Since more than a decade, filmmakers have been increasingly setting their stories in the heartland of India. This gives the film an authentic and realistic touch and also helps the film get a wider appeal. More number of people watch such films, provided they are told in a simple and entertaining manner, as they could relate to such stories more than the ones set in urban or foreign regions. SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA, this week’s big release, is not only based in a village, but also makes some important comments about social entrepreneurship for the social and economic development of artisans. So does SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA manage to be an entertaining as well as enlightening tale? Or does it fail despite its honest intentions? Let’s analyse.
SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA is a heartwarming story of pride and self-reliance. Mauji (Varun Dhawan) stays in a village near Delhi with his wife Mamta (Anushka Sharma), father (Raghubir Yadav) and mother (Yamini Das). Varun works at a shop that sells sewing machines, owned by Bansal (Sidharth Bhardwaj) and his son Prashant (Ashish Verma). Both have a habit of ill-treating Mauji and make him do fun antics. When Prashant gets married, Bansal invites Mauji and his entire family. Mamta feels humiliated when she sees Mauji being asked to imitate a dog by the Bansals. Mamta encourages him to start his own business, especially since he is a pro at sewing. However, Mauji’s grandfather was a tailor who faced immense losses. Hence, his father vowed never to get into this business again. Mauji at first rejects Mamta’s suggestion but later leaves his job and puts a stall on the streets in Delhi. On the other hand, Mauji’s mother falls down in their house and she’s hospitalized. The tests reveal that she has multiple blockages in her heart. The family is already having a hand-to-mouth existence and Mauji’s mother’s hospitalization further add to their woes. Moreover, Mauji has left his job as well. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Sharat Katariya’s story is simple and the need of the hour. It reminds one of the films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and gives a nice ode to that kind of adorable cinema. Sharat Katariya’s screenplay however is much more impressive. He does total justice to the characters and the setting and also keeps the viewers involved. However, unlike his previous outing DUM LAGA KE HAISHA  which had plenty of funny moments, SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA is more dramatic. There’s not much scope for humour and a section of audiences might miss that. Sharat Katariya’s dialogues are witty and play a major part in contributing to the laughter quotient.
Sharat Katariya’s direction is brilliant and enhances the well written script. He could have made the film a bit tighter and less convenient and predictable but thankfully these are minor flaws.
SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA ‘s first shot is very impressive and captures a lot simply in one take. After establishing the characters and setting, the film wastes no time in getting on point soon. The hospital sequence is lovely but in the first half, what takes the cake is the pre interval sequence. Notice how the makers raise tension levels! In the second half, the film drops a bit. Also the manner in which Mamta and Mauji get shortlisted for the fashion tournament seems a bit convenient. But the finale makes up for it (though it gives a déjà vu of the 2008 comic caper MONEY HAI TOH HONEY HAI) and the film is sure to leave viewers with a smile.
SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA belongs to Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma. Both actors deliver powerhouse performances. Varun Dhawan looks every inch a village simpleton and is sure to be loved. He plays his part with earnesty and that shows. Notice his reaction when Bansals force him to act like a dog and how he beautifully hides his embarrassment. Also in the climax scene especially in the hotel lobby sequence, he’s too good. Anushka Sharma gets mentioned before Varun in the opening credits and has a very crucial part. One forgets that she is THE Anushka Sharma and gives her hundred per cent. In a scene where she asks her mother in law if she’s fine and whether she liked the hospital, the actress seems so natural. Raghubir Yadav gives a very touching performance. Towards the finale especially, he’s sure to make viewers teary-eyed. Yamini Das plays her part perfectly, especially in the hospital scenes. Puja Sarup (Harleen Bedi) leaves a huge mark. Same goes for Namit Das (Guddu). Bhupesh Singh (Naushad) is damn good. The actors playing Majnu, Majnu’s wife, Palteram and others are also very good.
Anu Malik’s music goes very well with the film, although it’s not of chartbuster variety. The title song comes at a very crucial juncture and makes an impact. ‘Chaav Laaga’ is melodious. ‘Khatar Patar’ and ‘Tu Hi Aham’ are situational songs and work. ‘Sab Badhiya Hai’ is missing from the film. Andrea Guerra’s background score is in sync with the film’s mood and is also subtle.
Anil Mehta’s cinematography is too good and doesn’t get lost in capturing the simplicity of the village or the glitz and glamour of the city life. The lensman captures only what’s essential. Meenal Agarwal’s production design is realistic. Darshan Jalan and Neelanchal Kumar Ghosh’s costume designers deserve brownie points as it’s one of the pillars of the film. Charu Shree Roy’s editing is simple and neat.
On the whole, SUI DHAAGA – MADE IN INDIA is a simple tale told beautifully with strong emphasis on emotions. At the box office, the film will have to rely on a very good word of mouth to attract audiences. It has an extended five-day weekend of sorts (with October 2 being a National Holiday). Hence, the film would surely have a healthy run at the ticket window and would turn prove profitable or should we say ‘badhiya’ for the producers. Recommended! (Bollywood Hungama)