Sanitation is an important issue. But how many times important issues make it to celluloid? To be frank, I was really scared of Akshay Kumar film Toilet Ek Prem Katha’s trailer. It could have easily been a cringe-worthy plug for PM Narendra Modi’s Clean Indian campaign. Arjun Kapoor’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” in Half Girlfriend fuelled that fear. Akshay Kumar’s recent slew of films based on patriotism and his win at National Awards were other obvious reasons for worry.
So when makers dropped the trailer yesterday, it was almost a relief. As cinemagoers, we don’t want our movies to promote government’s public campaigns. There are other platforms for government advertisement. When we enter a theatre, we want to be entertained. We don’t want to have a nagging feeling as if we are being sold something for which we haven’t even paid. Even if the film does promote the campaign at some level, it should offer it without thrusting it in our face. How much Akshay Kumar film will turn out be an advertisement for PM Modi’s pet project?
While we have to wait for the movie to find out, the trailer doesn’t disappoint us. But it has some loopholes which can be ignored by a tolerant cinemagoer. Here’s why Akshay Kumar film’s trailer looks like an entertainer rather than an advertisement.
A goofy Akshay Kumar with sidekick Divyendu Sharma
Thank god, the trailer takes the time to introduce us to two goofy characters. The trailer takes us to some real locations and it’s nice to hear the jargon of a town in Madhya Pradesh. As the trailer unfolds, we see Akshay Kumar is mangalik and single that make inroads for some funny, hilarious jokes. Makers have invested on setting up of a location and characters so as to move the story forward. It’s the first hint that they have not taken you for granted. Not, yet.
Akshay and Bhumi’s small town romance
So we finally know why ‘Ek Prem Katha’ was attached to the word ‘Toilet’ in film’s title. Like any movie based in small town, the romance between Akshay and Bhumi goes through stalking, convincing and ending up in song-dance sequences. Akshay’s one-liner ‘Badtameez keh lo par bhai mat kaho (please don’t call me brother)’ is a good reason to watch the movie. The trailer seems to have enough laughter and romance in store.
Divyendu Sharma’s Dangal dialogue
Divyendu Sharma was a delight to watch in Pyaar Ka Punchnama. Here we see him doing a different kind of comedy which is much more subtle and layered. Divyendu makes his dialogues sparkle with his ingenuity and his Dangal dialogue is a perfect trap in luring the audience to watch the movie. His presence in the film provides a much-needed levity to a film dealing with a complex issue. So makers have taken care of your dose of humour.
Bhumi Pednekar’s women-empowerment act hides it
Just when we thought we’re ready to slide into a promotional ad campaign, Bhumi’s powerful act makes sanitation a gender issue also, which is fine by us. Bhumi’s powerful one-liner, “Men can do it right in their backyards. But we are women. We’ve to work hard for everything,” provides a perfect emotional punch. So it’s time to see some women empowerment also?
Akshay is a ‘biwi-bhakt’ and not a ‘desh-bhakt’
So for a change, we see Akshay shouting, parading and fighting for the love of his life. This is not a patriotic act. The trailer casts a light on a different kind of men from small towns. We had enough of male patriarchy doled out to us, it’s time for watching men who respect their wives. It’s a different Akshay Kumar here who is for a change a ‘biwi-bhakt’ and not a ‘desh-bhakt.’
Akshay Kumar is seen taking on corrupt officials and it’s nice that makers have included corruption angle in the film. A small glimpse of actor Rajesh Sharma, smiling and interacting with Akshay raises our hopes.
What was not needed in the trailer:
Anupam Kher was surely not needed. It seems he is here only to mouth some heavy dialogues that are completely unnecessary including, “If you change nothing, nothing will change.”