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Posted at: Sep 28, 2018, 6:21 PM; last updated: Sep 28, 2018, 6:56 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: SUI DHAAGA

A stitch that saves...

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Film: Sui Dhaaga

  • Cast: Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma, Raghubir Yadav
  • Director: Sharat Katariya
A stitch that saves...
A still from Sui Dhaaga

Nonika Singh

Put your fears aside. Sui Dhaaga isn’t a mouthpiece for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign. But for the government scheme, which offers free sewing machines, there is no talk of government policies at all. 

Having said that the question to be asked is whether there is enough reason to rejoice as this lower middle class couple comes up trumps against odds? Indeed, the underlying idea of the film centring around individual enterprise and Indian handicraft isn’t bad per se, actually isn’t bad at all.

However, as the film unfolds, a lot seems contrived. How Mauji (Varun Dhawan) is made to do rather condescending things by his master is too much of a stretch. Wish the director had come up with some better way to drive home the message of dignity of labour. Living in times when even maidservants do not take things lying down, the sequence where Mauji does the ‘dog act’ to please his employer is rather annoying.

Then the mother falling sick too seems to be a convenient ploy if not an outright interjection. Only soon you learn her sickness has been injected into the narrative for a hidden purpose. For it’s here in the hospital while stitching her a comfortable gown that Mauji discovers his talent for design. How his ingenious invention is unscrupulously ‘stolen’ by the market hawks of the cut-throat business world, too sounds more than plausible.  

Credible also is the lead pair. Even though it takes a while to accept both Anushka Sharma and Varun, popular stars in their own right, as lower middle class characters, they soon grow on you as real people caught in the whirlpool of circumstances. Varun makes Mauji his own, gets the lingo and other expressions, especially the diffidence of his part just right. Anushka too brings Mamta alive.

Women characters of director Sharat Katariya, who gave us the delectable Dum Laga Ke Haisha, are never short on substance and mettle. Mamta too has been etched in similar shades; her portrayal proves how an average demure woman with saree pallu over her head too can think straight and clear. Her self-esteem manifests in her interface with a fashion designer and her defence of her husband in particular is heart-warming.

In fact, the tenor of the film, despite the obstacles the family has to overcome, remains light-hearted. The first half sails on the oars of their struggle and minor achievements. Telling the tale of the underdog, the film, however, does lack the feverish excitement and the adrenaline rush you expect from a success story is missing. The sulking father and a squabbling brother do not add any zing. In fact, Raghubir Yadav, the gifted actor that he is, comes into his own much later when he begins to see his son’s viewpoint. The film too truly picks up in the later half when the self-respecting couple decides to pitch in for a fashion fund. True flavour of India, its colours and designs are palpable once they decide to sink or swim. And before you reject the ramp walk involving the entire family and the community as flight of imagination, let you be reminded fashion shows today are fast becoming inclusive. Raghubir Yadav and his wife’s catwalk in graceful white ensembles is captivating as well as touching.

Overall, Sui Dhaaga is an inspiring tale even if it will not to cajole you to pick up your own set of thread and needle (as stars are doing while taking up the sui dhaaga challenge) or set you on a path of self-discovery. But while watching the two-hour film you do end up rooting for Mauji and Mamta. Watch it if sugar and sweet, simple and equable works for you. The film, however, is a little low on extra seasoning of spice and other condiments. In short, Sui Dhaaga certainly not a cut and paste job, stitches a garment that will not take your breath away. To use fashion jargon this is no showstopper... but can be looked at. 

nonikasingh@tribunemail.com

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