You get the sneaky feeling that the protagonists are called Satyaprem and Katha so that the film would get its catchy title. Like Akash Vani. Yes, that too starred Kartik in one of his less frivolous(read: Bhoola Bhulaiya 2, Shehzada) roles.
As Satyaprem, aka Sattu, Kartik Aryan brings to the Gujarati wastrel’s part both innocence and heart. Satttu is at once endearing and annoying. His motives for marrying the dishy dandiya wali Katha is all wrong. But heck, this goofy guy knows about True Love; how many youngsters today can claim the same?
Sattu’s Gujju love story, or Amour In Ahmedabad if you will, has a peculiar rhythm to it. He wooes a girl way too classy and beautiful for him. But wins her in no time. Like Aishwarya Rai in Sanjay Bhansali’s Hum…De Chuke Sanam, Katha won’t let her husband sleep with her , ostensibly for his sleeping habits… you know, Saawan ka mahina Sattu kare snore….
But there is more.
Katha has a deep dark secret which she refuses to share with her exceptionally supportive husband. Ridiculously enough, when she does open up about her secret she does so before her husband’s family. Katha’s father threatens to slash his wrist with a blade. If only he had carried out his threat we would be spared a shamefully regressive father who believes a tainted daughter is better dead.
Of course, all hell… or may all yell… breaks loose. Why do Gujarati families always have to be so loud and bantering? And Goodness, the singing and dancing!!! This dandiya-and-dhokla formula gets in the way of a seriously beautiful love story between a wastrel and a waif played with elegance and restrain by Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani who quite comfortably churn out their career’s best performances in a film that keeps shooting itself in the foot by interrupting the central romance with songs dances and parental interventions.
The ‘dude’ raport between Sattu and his father(Garjraj Rao) never quite makes it to a meaningful relationship. And the less said about Supriya Pathak’s ‘Diwali’(she has a sister named Christmas, I kid you not) the better.
Speaking of dude, what is Rajpal Yadav doing in the film as a doodhwala? Why is he around? What is his function in the plot? Is he the comic relief? Seriously? After the entire supporting cast insists on doing a comedy circus?
What works, and works wonderfully, is the crackling chemistry between the lead pair. Kiara and Kartik look more made-for-each-other than Kiara and Siddharth Malhotra in Shershah. Director Sameer Widhwans shoots their “asexual” romantic scenes with a sensitivity and suppleness that are rare in Hindi cinema.
This film is a new beginning for both Kiara and Kartik. They shine in the emotional scenes, maybe a little more than expected, as the supporting cast is woefully sketchy. If only Widhwans had stuck to the central story of a vagrant who finds an anchor in his commitment to that thing called love.