In urban India, having an access to a toilet doesn't seem like a pressing issue and therefore people might find it hard to connect to the film's theme but in most parts of our country, sanitation is a major concern.
And it is this pertinent issue that filmmaker Shree Narayan Singh brings home. Based on a real-life incident where a woman left her husband's house because there was no toilet is solid enough a subject to draw people's attention, especially when the Central government has been talking about 'Swachch Bharat Abhiyan'.
Again, Akshay Kumar as Keshav has been a smart choice, as he is the perfect guy to play such characters with elan. He brings his own charm and style to drive home the point, 'Soch Badlo'. There is a dire need to understand and create awareness about the cleanliness mission in the country—and this film is a stepping stone towards that direction.
Keshav, a 36-year-old Brahmin boy yearns for a perfect wife but ends up getting hitched to a Buffalo because his father (a staunch Pandit) feels his grah-dosh needs nivaran. Keshav is stuck between his dictator father and his new found love for Bhumi Pednekar aka Jaya.
Jaya is a topper and happens to be an outspoken girl of today's time, who knows how to shut people. She, by the way, has an educated family background with Anupam Kher as her grandfather, who loves Sunny Leone (Yes, you read that right).
Also, most importantly, she has a toilet at home. The chemistry between Akshay and Bhumi is fresh and the growth in their relationship makes it interesting.
However, the marriage between this couple creates havoc and leads to a struggle for what? Just a 'simple' right to have access to a toilet. The filmmaker has taken off the garb of dubious thinking prevalent in our society which on one side stops the girls from studying at par with boys but on the other hand promotes open defecation.
The social issue of open defecation and the need to have proper toilets at homes has been interwoven in the screenplay smoothly, keeping Akshay and Bhumi's love story in the backdrop.
'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha' talks about how the government has issued several reforms and programmes for the benefit of the people but at the same time it is also important for the citizens to do their bit.
Anshuman Mahaley's cinematography gives us some brilliant shots to remember, especially from the Holi song.
But there is one problem which haunted me throughout the run-time. And it is the kind of diction used by the characters. They simply can't maintain the linearity and that gives a sour taste at times. The surprise package is Divyendu Sharma. As Keshav's younger brother, he is dayum entertaining and his presence lights-up the screen with funny punches.
Music is nice and breezy but we could have done without it too. A film such as this doesn't really need songs and dreamy sequences.
Do watch 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha', for 'Swachch Azadi'!
(Ratings: 3.5 Stars)