'Meenakshi Sundareshwar' review: Netflix gives us stylishly packaged weak film
Netflix has released Meenakshi Sundareshwar on Diwali. Although the film is set around marriages and family bonds, the project is not impactful enough for you to devote your free festive weekend to this. Starring talented actors Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani (credited as Abhimanyu in the film), the romantic drama tries to show multiple things but crashlands in the middle. Here's our review.
Story rests on difficulties of maintaining a long-distance marriage
As it was made clear in the trailer, our leads (Meenakshi aka Malhotra and Sundareshwar aka Dassani) get hitched after their wedding is arranged but are soon forced to separate because of professional commitments. There is nothing significant to add to this simple plotline but director Vivek Soni delivers an extremely confusing potpourri of sub-plots and themes in execution.
Inconsistencies: Meenakshi's character is confident, bold, yet extremely sacrificial
Starting off with the complaints, firstly, the entire dynamic of the couple is based on how forgiving and sacrificing Meenakshi can be, as opposed to a helpless and naive Sundareshwar. There is no reason why a confident, spirited female lead agrees to marry the guy, especially when they have no similar interests. The entire concept of the girl "adjusting" at her in-laws' is infuriating.
We get no commentary on arranged marriages, orthodox, familial equations
In a world where arranged marriages are revered, the lead characters are a mix of traditional and modern. But their modernness is limited to visiting cafes and catching Rajinikanth movies. They do not question orthodox family equations and rules, except once when a direct attack is made. While Malhotra and Dassani's chemistry is cute, poor writing makes it hard to root for them.
Makers research into south India but lack authenticity
As soon as the movie was announced, I had been anxious about south India's representation here, given Bollywood is notorious for its blind representation of anything not belonging to north India. Thankfully, makers' research is actually evident here, although it never feels authentic.
Dodging this film won't hurt with multiple binging options abound
The styling and concept were fresh but that won't save you from the headache that follows the incomprehensive and fatuous plot. Given there are so many new releases to choose from, we suggest you let this one pass. If you still wish to give it a try, the Karan Johar-backed endeavor is currently streaming on Netflix. Verdict: This hodge-podge of a film gets 1.5/5.