Strong message, quality entertainer: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha *REVIEW*

Film: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Sudhir Pandey, Anupam Kher, Divyendu Sharma
Director: Shree Narayan Singh
Production Houses: Viacom18 Motion Pictures, KriArj Entertainment, Plan C Studios & Cape Of Good Films
Rating: (*** ½) 3.5 / 5

The story of Toilet:Ek Prem Katha, a satire on the lack of toilets in our villages and the belief that it’s undesirable to have a toilet at home near kitchens and the deities, revolves around the madly-in-love Keshav (Akshay Kumar) and Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar). When the newly wed Jaya blows a fuse on realising that there is no toilet in Keshav’s home and that she would have to complete her ablutions in the forest or the open fields, Keshav devices innovative ways to ensure that she does not have to defecate in the open. Tired of running around to complete a basic need, a livid Jaya goes back to her maternal home refusing to come back, till Keshav makes a toilet at home. The film then goes into the offices of higher authorities and a full blown crusade till the matter resolves after a lot of twists and turns.

Akshay Kumar as the smart thinking Keshav who tries to balance his life between his feisty wife, superbly played by Bhumi Pednekar and patriarchal and conservative father (Sudhir Pandey) is captivating.

Director Shree Narayan Singh has tried to raise the smelly issue of open defecation in Indian villages and the social, cultural and religious causes related to it. He puts it across in a light-hearted way intertwining it with Keshav and Jaya’s love story. The fun parts are provided by one liners by the supporting cast like Divyendu Sharma as Akshay’s brother, and Bhumi’s uncle Anupam Kher who cannot seem to get enough of Sunny Leone’s assets when watching television! Writers Siddharth- Garima should get credit for this.

The director has depicted village life in India’s Uttar Pradesh villages very authentically looking into minute details like cooking utensils and eating habits, the holi lathmar song etc. and how though the villagers’ lives are seeped in culture; modern amenities like smart phones have also made way into their lives.

The entire cast has put up a commendable performance and the story hold well till the first half; however, it slows down in parts in the second especially when the issue becomes a full blown crusade.

The music of the film is humable especially the romantic ‘Haas mat pagli song’. Watch the film for Akshay’s charisma and Bhumi’s fiery portrayal of Jaya.

Reviewed by: Arti Saxena