SUI DHAAGA | 29 September, 2018

Yash Raj Films’ Sui Dhaaga is the story of a husband-wife duo who fight all odds to set up their own business.

Mauji (Varun Dhawan) is married to Mamta (Anushka Sharma). The two live with Mauji’s parents (Raghubir Yadav and Yamini Das). They hardly get to spend time together because Mamta is busy all day long, helping her mother-in-law in household chores. Yet, both of them are a happy couple. Mauji’s elder brother, Jugnu (Sawan Tank), has moved out with wife Kumud (Manukriti Pahwa) and they stay separately. They have a little son, Beenu (master Ridith Choukse).

Mauji works in Bansal’s (Sidharth Bhardwaj) shop. Although Bansal and his son, Prashant (Ashish Verma), pretend to be very concerned about Mauji, the fact is that they treat him like a servant and someone who can entertain them with his antics. This doesn’t go down well with Mamta who suggests that he leave the job. Mauji does exactly that and decides to revive the tailoring business of his grandfather. Mauji’s father, who is not fond of Mauji, is pretty angry with Mauji for quitting his job and again, for daring to dream about starting his own tailoring shop.

Anyway, Mauji starts a tailoring outfit on the street. He makes a gown for his mother to wear while she is hospitalised for a heart ailment. That gown catches the eye of other patients and their relatives. In this way, it becomes clear that Mauji’s business would take off.

However, life is not a bed of roses. Mauji has to surmount several difficulties and obstacles but he and Mamta don’t give up. They are soon conned by Guddu (Namit Das) into taking up jobs in fashion designer Harleen’s (Puja Sarup) workshop but the association doesn’t last too long and, in fact, ends on an acrimonous note.

Mauji and Mamta are at their wits’ end, having lost all. Over and above this, Mauji’s father and elder brother are not at all sympathetic towards him. So what do Mauji and Mamta do? They decide to participate in a fashion contest, competing against top designers of the country. Do they succeed? Are they able to set up a well-paying tailoring business?

Sharat Katariya has written a story of the heartland of India. Its undercurrent is of tension, confusion and family feuds. As such, Katariya has not infused light moments in the story. His screenplay is good in parts. At places, the drama appeals emotionally while at others, it seems a bit contrived and a bit too measured. Some of the emotional scenes bring a lump in the throat or even tears to the eyes. But the lack of comedy makes the drama too tension-ridden.

The screenplay also has some weaknesses. For example, the audience’s sympathy does not go to Mauji when he fights with Harleen over her business ethics. His outburst against Harleen seems to be misdirected because he takes out all his frustration of the hospital on Harleen. Surely, he shouldn’t be teaching Harleen to do business. Besides, his anger at Harleen overcharging for gowns is also incorrect if only because he would also be making a profit in his own business once it is up and running.

Another drawback of the film is that the need of the story was two smaller actors in the lead roles, not A-list actors like Varun and Anushka. In other words, Varun and Anushka seem to have been signed for a drama of this kind because of commercial considerations rather than due to the demands of the script.

The scene in which Mauji fights with his sister-in-law, Kumud, is very effective and realistic. Similarly, the mundane lifestyle of a lower middle-class family is very effectively brought out by Mauji, Mamta and Mauji’s family members. The climax is quite predictable, yet engaging enough. Sharat Katariya’s dialogues are very good but they should’ve been exceptional in the melodramatic sequences.

Varun Dhawan lives the character of Mauji and does a very fine job. He is especially good in emotional scenes. Anushka Sharma shines as the soft yet strong and resilient Mamta. She acts with effortless ease and delivers a truly nice performance. But she ought to have fared better in scenes in which she cries. Raghubir Yadav is natural to the core. Yamini Das leaves a wonderful mark as Mauji’s mother. Sawan Tank makes his mark as Mauji’s elder brother, Jugnu. Manukriti Pahwa makes her presence beautifully felt in the scene in which she has a showdown with Mauji. Namit Das leaves a mark as Guddu. Puja Sarup is excellent as fashion designer Harleen. Mahesh Sharma (as Yogesh) and Shrikant Verma (as Palteram) lend decent support. Sidharth Bhardwaj (as Bansal), Ashish Verma (as Bansal’s son, Prashant), Bhupesh Singh (as the sewing machine supplier, Naushad), Ayush Sharma (as Prashant’s sidekick, Sanju), master Ridith Choukse (as Beenu), Jeetu Shastri (as the cobbler on the street), Radha Khandelwal (as Shakuntala of the ironing shop), Abha Parmar (as Yogesh’s mother), Latha Nayak (as the Malayalee nurse) and the others lend good support.

Sharat Katariya’s direction is very good. He has extracted good work from his actors and has kept the interest level of his viewers high all through. Anu Malik’s music is okay. While the songs are fair, they are not very popular. Varun Grover’s lyrics are nice. Andrea Guerra’s background music is appropriate. Dinesh Master’s choreography is functional. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is excellent. Meenal Agarwal’s production designing is superb. Charu Shree Roy’s editing is crisp.

On the whole, Sui Dhaaga may have its weaknesses but it will stand strong at the box-office in spite of that. It will prove to be a richly rewarding film because of very good business at the turnstiles, controlled budget and recovery of almost the entire investment from non-theatrical sources. Word of mouth will see collections grow in the weekend.

Released on 28-9-’18 at Regal (daily 4 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Yash Raj Film Distributors. Publicity: good. Opening: fair; adversely affected due to India-Bangladesh final in Asia Cup Cricket. …….Also released all over. Opening was quite good at places but ordinary at others.