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Satyaprem Ki Katha Review: Flawed But Doesn’t Derail, Courtesy Kartik & Kiara

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WHERE to begin? Satyaprem Ki Katha has competent actors: Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Supriya Pathak and Gajraj Rao. And the title: A play on the customary Satyanarayan Ki Katha which is held in Indian households. And the unforgettable moment: an enraged Kartik Aryan chases a car and beats the antagonist mercilessly. And Bollywood’s new love anthem: Aaj Ke Baad. And there’s the last scene: Kartik highlighting the concept of ‘consent’ in a sensitive way. But more than that: a love story that won’t be forgotten so easily.

Directed by Sameer Vidvans, the movie is based in Ahmedabad and revolves around Satyaprem aka Sattu, played effortlessly by Kartik, who is gaining massive applause for being a common man’s hero. It is his connect with his fans that has translated into raving crowds and huge BO openings. In this movie too, he plays a character that belongs to a middle class family, embroiled in everyday middle class issues and arguments, but has one dream – to get married.

Sattu has failed thrice at becoming a lawyer, doesn’t have a job, which is why he can’t find a suitable girl and get married, which is why he has to do the household chores (along with his father). But he falls hopelessly in love with a girl named Katha (Kiara Advani), the moment he first sees her. No problem there, except that he expresses his feelings to her right after their first meeting. Creepy, many would say.

The moment he is told about Katha’s breakup, he tries to express his feeling for her. But what happens after this is unexpected. What follows next are harebrained twists and turns that you’d wonder if these are happening in one movie.

One of the joys of watching Satyaprem Ki Katha comes from the use of Gujarati language. Yes, the characters speak Gujarati which is a delight in itself. Better still, in the most funny sequences, they don’t feel the need to replace words in their native language with Hindi equivalents. And the occasions when they communicate in shuddh Hindi, they remain hilarious without the narrative looking clichéd.

What’s even more interesting is how the dialogues – despite being replete with usages you may have heard – remain funny. Some of the hilarious dialogues including, ‘Sabun la ke dungi lekin ladki ki umeed na rakhna mujhse‘, ‘Internet pe isko followers nahi milte hain issey ladki kya milegi‘, ‘LLB fail, har kaam mei total fail’ , ‘Dil dekh rahi hai mera jo meri maa behen nahi dekh paai’ keep the first half somewhat entertaining, but not flawless. You may not completely agree with what they say, but you cannot slip up on their vigour and vim. Nonethless, the first half has genuinely hilarious moments, but they’re few and far between.

Kartik lives up to the expectations by delivering a fine performance. As Sattu, he makes the viewers care for Katha, and keeps you invested in his pain. Even when the film gets practically implausible, Sattu’s commitment doesn’t waver.

But the winning performance in Satyaprem Ki Katha comes from Kiara who puts forth an uninhibited act. Playing a layered character like Katha (a victim of date rape) isn’t easy, but Kiara pulls it off well. Because playing such an interesting and engaging character demands more from Kiara, in return it gives her all the applause she deserves. The viewers will love how she immerses herself into her character – Katha.

Both Gajraj and Supriya are endearing and funny as Satyaprem’s parents. Shikha Talsania, despite being a terrific actor, doesn’t have much to do. She flits in and out of Satyaprem Ki Katha and makes an appearance occasionally in the story. But her character doesn’t add much to the film.

Satyaprem Ki Katha isn’t all bad. The movie is held together by an imperfect script, which is the reason why some important sequences fail to take good shape. The narrative remains inconsistent too. Nonetheless, Satyaprem Ki Katha is redeemed – to some extent– by the sincerity and the conviction of its protagonists.


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