It is not every day that you come across a story so heartwarming and characters so genuine that not just inspire the writer in you but also evoke jealousy.
Apart from giving us countless memes, the movie “Sui Dhaaga” is a win for its makers. It is also a win for the small town lower middle-class India which in the recent years had lost its voice to the urban settings and metropolises.
The movie stands out for its sheer simplicity and the no frill storytelling is what makes it unique. The exposition begins right from the first scene when the central character “Mauji’s” voice hits you with “Sab Badhiya Hai” (everything is all right), the mantra which helps millions of Indians wade through the struggles of everyday life with a smile. The unbearable summer heat and innumerable power cuts ‘Sab Badhiya Hai ji’, biting cold with no heaters or warm water, ‘Sab Badhiya hai ji”, eight sitting on a railway birth meant for four, ‘Sab badhiya hai ji’. God knows what we would have done without this phrase. Right from the very first time Varun Dhavan utters it, you forget you are watching a mainstream Bollywood actor in a movie. Dhavan is brilliant and owns up Mauji like it’s nobody’s business and I can imagine no one else pulling it off with such ease and believability. Varun Dhavan is a hidden gem in the garb of a commercial actor and I hope and pray he keeps opting for such diverse roles and let the audience feast on him.
Anushka Sharma’s “Mamta” is an ode to the countless middle-class women on this country who are so resilient and powerful behind the walls of home and silence. These women who can teach the city raised a fine lesson on self-belief and feminism. She ignites the aspirations in her man, advice and guides him while walking with him every step of the way. She does not shy away from taking initiatives when things get tough and goes the extra step to even try fixing it in her own way. Sharma is fabulous in her portrayal of the small-town married woman who is kind, compassionate and wise.
Sharma embodies her physically by donning colorful synthetic sarees, matching sweater blouses, bright red bindi and thick vermilion with her hair neatly parted. She rounds up all of that with a very small townly thing of skin colored toe socks worn over cheap sandals. But, Sharma also embodies her in spirit. Her Mamta is ignited but in a slow seething manner. She doesn’t bedazzle but gives out a warm positive glow for everyone around her to bask in.
The unfolding love story between the Mauji and Mamta had so much heart in it that it reminds one of the ideal couples that one encounters in every day real life. Not much is spoken but every little gesture acknowledged, shared and cherished. A refreshing deviation from Bollywood’s cliché take on romance.
The sets, the costumes, the secondary characters all add to the setting, theme and tone of the story in a relevant and required manner. The quirkiness, the idiosyncrasies, the small-town mentality, the constantly worrying paranoid parents, all have been woven into the story to add rich details.
As an in-house organizational development consultant for Usha during my initial years, I have a personal connection to this film. With some very strategic brand association and placement, Usha has come a long way since the days when it was re-navigating its place in the products market. Having worked on the CSR initiatives I am a first-hand witness to Usha and its owner’s commitment to include and forward people who are associated with them. The Sewing schools are one of the many things done by them as a part of their social responsibility initiatives.
This film came right at the back of the “Make in India” campaign. However, it hardly comes across as a propaganda driven government mouth piece which it could have easily lapsed into. But, with honest performances and a great story, Sui Dhaaga-Made in India is a feel-good uplifting watch. You root for the characters from the very beginning and somehow towards the end when a situation arises implying they may lose the big competition, it doesn’t matter because you hear yourself say, “Sab Badhiya Hai”. The denouement however only adds cherry to the top of an already perfect cake.