Sab Kushal Mangal
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Riva Kishan, Priyaank Sharma
Director: Karan Kashyap
Sab Kushal Mangal, obviously a clever play on the common greeting in Hindi hinterland, which loosely translates into “all is well”, attempts a comedy with romance and a bit of a social commentary too.
Based on the idea of a 'pakadwa vivaah' (a marriage conducted with the persuasive combination of guns and goons) Karan Vishwanath Kashyap’s film is not new. Last year, we had Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra in Jabariya Jodi, a romantic drama based on the same subject. However, to be fair, Sab Kushal Mangal dials up the fun a few notches higher with quirky comedy in the amusing first half.
Pappu Mishra (Priyaank Sharma) is a news reporter for a TV show who opens up a can of worms when he shows local strongman Baba Bhandari (Akshaye Khanna) getting a young man forcefully married at gunpoint. Bhandari has sweet revenge in mind for the said reporter, who, when he returns to his home city for a holiday, finds himself kidnapped for the purpose of the aforementioned gun and goons styled wedding to Mandira (Riva Kishan)!
What happens thereafter –a romantic triangle of sorts--is fun in the early parts but post-interval, the stretch in the wafer-thin plots begins to show. There are convenient resolutions to the central conflict and pretty soon everything turns predictable. Writers Brijendra Kala and Karan Kashyap fail to infuse the script with adequate comedy for a two hour- plus run.
A few scenes like the one wherein Mandira lands up to meet Pappu and then sets him free on hearing his self- professed vile ways, feel rushed and contrived. Except for the one exception of Baba Bhandari, the other lead characters are not well etched. Mandira, is set up as a beauty that people fall in love with at the first sight, something that is at odds with the fact that in the film we see her parents struggle to find her a suitable groom and opt for getting her married at gunpoint instead!
What works in the film’s favour is that the director draws confident performances from newbies Priyaank Sharma and Riva Kishan, both progenies of accomplished actors. However, the movie clearly belongs to Akshaye Khanna who puts on a humorous show with unmatched flair. He is delightful in each and every scene. Satish Kaushik and Supriya Pathak Kapur too are excellent despite the fact that they get very little screen time.
Sab Kushal Mangal does have a few redeeming features but it is unlikely to make the list of memorable comedies in Hindi cinema. A pity really, for a good comedy, would have been the perfect way to kick off the New Year.
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