Sab Kushal Mangal movie cast: Akshaye Khanna, Priyaank Sharma, Riva Kishan, Satish Kaushik, Supriya Pathak
Sab Kushal Mangal movie director: Karan Vishwanath Kashyap
Sab Kushal Mangal movie rating: 1.5 stars
How do you make a comedy out of a pernicious social practice still prevalent in parts of Bihar? ‘Jabran vivaah’ is an outcome of centuries of patriarchy and can be deeply unfair, both to the groom who is kidnapped and forcibly married off, as well as to the hapless bride, for whose ostensible welfare this charade is being conducted.
This is wrong, thunders Pappu Mishra (Sharma) of Baba Bhandari (Khanna), the goon-in-chief responsible for the kidnapping. ‘Kisi ablaa ka ghar bas jayegaa, tumhe isse pareshaani hai kaa,’ retorts Baba.
First off, you can’t go around labeling women ‘ablaa’ any more, not if you want us to take you seriously. Plus, Mandira (Kishan), the dulhan-to-be, looks quite capable of fending for herself.
The film breaks out of an uneasy mess by a contrivance, and tries to steer towards lightness by making Baba, the local yokel, fall for the very girl he has ‘uthwaaoed’. Now what?
The writers try and stitch together a comic yarn by slinging Pappu, Mandira and Baba into a romantic triangle, but it all comes off as a long, aimless plod.
Pity because both debutants (she is the daughter of Ravi Kisan, he is the son of Padmini Kolhapure, both solid actors) have a confident presence. And Khanna, lips characteristically pursed, shuttling between small-town-goon decked out in white-on-white-pant-shirt and a made-over metro type desperately trying to sip black coffee, is laugh-out-loud funny in places.