Carrying on with the prodigy that he has become, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is yet another socially driven drama starring Akshay Kumar. The film stars Bhumi Pednekar as the female lead who marks her second cinematic outing after the much appreciated Dum Laga Ke Haisha. The film is largely based on the government's initiative of 'S...more
Carrying on with the prodigy that he has become, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is yet another socially driven drama starring Akshay Kumar. The film stars Bhumi Pednekar as the female lead who marks her second cinematic outing after the much appreciated Dum Laga Ke Haisha. The film is largely based on the government's initiative of 'Swachh Bharat (Clean India)' and talks about the need to construct Toilet in the remotest of areas in the country. Despite talking about a sensitive social subject, the film is a comedy drama and has been wrapped with proper cinematic sensibilities. Toilet: Ek Prem Katha also stars Anupam Kher and Divyendu Sharma in supporting roles.
The film is directed by Sanjay Narayan Singh who has been a fine editor for a long time while the Rustom team of Neeraj Pandey, KriArj Entertainment are behind its production. Viacom 18 is distributing the project. less
“The issue that it evokes is beautifully laced with entertainment! Go for it!”
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Toilet- Ek Prem katha is a social message movie about the need to stop open defecation in our country and the need to educate the masses about how using a toilet to answer Nature’s call is not against our ‘sanskriti’ or ‘sabhyata’.
The Government has been running the high profile Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for a long while now and this movie smoothly fits in as another cog in the propaganda machine. But I have no issues with that. As a nation, we need to change certain regressive habits and ‘going to the fields’ is one of them. This movie focuses more on the fact that people in villages don’t see the need to use a toilet. They feel it is unhealthy and impure to have a toilet in the house. So everyone uses the great open air to do their business, which is especially hard on women since they have to go pre-dawn and squat dangerously in open fields. If they feel the need to use the loo in the daytime then well just grin and bear it, the ladies in the movie inform us.
We in large cities like Mumbai have faced an issue with fining a loo while travelling till malls came along and for us the mere idea that someone finds using loos a regressive idea may sound unbelievable but since this movie is based on a real story, it is probably a fact in large swathes of rural India. Going by this, such a movie carries an important social message, in a well told story for the large part.
Keshav, a cycle shop 12th pass guy, falls in love with Jaya, a post graduate in agriculture. They get married but trouble hits Paradise on the morning after the wedding when she finds out that there is no loo in the house and she hasto join the ‘Lota party’ of women as they head to the fields early in the morning for a communal emptying of bowels over gossip. She rebels and goes back to her own home till he agrees to build a toilet in the house. That is easier said than done, as his father thinks its polluting and absolutely refuses. What happens next forms the rest of the story.
The first half of the movie is purely taken up by the love story which, though sweet to watch is a huge waste of time. The actual action doesn’t start till after the interval. This means that everything gets crunched into the last half hour. To add to the jam- packed nature of things, the script also throws in a whole angle about the toilet scam. This seems like an attempt by them to explain away corruption by telling us that the Govt. built the toilets sincerely but the people converted them into stables and tailoring shops. So, the people are to blame. I don’t know much about the toilet scam and this intrusion of politics into something which was till now a personal story muddles up matters no end. If the story had focused on the personal struggle growing into a universal cause of changing the mind-set of a village, it would have been far more effective and hard hitting.
The movie has a strong line up of actors and they come together well to give us a story that we feel involved in. I only wish they had started telling it earlier into the game and stuck to the core of the message, taking it from the personal to a global level instead of also bringing politics into it. Definitely worth a watch, and send up a silent thank you when you use the rest rooms in the theatre, that you are privileged to enjoy the bare necessities of life and not struggle for them.