Sab Kushal Mangal: A woebegone satire

Film: Sab Kushal Mangal

Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Satish Kaushik, Supriya Pathak, Priyaank Sharma, Riva Kishan, Rakesh Bedi, Jaya Ozha

Director: Karan Vishwanath Kashyap

Rating: * * 1/2

The title is obviously a play on the ‘All is Well?’ greeting but its quite obvious that this attempted satire’s aiming to undo the unremitting tedium of ‘Jabariya Jodi’- which in retrospect, almost appears to be it’s cinema twin, remains unrealised. The storyline of this Akshaye Khanna starrer is similar to that of the Siddharth Malhotra-Parineeti Chopra starrer, so there’s nothing original here to latch on to other than the treatment. There have been other films around the same theme where the bride and the groom are forced into tying the knot without any room for individual consent but none unique enough to catch the attention of the discerning viewer.

Pappu Mishra (Priyaank Sharma/ Padmini Kolhapure’s real life son) an anchor for a popular reality show ‘Musibat Ode li Maine’ who has just exposed the Pakadwa Shaadi custom rampant in his home town Karnalganj, falls prey to the same ill. A local politician-goon Baba Bhandari (Akshaye Khanna in resplendent scene chewing form) has captured him as husband for local spitfire Mandira (Riva Kishan/Ravi Kishan’s real life daughter). It all starts coming to a head when Mandira lets Pappu out from his enforced prison and Baba begins to look on this event as a godsend for his own amorous pursuit of the village belle.

Unfortunately for the viewer, it’s not a very convincing plot. The casting comes undone because the belle that everyone is in hot pursuit of here looks too much like her father to be considered beautiful as per established cinematic custom. Other than token representations of bossiness and irreverence towards the male gender, Mandira doesn’t display any special quality that could be called endearing to the opposite sex.

The set-up is thus rather facile and unbelievable. While the two young actors Priyaank and Riva are talented enough to rise above the limitations of their poorly scripted, conceived and structured roles, they don’t work up a convincing chemistry and neither is their effort enough to make this experience engrossing. Stalwarts like Satish Kaushik, Supriya Pathak and Rakesh Bedi do well to install respect with their presence. Akshaye Khanna’s confident, campy, spoofy representation of Baba Bhandari is the real pay-off here.

Unfortunately the writing is not light enough to produce any major laughs and the direction puts far too much emphasis around the unravelling to make this experience a credible or smartly entertaining one.

Johnsont307@gmail.com

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