Yash Raj Films’ The Great Indian Family (UA) is the story of a Hindu priest’s son whose profession (of a bhajan singer) comes under question when there’s a doubt that the son may actually be a Muslim by birth.

Vedvyas Tripathi alias Bhajan Kumar alias Billu (Vicky Kaushal) is the son of Hindu priest Siyaram Tripathi (Kumud Mishra). He has a twin sister, Gunja (Srishti Dixit). He lives in Balrampur with his father, sister, paternal aunt (Alka Amin), paternal uncle, Balakram Tripathi (Manoj Pahwa), his wife (Sadiya Siddiqui), and house help, Rampyari (Bharti Perwani). Billu sings bhajans at religious functions, weddings and prayer meetings and is very popular in Balrampur. Priest Jagannath Mishra (Yashpal Sharma) resents the popularity of the Tripathi family.

All hell breaks loose when Billu reads a letter meant for his father. The letter reveals that Billu was born a Muslim. Circumstances force Billu to leave his home. Billu’s friend, Sarweshwar (Ashutosh Ujjwal), misuses this information to seek revenge on Billu as he feels betrayed by the latter. Actually, Jasmeet Jalandhar (Manushi Chhillar) and Billu love each other but Sarweshwar feels that Billu has snatched away Jasmeet from him. Soon, the news about Billu being a Muslim by birth becomes a controversial topic in the whole of Balrampur, thanks to rival priest Jagannath Mishra. A big contract for the wedding of Aishwarya Malpani (Saloni Khanna) slips out of the hands of the Tripathis because of Billu’s supposed antecedents. All this happens while Siyaram Tripathi is away on a pilgrimage. What happens on his return?

Vijay Krishna Acharya has written a fairly engrossing story about religious faiths. His screenplay is quite entertaining and engaging as the family drama has a dash of comedy and some emotions too. Of course, the climax is not the best when compared to the build-up against the Tripathis but it, nevertheless, is good insofar as it talks of communal harmony. The sentiments in the post-interval portion do touch the heart and some scenes would definitely make the weak-hearted cry. Romance is almost missing. Vijay Krishna Acharya’s dialogues are both, weighty and entertaining.

Vicky Kaushal does full justice to his role. He gets into the skin of Billu’s character and performs ably, making a comfortable place for himself in the hearts of the viewers. Manushi Chhillar is quite nice as Jasmeet Jalandhar but she gets very limited scope. Kumud Mishra makes a wonderful mark in the role of Siyaram Tripathi. Manoj Pahwa has some lovely moments as Billu’s paternal uncle, Balakram Tripathi. Srishti Dixit makes her mark as Billu’s twin sister, Gunja. Alka Amin is natural as Billu’s paternal aunt, Sushila Kumari. Sadiya Siddiqui has her moments as Balakram’s wife, Hema Tripathi. Bharati Perwani is natural as house help Rampyari. Yashpal Sharma makes his presence amply felt in the role of Jagannath Mishra. Bhuvan Arora (as Billu’s friend, Bhatta) and Ashutosh Ujjwal (as Billu’s friend, Sarweshwar) provide excellent support. Aasif Khan is good as Tulsidas Mishra. Hitesh Arora (as Abdul), Devang Tanna (as Pintu) and Renuka Sharma (as Amma) are first-rate. Paritosh Sand (as Mr. Malpani), Saloni Khanna (as Aishwarya Malpani), Meena Malhotra (as Mrs. Malpani), Fahad Samar (as Mr. Ahuja), Aparna Ghosal (as Mrs. Ahuja), Sumit Singh Bhadoriya (as Amit Ahuja), Ghanshyam Garg (as Raghubir), Vedant Sinha (as kid Vedvyas), Areebah Fatima (as kid Gunja), Jiya Imran Amin (as the very beautiful kid Aishwarya Malpani), Keval Arora (as Dr. Irani), Moumita Pal (as Sumitra Tripathi), Rudraksh Thakur (as Neeraj), Mahadev Singh Lakhawat (as the man who delivers the controversial letter), Tarun Kumar (as the maulvi) and the others lend able support.

Vijay Krishna Acharya’s direction is sensitive. He has handled the subject with maturity. Pritam’s music is quite appealing but none of the songs are very popular. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are entertaining and weighty. Song picturisations (Vaibhavi Merchant for the Sahibaa song; Bosco-Caesar for the Kee farak painda hai song; and Vijay A. Ganguly for the Kanhaiya Twitter pe aaja song) are eye-filling. Kingshuk Chakravarty’s background music is fairly nice. Ayananka Bose’s cinematography is very good. Production designing (by Acropolis — Sumit Basu, Snigdha Basu and Rajnish Hedao) is of a fine standard. Charu Shree Roy’s editing is reasonably sharp but there are still some continuity jerks, probably due to certification cuts.

On the whole, The Great Indian Family is a fair entertainer but if it still does not make much of a mark at the ticket windows, it will be because awareness about the film and its release is poor.

Released on 22-9-’23 at Inox (daily 6 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Yash Raj Film Distributors. Publicity: dull. Opening: poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was not up to the mark at most of the places