Yash Raj Films’ “Sui Dhaaga”
Produced by: Aditya Chopra & Maneesh Sharma
Written & Directed by Sharat Katariya
Music: Anu Malik
Starring: Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma, Raghuvir Yadav, Namit Das, Yamini Das, Sidharth Bhardwaj, Ashish Verma, Puja Sarup, Bhupesh Singh, Abha Parmar, Sawan Tank, and others
MUMBAI— The Yash Raj banner is always known to give short shrift to hugely talented character artistes, and this film is no exception. We would love to know who played the man who conducts business next to Mauji (Varun Dhawan) in the park, who plays the acerbic sister-in-law and the flighty brother and also the wily hospital accountant among others. End credits with stills of the actors would be a great end to such films.
But for this grouse, very important but nothing to do with the film’s content itself, YRF’s “Sui Dhaaga - Made In India” is an enticingly sweet narration of a simple and lovable family comprising of Mauji (Varun Dhawan), his ever-busy-to-romance homemaker Mamta (Anushka Sharma) and his parents (Raghuvir Yadav and Yamini Das). All the film’s characters, but for Mamta, are all imperfect in minor ways, and thus endearingly human. And Mamta is very endearing indeed!
Mauji’s late grandfather has made a mess of his tailoring business, and the family leads a basic existence. Mauji works for a shop selling machines and is humiliated and made to do weird things, like doing everything for his employer Bansal (Sidharth Bhardwaj) and even doing a weird comic act of imitating a hungry dog! However, when Mamta watches this ‘comic’ act and witnesses how her husband is treated at Bansal’s son’s wedding, she is very upset at this insult and goads him into starting his own tailoring business.
Mauji rejects the idea, stating that his father has sworn off his grandfather’s profession after seeing what happened, but soon decides to heed her pleas. This brings in fresh challenges and troubles, because his long-suffering father, who always misunderstands him and has just retired, taunts him. More trouble is in store when his mother falls ill, and hospital bills add up.
Mamta encourages Mauji at every step, stands like a solid rock behind him, and what follow are good experiences and bad, and then comes the time of reckoning – can the village, once known for stitching clothes, compete with today’s giant corporations? Will the family’s lot ever change?
These questions being rhetorical, the way the good happens is what the journey is about. Suffice to say that everything is done in a simple, sweet and fairly crisp manner, and the far-fetched end is cute as it represents the free spirit of India’s true-blue small-town entrepreneurs.
The script is simple, sans gimmicks, and therefore scores. Sharat Katariya’s lines are funny when needed, and he follows the tradition of making us laugh in a serious scene and a bit of the vice-versa. Technically too, the film is simple, and plaudits are deserved for production design (Meenal Agarwal) and costumes (Darshan Jalan and Neelanchal Ghosh).
The make-up team are heroes too, as are composer Anu Malik (who creates a fab score indeed), in part Varun Grover (who writes fresh and meaningful lyrics often set in too-incomprehensibly high Hindi) and Andrea Guerra (who scores the unobtrusive background music).
Fantastic performances, as we said, come from all the supporting cast, and we must mention Raghuvir Yadav and Yamini Das as Mauji’s parents as exceptional. Namit Das as the cunning brother-in-law and Puja Sarup as the la-di-dah boss are excellent. We also liked the characters of Bansal and Palteram, the paanwalla.
Otherwise, the film belongs to Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, especially the latter. Yes, Sharma’s expressions and the smallest movements of her eyes and lips and her body language and the inflections in her voice (aided by superlatively correct make-up and sarees) all add up to prove that the lady is easily one of our best performers. Varun Dhawan is so endearing that older people would feel like hugging a dear son. His hotheadedness and helplessness stand out as much as his slow realization about the virtues of his wife. His expression when he wins at the end is fabulous.
The film has several messages – almost all of Mauji’s decisions are inspired or initiated by his wife, which can be a decided booster for gender equality and empowerment. Self-reliance, as exemplified by the present government’s initiatives, and ‘Make In India’ as a credo stand out as much as different ones did in earlier films like “Toilet - Ek Prem Katha” and “Pad-Man.”
A huge pat to Katariya for the nuances so casually depicted of everyday small-town life, like sharing newspapers, the unending cups of tea, the saving of electricity by small actions like switching off a light in daytime, or Mamta advising her husband to keep his tiffin-box straight to avoid spilling a wet (curry) dish.
Overall, this film is a sweet experience, AND here’s the best part: The dialogues are completely clear – a far cry from audience-disrespecting and not really comprehensible dialects in movies as assorted as “Patakha,” “Batti Gul Meter Chalu” and even segments of “Stree” in the last few weeks. Clearly, “Sui Dhaaga” is all about respecting the ‘Made In India’ audience!