Cast: Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Raghuvir Yadav, Ashish Verma, Namit Das, Puja Sarup and Manukriti Pahwa
Director: Sharat Kataria
Rating: 3.5 Moons
Mauji (Varun Dhawan) offers to buy 'biscoot' for his wife Mamta (Anushka Sharma). She first agrees and then declines considering their financial situation. She then asks him if he wants to have 'biscoot' to which he simply smiles. In that brief moment, I could see my parents in Mauji and Mamta, daring to dream, pursuing them persistently, fighting the realities of life, with love, concern and smiles and rarely making a big deal out of it.
Sharat Katariya is a gifted writer and a director, who nails both, the worlds of atmospherics and emotions.
In Sui Dhaaga, he sucks you into this charming lower-middle-class world of pani ki tanki, morning newspaper and a family stuffed in a car that has a broken door. The mother, nearly dying with a heart attack, demands for aamchoor and nimbu ka achaar as home remedies to pacify herself. She is more worried about filling water buckets and evening meals than her health.
Don't miss the first really long shot of the film (similar to Befikre) as the camera gives you a full tour into Mauji's and Mamta's house taking you from their terrace into their kitchen and bedroom and familiarising you with their humble world.
The casting of the film is clever. Shanoo Sharma has roped in some of the most amazing actors to play such well-written parts. Ashish Verma as a mean boss evokes genuine disgust. You will love the actor and hate the character as he wickedly laughs at Mauji reducing him to a jester at his wedding.
Puja Sarup as an insensitive, competitive, heartless factory owner nails her character of didi. Namit Das as an over-enthusiastic relative infuses a new life into his mean character as he charades his boorishness behind forced fake laughs. His real-life mother Yamini Das plays Mauji's mother. She is the cutest character in the film. She plays a stressed-out mom who will worry more about existence than happiness, on basic needs than big ambitions. She enquires about money when Mauji and Mamta are so close to fulfilling their dreams. Yamini's character is written and played so well that it's hard to differentiate the actor from the character she plays.
If Dum Laga Ke Haisha had Seema Pahwa, Sui Dhaaga has her daughter Manukriti Pahwa who plays Kumudh, Mauji's bhabhi. he gets only one major scene and she shakes you up with her fierceness. She is loud and obnoxious and makes you feel uncomfortable in your seat as you watch the family confrontation scene. I wish someone wrote a full-fledged film on her character.
And then there is Raghubir Yadav as a helpless retired father. The man is a delight to watch as he brings such simplicity to every role he plays.
It's the supporting cast that gives the lead cast a tough competition. Anushka Sharma keeps it minimalistic with both her makeup and her performance. She gives Mamta an endearing smile. There is a scene when she speaks to her boss. Her kohl-less eyes speak much about her love for Mauji and her disbelief and disgust at the nasty world outside.
Varun Dhawan surrenders himself to all that Mauji demands. He is earnest as always.
The only problem with the lead actors of Sui Dhaaga is that they act well instead of being incredible actors. Especially when the film releases with Patakha where you don't see any trace of 'actors', Sanya and Radhika as they play Genda and Champa.
Sui Dhaaga also becomes a bit forced when the narrative tries too hard to make the audience sympathize with Mauji and Mamta in their struggle. Missing a crowded bus, falling off from a cycle, working on a sewing machine with a bleeding foot against a melodramatic soundtrack makes it all look slightly manipulative. It could have been more matter of fact than this OTT histrionic. Also, the second half steers clear of much crisis and makes Mauji's and Mamta's journey through a competition more like a cakewalk.
But these are only small issues in an otherwise delectable film, that beautifully tells you the tale of a couple who fight conditioned parents, self-doubt, poverty and all other challenges to make it big in life. It leaves you smiling and somewhat inspired.