Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, the name itself suggests what the film is all about. It is a love-story that conveys a social message of proper sanitization. The story revolves around Keshav(Akshay Kumar), a 12th fail, 36-year old man who stalks the open minded female protagonist, Jaya(Bhumi Pednekar). Keshav is forcefully trapped with the traditional rituals applied by his conservative father. While Jaya is quirky, full-of-life, the strong lady with I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude. The two gets attracted towards each other.
The main issue starts when they get married. Jaya’s outburst when she gets to know there’s no sanitization facility at Keshav’s house. Jaya is a strong, no-nonsense woman who loves her husband but refuses to resign herself to this fate. Keshav’s attempts to challenge the years-old tradition and Pandit Ji’s baseless persistence of disallowing of toilet facility at his home is what the plot revolves around.
This sets the stage for a clash between generations and ideologies and for a satirical look at how outdated, regressive mindsets frequently stall social progress. The film is on solid ground when it focuses on Keshav’s dilemma.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is perhaps the world’s first love story to hinge entirely around a toilet. In a country where more people have access to mobile phones than loos, the subject is important and relevant. Inspired by true incidents, it’s also compelling material for cinema – a girl walks out of her loving husband’s home because it doesn’t have a toilet.
The first half is entertaining and manages to sail through till the interval because of its comic punches and humor. It’s the second half that gets constipated.The second half has a lot of drama but it does get too long and boring at places. The USP of the film is its dialogues, which are written well. Akshay Kumar brings just the right amount of liveliness and Bhumi Pednekar shines. Despite all the positives, the length of the film is an issue.
Sadly, the film that has emerged doesn’t do justice to the cause or the good intentions. Too many references to Swachh Bharat, the Prime Minister of the country and even demonetization make you question the real intention of the film. I must repeat that it’s refreshing to see Hindi cinema tackle such challenging subjects.
Overall, it is a good entertainer which leaves you with a food for thought after you exit the movie hall. It is an honest attempt to tackle something that exists but not many are aware of it. Yes, you might hear the word ‘ toilet’ multiple times throughout the film but you will soon get comfortable with it. Go for the film, if you are looking for a well-scripted film backed by power-packed performances by the actors.
This film will make you laugh, feel and most importantly think.
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