catering to a larger ‘junta’ out there, the ingredients need to be just right there to entice a more favorable response.
Not that first time director Hitesh Kewalya wasn’t aiming for that. As a matter of fact the promo did give a good enough indication of a light hearted film in the offering. This means there are a few moments in there where you indeed roll over laughing. On the other hand there is this whole smile-through mood as well which is created at certain junctures of the narrative. It is just that beyond a point when the whole idea has been established, there isn’t much that is left to be told.
This is where the presence of supporting cast comes in handy because they help keep things reasonably exciting, albeit intermittently. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta, who played Ayushmann Khurranna’s parents in Badhaai Ho, are back in Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan as well, and they are reliable as ever. Manu Rishi Chaddha is a riot all over again and his one liners do catch attention. Others chip in as well though after a while you do start missing the fact that in the current state of stardom that he enjoys, Ayushmann Khurranna needed to more out there.
Of course, he is quite good in the scenes where he appears. After a series of hit films that he has delivered in last three years with seven back to back successes, Ayushmann is of course high in confidence and the self-assurance shows. It’s just that this time around he doesn’t manage to muster up a water tight script, something that has been a hallmark of majority of his last few released. Jitendra Kumar manages to hold on his own even with many other experienced actors around and justifies his presence in well chosen part.
However, it’s just that had the film actually managed to cover the distance and gone beyond just making a statement while keeping the entertainment quotient alive right through, Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan could have emerged as a much better entertainer than what it eventually turns out to be.