Toilet Ek Prem Katha movie review: This Akshay Kumar film is derailed by clunky execution

Toilet Ek Prem Katha movie review: It’s fitting that Akshay Kumar has greenlit and played the lead in this film, which is more a primer of How To Break Social Taboos and Make Toilets rather than a powerful social drama.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: August 12, 2017 9:01 am
toilet ek prem katha movie review, toilet ek prem katha, akshay kumar, bhumi pednekar, toilet ek prem katha photos Toilet Ek Prem Katha movie review: The movie wastes much of its initial bits in creating a romance between the middle-aged Keshav (Akshay Kumar) and the sprightly Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar).

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha star cast: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Divyendu Sharma, Sudhir Pandey, Anupam Kher
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha director: Shree Narayan Singh
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha rating: 2 stars

The noblest ideas are very often derailed by clunky execution. This is the problem with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which had the potential to become a deep, dark satirical take on one of the biggest problems that still shamefully plagues India: defecation in the open.

The film which has to contend with a clunky title in the first place, wastes much of its initial bits in creating a romance between the middle-aged Keshav (Akshay) and the sprightly Jaya (Pednekar), which derails as soon as the latter turns into a ‘nai-naveli dulhan’ and discovers that she has to be part of a ‘lota party’ at the crack of dawn to complete her ablutions.

If the conflict had stayed personal, this could have been something to watch. Because both Akshay who admits to looking his age, and Pednekar who steps into her second film pretty much like she did in her first (the wonderful Dum Laga Ke Haisha), spark well together. And the reason for the conflict, a basic human need, should have taken us down a new path in mainstream Bollywood cinema. If only the treatment hadn’t been so heavy handed, and bent upon underlining the obvious.

But the film is after something larger. It is after society. It is after culture. It is so busy pointing fingers at the Indians, good people but blinded by tradition of ‘jis aangan mein tulsi hai, usi mein shauchalaya kaise ban sakta hai’, who will still go out into the open, that it forgets that polemics make good academic papers. They do not necessarily make good films.

toilet ek prem katha movie review, toilet ek prem katha, akshay kumar, bhumi pednekar, toilet ek prem katha photos A still from Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

It’s fitting that Akshay Kumar has greenlit and played the lead in this film, which is more a primer on How To Break Social Taboos and Make Toilets rather than a powerful social drama. The moment a film succumbs to being the carrier of a Message as opposed to a message, it becomes burdened.

Akshay has been playing the nationalist hero in his last few films, filling in the space that Manoj Kumar had left vacant. And he’s done a good job with it: there’s something in the way he comes at being earnest that you want to believe.

Here too, he tries hard to get past the heavy-handedness and the clunkiness and the leaded messaging which engulfs the second half, when you have to go looking for the movie from under the message. And you have to look for a long time, because the film feels so stretched: a `lath-maar’ Holi sequence is bunged in, because a) it’s Mathura and b) well, because it’s a song-and-dance.

This kind of film, where the s**t literally hits the fan, where you can see real turd droppings, and the dialogue is filled with such ‘sanskaari-sarkaari’ words like ‘soch’, ‘shauchalaya’ and ‘sandaas’, needs a light touch. You need the ‘khadi boli’ of Mathura, where the film is set, spoken with a great deal more authenticity. And above all, if you are going to give me a feisty heroine who is happy to throw off her ‘ghoonghat’, and rail against patriarchy, you should not make her touch anyone’s feet. If you are making a film that hoists a flag for a strong feminist ideal, then don’t waver, and confuse it with stuffing the film with too many issues.

Otherwise, you dilute and confuse things, especially because your lead actors have stayed the smelly course.

 

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  1. D
    danish
    Aug 18, 2017 at 7:17 am
    Toilet Ek Prem Katha movie superhit aap Pagal Ho Gaye Jo dost Adi 5 star
    Reply
    1. K
      Khirod Dora
      Aug 17, 2017 at 10:49 pm
      what the f ck review given by somebody who didn't know anything about the movie go watch a movie like Deshdrohi give 5 star.How "the Indian Express" like great news paper given review like this totally shame on you...
      Reply
      1. P
        Priya
        Aug 17, 2017 at 4:48 pm
        I have a very sincere question. How does one become a film reviewer? What credentials is one supposed to have? Now, this film review above almost put me off and i was about to cross the movie out but then word of mouth started coming in and we (family) decided to go watch. We absolutely loved it. Not a dull minute. Everything was so perfect - songs, comedy, acting, drama, authenticity, cultural nuances and brilliant directorial touches on such fine subtle aspects. And even if you personally don't like the movie, as a reviewer, you should at least be able to foresee and forecast a superhit. kamaal karte ho yaar. aap logon ka koi annual appraisal nahin hota. how are you selected? what's the process? your organization seriously needs to review that.
        Reply
        1. பாலாஜி
          Aug 17, 2017 at 9:08 am
          Guys please watch a Tamil movie "Joker" which has seriously depicted the same problem in a very touching way.
          Reply
          1. P
            Prajyot
            Aug 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm
            Its not the review f movie at all , but Akshay kumar's age and the nuch bigger issue is totally ignore in bul review
            Reply
            1. S
              Sachin Saini
              Aug 16, 2017 at 10:24 am
              Indian Express people "DEFACEATE" in the open so they hate the movie.... No one trusts Indian Express reviews.They are unwarranted for... #NASTIEST REVIEW SYSTEM IN INDIA...NO ONE WAITS FOR YOUR REVIEWS AND NO ONE EVEN DOESN'T CARE...I JUST CAME TO EXUDE FIRES ON YOU FOR YOUR ACT...
              Reply
              1. S
                Sachin Saini
                Aug 16, 2017 at 10:11 am
                Look I don't know how you review the movies but what I have seen is that reviews of Indian Express are becoming unreliable.The reviews are to guide the people in to right kind of thing.But the audiences liking is always contrary to reviews of yours,which means that you are not able to convey the power of your review and also loosing the credibility among the readers.I have seen better reviewers and if i have to name, it's taran adarsh of Koimoi.He reviews the movies pragmatically enough to guide the people in right direction most of the time.I have seen when he reviews a movie critically,the movie never works.When he reviews the movie appreciably the movie works.This would mean the trust of audiences in him and hence growth in the name of his .Your reviews look far too om comparably.There never a guarantee when you review.YOU'VE REVIEWED TOILET WITH 2/5 AND IT'S GOING TO AKSHAY'S HIGHEST GROSSER EVER MOST PROBABLY. This is the case with many of your movie reviews. #NO TRUST
                Reply
                1. N
                  Naveen
                  Aug 16, 2017 at 4:11 am
                  You are simply a stupid who is demotivates people not to see good movies. You really suck
                  Reply
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