Toilet: Ek Prem Katha Movie Review: Akshay Kumar-Bhumi Pednekar's lovestory is more of a docu for Namo's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

Akshay Kumar-Bhumi Pednekar starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is high on drama and low on feeling.

Updated on Aug 14, 2017   |  09:23 AM IST  |  725.4K

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is exactly what one would’ve expected from it. It’s refreshing in terms of plot and yet, as uncomfortably preachy as we’d prayed it won’t be. But alas, while on one hand we can applaud how mainstream films with superstars aren’t about dancing around trees, clearly there are still some teething issues to be addressed. The film is documentary-ish, which is its biggest flaw. Because while everything else is going for it, the perpetual gyaan which isn’t said with any subtlety and is rather on the face runs down its entertainment value. But the design of it is simple – a social message, in the garb of humour, told by a superstar and so that it’s palatable to every one equally, it’s said as it is, without much artistic bent. Probably, this is the one film in a long time which does intend to change the living situations of people and decodes the real reasons that stop people from erecting a toilet at home. “Jis aangan mein tulsi ka ped hai, wahan shauchalaya kaise banega…” is what the film harps on constantly. 

Much to your relief, a lot of the charming work is done by Akshay Kumar who plays the part breezily. There are few hiccups from his part even though you want to make a mental note of how he is playing a man ten years younger than his real age and romancing a woman 20 years younger (Touche!). But like they say, chemistry has no correlation with age (which is why Shah Rukh Khan still gets away with it). Bhumi Pednekar who was a delight to watch in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, returns in a similar space. She is adorable, feisty. A college topper who can’t join the lota party. She even walks out of her dreamy love story because toilet matters more than blissful marriage. You would want to hoot for her. The romance is based on some really questionable things, including stalking, but in heartlands that’s how you fall in love. 

The problem of the film is not the setting but frankly, the yawns it induces half an hour into the real drama. The toilet talk is obviously in order given the subject and then there is all what Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan endorses. Don’t be surprised if the film looks like a campaign project for them!

High on drama and low on feeling, it’s wonderful that movies like these are made. But it is by no way anything more than a passable watch. While we are choosing subjects of interest and relevance, the screenplay and the structure of the film isn’t powerful or nuanced enough. The man faces every obstruction in the prurient world to get a toilet home and woo his wife back, but does it stir the viewer enough? Hardly so. There is not enough sense of pain and shame created and it is unfair to expect Bhumi to work that out of a thin plot. The film is cringeworthily pulpy in parts, loud and awfully shrill. You’d be worried about Padman after watching this considering the subjects are similar. But it’s fate lie in the hands of R Balki. Also, in Mrs Funnybones, we trust.


We rate it a 55% on the Pinkvilla Movie meter. 

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