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(Video review posted on 15th November; textual review on 13th)
Zee Studios’ Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is a comedy. It is about the game of oneupmanship which two persons play.
Suraj Singh Dhillon (Diljit Dosanjh) is a Sikh who lives with his father (Manoj Pahwa), mother (Seema Pahwa) and younger sister, Guddi (Vanshika Sharma). They have a business of milk and milk products. Madhu Mangal Rane (Manoj Bajpayee) is a Maharashtrian who runs a wedding detective agency. He spies on prospective grooms and reports about their character to the parents of the prospective brides. In this way, he has broken impending marriages of many couples.
Madhu Rane similarly becomes responsible for the family of a prospective bride for Suraj to refuse the marriage proposal. Obviously, Suraj swears revenge. But Suraj falls in love with Madhu Rane’s sister, Tulshi Rane (Fatima Sana Shaikh). While trying to woo Tulshi, Suraj also takes his revenge on Madhu. From here on, the game of oneupmanship between Suraj and Madhu Rane starts. Aiding Suraj is his bosom pal, Sukhi (Manuj Sharma). Advising Madhu is his friend (Annu Kapoor).
There’s also a back story of why Madhu became a wedding detective. He was to have gotten married to his girlfriend, Kavya (Neha Pendse), but that didn’t happen. She ended up marrying the wrong person, a professor (Vijay Raaz) suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
What happens in the end? Does Suraj get his lady love? Or does Madhu Rane get Tulshi married off to a boy of his choice? Between Suraj and Madhu, who proves one up on whom?
Shokhi Banerjee’s story is interesting and very funny. Not just new incidents, there are new characters and new angles too in the story. For instance, the love story is of a turbaned Sikh boy and a Maharashtrian girl; Madhu Rane is a wedding detective who has broken many proposed marriages. The story has plenty of turns and twists, which keep the interest of the viewers alive. The screenplay, penned by Rohan Shankar, is pretty engaging. The drama progresses at a good pace and keeps the audience entertained because it is full of light moments. There are some dull moments when Suraj disappears from the scene for some time, but every time he appears, the audience has good fun. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Suraj is the film’s mainstay. Yes, the Maharashtrian flavour in a couple of scenes is overpowering and while that may be loved by the audience in Maharashtra, it would not be liked half as much by the rest of India. Having said that, it must be added that the comedy quotient definitely transcends borders and entertains everybody. Yes, the comedy may often be far-fetched and over the top but one doesn’t hunt for logic because the comedy makes one laugh and smile all through. Rohan Shankar’s dialogues are true gems. They are, in one word, exceptional. They evoke laughter and even guffaws.
Diljit Dosanjh is extraordinary as Suraj Singh Dhillon. His performance is so honest and has so much integrity that the viewers fall in love with him. His sense of comic timing is exceptional, and his facial expressions and body language are to die for. Fatima Sana Shaikh looks very pretty and acts very well. Her sarees and dresses are eye-catching. Manoj Bajpayee is splendid as Madhu Mangal Rane. He plays the scheming and wily wedding detective and then the manipulative brother, blinded by the desire for revenge, with elan. Annu Kapoor leaves a wonderful mark. Supriya Pilgaonkar is very entertaining as the mother of Tulshi and Madhu. Manuj Sharma (as Sukhi) lends brilliant support. Seema Pahwa is first-rate as Suraj’s mother. Her facial expressions are superb. Manoj Pahwa plays Suraj’s father to perfection. Vanshika Sharma is mind-blowing as Guddi. Her one-word utterances are conveyed with such lovely expressions that she ends up making people laugh. Neha Pendse looks very beautiful as Kavya. Her acting is natural to the core. Vijay Raaz stands out as the professor with OCD. He is very funny. Neeraj Sood makes his presence beautifully felt in the role of the match-maker. Rohan Shankar, as the prospective bridegroom who instantly agrees to Madhu Rane’s wedding proposal for Tulshi, is excellent. His performance is supremely natural and hilarious. Bhushan Dhupkar, as the other prospective groom for Tulshi, acts well in a tiny role. In special appearances, Karishma Tanna and Abhishek Banerjee are impressive in the ‘Basanti’ song. Others lend very good support.
Abhishek Sharma’s direction is lovely. He has extracted very good work from out of his actors. His narrative style is sharp and he is able to entertain the audience right from the word ‘go’. Music (Javed-Mohsin) is good. The ‘Basanti’ and title songs are catchy. The other songs are also good. Lyrics (Danish Sabri, Kunaal Verma, Akshay Shinde and Mellow D) are quite nice. Vijay Ganguly’s choreography is eye-filling. Kingshuk Chakravarty’s background music is very impactful and complements the drama very well. Anshuman Mahaley’s cinematography is superb. Vikram Singh Dahiya’s action scenes are effective. Rajat Poddar’s production designing and Parijat Poddar’s art direction are of a fine standard. Rameshwar S. Bhagat’s editing is very sharp.
On the whole, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is a well-written and well-made comedy which keeps the audiences entertained. It boasts of very good performances and deserves to score at the ticket windows. Since it is the first new release after almost eight months, and also because the public is still fearful about contracting the coronavirus, it is to be seen whether the audiences come to the cinemas in hordes. The word of mouth for the film will definitely be very good.
It will be released on 15-11-’20 in Bombay and all over by Zee Studios.