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‘Sui Dhaaga’ review: Sweet and simple stitches of sympathy

A still from ‘Sui Dhaaga’

A still from ‘Sui Dhaaga’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Sharat Katariya’s brushstrokes in 'Sui Dhaaga' may have got much more broad than in his previous outing but you still end up caring for his characters

It’s tough to imagine that a stitching test — the race to sew a pillow cover to eventually win a sewing machine — could send your pulse racing but it does happen in Sui Dhaaga. It’s because you care for and feel one with Mauji (Varun Dhawan) and Mamta (Anushka Sharma) and their race to self-reliance — turning Mauji’s tailoring talent into an enterprise. After all, who doesn’t like an underdog to reach her/his goal?

Sui Dhaaga
  • Director: Sharat Katariya
  • Cast: Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Raghubir Yadav, Namit Das, Puja Sarup
  • Storyline: Happy-go-lucky Mauji, with a big push and lots of help from his wife Mamta, turns his tailoring talent into an enterprise

There’s more that is likable about the film. The whimsical vignettes of ordinary lives — the lack of intimacy for the young couple, the primacy (over everything else) of having water pumped into the house tanks, reaching out for amchoor (mango powder) and lemon pickle to relieve oneself of flatulence. The family and community dynamics, their togetherness despite the squabbles feel real and bitter-sweet. Then there’s the larger arc of giving a thumbs down to commercially exploitative appropriation of tradition and its mindless harnessing for mass-production as against the purity of craft and its distinct stamp on the individually made garments. So what if all of it is eventually done on screen in the ironic shade of a brand like Raymond.

In the telling of this consciously inspirational tale filmmaker Sharat Katariya’s brushstrokes get too broad, his telling a tad too heavy-handed. The characters swing between the extremes of black and white, of the good and the bad with some exaggerated portrayals of villainy, right from the son of Mauji’s former employer to the fashion designer boss to the oversmart middleman. All, incidentally, played by competent actors like Ashish Verma, Puja Sarup and Namit Das respectively. The hero and heroine, on the other hand, are way too goody goody for comfort, the performances too come marked with a tear-jerking, self-aware earnestness. The truly real soul then is Raghubir Yadav, Mauji's bickering father.

The resolutions — both of the film and the squabbles with family, neighbours and friends within the film — come pat and easy, the play on Mad(e) In India grates and the end credits, obviously inspired from Aditya Chopra’s own Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, are not half as inventive as the original.

Ultimately Sui Dhaaga pans out like Lagaan — a rag tag team hits a sixer on the fashion ramp; the hoi polloi earn the approval of the gentry. It is a tad flat in comparison to the more layered quirkiness of his previous outing, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, but you still care and root for Katariya's characters and can’t help appreciate the fact that the agent provocateur in this film, as in DLKH, continues to be a woman. To borrow a line from the film itself, despite many hiccups, sab badhiya hai (all is well).

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 11:57:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sui-dhaaga-review-sweet-and-simple-stitches-of-sympathy/article25071353.ece

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