Direction & Screenplay: Sharat Katariya Production Company: Yashraj Films Cast: Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Raghuvir Yadav, Yasmin Das Cinematography: Anil Mehta Editing: Charu Shree Roy Sound: Shajith Koyeri, Ganesh Gangadharan Music: Anu Malik
Hindi / Drama, Social / 123 mins / India / 2018
Yashraj Films gets 50 per cent marks – for trying. Actually, that’s unfair. The same marks should be divided between performances, concept and hard work. I am keeping back the balance 50 per cent and you will soon know why! Weaving dreams is great, being ambitious is fantastic and aiming for the moon extremely admirable. But then again, not every time can the formula of small towners making it big in a bigger city, be re-lived to success. And in this context, let’s talk about the latest offering from one of India’s most successful production houses – Sui Dhaaga.
So here is Mamta, Mauji’s wife who feels bad for her husband when he is literally and figuratively told to behave like a dog and is treated like one by his employer’s son. And that becomes a trigger for her and him to try and make it big on their own steam. Without going into detail, suffice to say that as the kow-towing wife of a small town, ordinary bloke who has no ambitions till his wife makes him realize his worth, Anushka Sharma as Mamta is convincing. Full marks to her. Sharma manages to come across as the quiet but dynamic force behind a well-meaning but slightly daft man who values himself too little. Varun Dhawan as Mauji is also good when it comes to playing the servile peon in a sewing machine shop, till his ambition gets the better of him. That he is dominated by an unhappy, traditional father (Raghuvir Yadav – commendable as always) adds to his daily travails but his desire to succeed is far more important.
Its not the concept that jars. It’s the treatment that is indigestible. I mean, you suddenly cannot step out of an obvious small town galli ka ghar in Kanpur and land up straight in an equally obvious Connaught Place, Delhi trying to pass off as a posh marketplace in your neighbourhood! Since when did one of India’s most recognisable commercial centres pass off for Kanpur dehat’s mohalla market! The jarring note starts from there. When you are attempting so desperately to root a story in small town India, don’t rush to the hub of shopping and try to blend the two. Then the effort to sign up for and find a place in a national fashion show to showcase creations which – very, very certainly are not Mauji’s brainchild is a bit rich. The fact that in a month – they go from spinning yarn (on charkhas no less) to dyeing cloth, to producing world class garments to compete on a national stage and finding the time to model their creations too – well, little else need be said. And I am not giving away anything more, just in case you still seriously want to go and see the film!
Contrast this with Sharat Katariya’s earlier outing Dum Laga Ke Haisha – which was not only believable but also so much fun to watch. There he had stayed true its essence but in Sui Dhaaga he gets carried away. What’s wrong in keeping the canvas smaller, the characters ordinary and the platform to prove themselves a little more believable? The film’s subject is credible, it tries to be everyman but its also Yashraj – so I suppose, there is only so much of small town it can become! I am thinking of their other products like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi; Bunty aur Babli; Ishaqzaade and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. Some of which worked and some which were pushed to work. But of that in another article. In Sui Dhaaga’s case, you can be very sure that it will be a case of pushing it to declare it a hit. After all, it is a Yashraj film and how can it make anything less than a 100 crores? By the way, the tickets for Sui Dhaaga are INR 100/- more at the local multiplex than the other release of the week – Patakha. At Yashraj, anything is possible!