Toilet: The Most Disappointing Reason to Divorce

14 Aug

Last night, I watched this new Hindi movie, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha starring  Askhay KumarBhumi PednekarAnupam Kher, and  Sudhir Pandey.

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The story based on a problem that everybody knows about but no one wants to talk and has very beautifully captured the city of Krishna, a love story and a larger social message.

The opening scene shows women in a small village going to defecate in open fields with water in one hand and light in another. A man on tractor comes, throwing light and passing lewd comments. The opening scene itself covers a whole lot of problems which people, particularly ladies, face every morning in our country. It shows the problem of open defecation, the safety of women and assault by men in the very first five minutes of the movie. The story goes on to weave a love story which ultimately reaches the halt of marriage. And the real story starts when the girl finds out that there is no washroom in her new house and she was forced to join the other ladies in gang (lota party). The movie is well scripted and screeplayed, but the real message seems to get a break after the interval. The love story is given more importance than the cause and the hero who very later understands the pathetic condition of ladies as a result of open defecation has been glorified as a social worker. In real life, Akshay Kumar has been made the Brand Ambassador of Cleanliness in Uttar Pradesh, while in my opinion, it must have been Bhumi Pednekar whose character mobilised not only her husband, but also other ladies in the village to be the change. Also, the way the character of Mr. Kumar, Keshav initially stalks the girl seems quite unhealthy. Like, that is proper stalking and in no way romantic. Taking a girl’s photo and using it for own commercial use is both a civil and criminal offence. The movie impressively takes you to a village in Mathura in terms of  dialect, location and the way in which many scenes were filmed (the wedding scene and the Holi scenes).

Overall,  this movie has succeeded in giving a much-needed lesson in the most entertaining and direct way. No hidden meanings, no use of complicated words to address anything. The characters are vocal and say things as they are. Calling a menstruation period, a period; calling assaulting men “haramkhor” and other subtle but powerful references make the movie worth watching. The way in which this serious problem of open defecation and its allies have been dealt in the movie is commendable.

Personally speaking, the scene just before interval was the best. I would say that it’s a Bhumi Pednekar’s movie.

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