meenakshi sundareshwar

A scene from “Meenakshi Sundareshwar.” (Trailer Grab)

Rarely do we get a film so pointless and so directionless. We do not know what exactly, if at all, do such movies want to say: whether long distance marriages will go bust, whether a man who wants to be self-made (and his wife admires him for that very quality)  must leave it all to save his marriage, and whether a now platonic relationship of a married woman with an ex-college flame needs to be curtailed. And so on.

Meenakshi (Sanya Malhotra, dependable as always, but a shade tired here) and Sundareshwar (Abhimanyu Dassani) meet by chance (the only amusing if predictable part of the story) and get married. But On the wedding night itself, he gets a call—the letter has been retrieved by the bride from the trash (“raddi”)!—that he has got a job in Bangalore. Now the couple is based in Madurai and Sundar leaves the next morning. Sundar does not reveal to his bride or joint family that the new IT job needs only bachelors.

From here, we enter a suddenly boring phase where nothing happens. By 2.20 hours or so, still nothing has happened except for artificial conflicts and dilemmas. The most absurd is the climax wherein a disturbed wife, six months later, still watches a Rajinikanth movie (she is a die-hard fan!) and begins to dance in the auditorium.

A close relative also becomes the villain midway into the story, and there are too many absurd happenings all round and all along. No point in mention these, or the very badly written songs (to poor tunes but for “Mann Kesar Kesar”) that come in very often, furthering heightening the somnambulistic quotient of this “story.” About the only interesting side is Meenakshi’s ex-flame Ananthan (Varun Shashi Rao), but that angle also leads nowhere. Clearly, wives must remain loyal and pure as the husband is also living a morally antiseptic life in Bangalore.

The screenplay is self-indulgent and the editor given no chance to do his job. Director Vivek Soni (also co-writer) is on a mundane trip where even the humor is so low-voltage that it is ‘shock’ing (!). An hour into the film, we wonder why this film was financed and made at all! The second hour and more confirm our suspicions that the meandering plot is going nowhere, like some of those terrible South Indian films dubbed in Hindi in the last two decades and more!

The artistes are all competent, though the hero’s dyspeptic brother (unknown actor) goes a shade into OTT zone in his acting. Abhimanyu Dassani shows a marked improvement on his debut film, “Mard ko Dard Nahin Hota” and looks quite good too. Purnendu Bhattacharya as his father and Shivkumar Subramaniam (back in Johar terrain after his major role in “2 States”) impress.

The film does not.

Rating: *1/2

Produced by: Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta

Directed by: Vivek Soni

Written by: Vivek Soni & Aarsh Vora

Music: Justin Prabhakaran

Starring: Sanya Malhotra, Abhimanyu Dassani, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Ritika Shrotri, Purnendu Bhattacharya, Chetan Kumar, Archana Iyer, Khuman Nongyai, Varun Shashi Rao & others

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