Vivek Soni’s Meenakshi Sundareshwar is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language romantic comedy movie directed by Vivek Soni and produced by Netflix Originals and Dharmatic Entertainment. In the major parts are Abhimanyu Dassani and Sanya Malhotra.

On Netflix on November 5, 2021, Meenakshi Sundareshwar will be available digitally.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar
ImageCredit: netflix

One of the first boxes family-oriented Bollywood checks is a “first meeting of the boy and girl” for the aim of an arranged marriage. And ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar,’ a mouthful of a movie title, succeeds fairly well on that front. Sundareshwar (Abhimanyu) is a dedicated coder, an engineer who thinks in dots and dashes, and is naïve about literature and movies; Meenakshi (Sanya Malhotra) is not false demure; she doesn’t bat her eyelashes, is straight up in conversation, and is a major Rajinikanth fan. They force him to sleep, he claims.

Meenakshi is her name (Sanya Malhotra). Sundareshwar is his name (Abhimanyu Dassani). It’s not love at first sight that brings the mismatched couple together, but divine providence. Both are from Madurai, the home of the renowned Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple. What’s the point of a name or two? In the case of these two diametrically opposed poles, a great deal.

The way it starts is affirming, picking up on local flavours of Madurai, where it’s primarily set–the famous temple upon which the film’s name is predicated, the brisk Idli-Dosai-dispensers known as ’messes’ (the film is smart enough not to say ‘dosa’), the single screen theatres where crazy hordes of Rajini fans bathe his cut-outs in milk and dance while the After all, it’s a Dharma product, and looking well is in its DNA.

Sundareshwar’s courtyard, illuminated up with a hundred flickering diyas, is lambent; the bachelor pad where he and his pals hang out in Bengaluru is just on the stylish side of slovenly: There isn’t a single pair of underpants (the Tamil name for it is there for those who would hear it and grin) or an empty beer bottle to be found.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar cast
ImageCredit: Netflix

The one and three quarters of an hour is spent on the young couple’s back-and-forth between their hometown and Bangalore, where the guy relocates to work for a tech company with an odd bachelors-only hiring policy, and on their hemming and hawing to keep the marriage alive and kicking despite the complications of a long-distance relationship.

Good, this is that the film isn’t interested in satirising or mocking the concept of arranged marriage. It is what it is, and it is the daily reality of millions of young Indians who live with their wives and children in their parents’ houses, arguing and harmonising as they go.

The wonderful song “Tittar Bittar,” filmed with a sense of levity, conveys aspects of that existence–living around in-laws, rambunctious kids, and their many moods — pretty effectively. Meenakshi’s little retaliation against a demanding aunt-in-law is also sweet, if exaggerated: young brides who live in joint families understand how difficult it is to admit that they may have had a romantic life before they acquired their legal mangalsutras.

Also Read, Scenes from a Marriage: A Story of Struggle of Love

The problem with portraying a boring character is that you may come across as uninteresting yourself. Abhimanyu is not provided enough of a competitive advantage to distinguish himself from his standard-issue South Indian guy set to enter into matrimony and money-that-he-will-earn-from-a-job. Malhotra fared better, despite the fact that she is always dressed as if she is going to a wedding. Their relationship is pleasant yet erratic. More emphasis on what makes the couple tick would have made this picture a charmer from start to finish.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar
ImageCredit: Netflix

Meenakshi Sundareshwar is an odd film, to say the least. It’s not often that mainstream Bollywood – this is a Dharmatic Entertainment production for Netflix – produces a tale that lasts over two and a half hours without avoiding any obvious significance on the screen.

But don’t be fooled by it. Meenakshi Sundareshwar’s film captures, in its own methodical and unassuming way, the reality of young people struggling to attain life and work balance in an era where relationships frequently suffer at the altar of career aspirations.

Although the two protagonists never appear to be meant for each other – which, to be fair, is what the picture is about – they do look the part separately. Abhimanyu Dassani captures the awkwardness of a man with few social skills. Sanya Malhotra has enough charm and controlled vivacity that she isn’t overshadowed by the occasional verbosity surrounding her.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar
ImageCredit: netflix

Meenakshi Sundareshwar’s technical abilities are also noteworthy. The songs and background music (by Justin Prabhakaran), the lyrics (by Raj Shekhar), and the cinematography (by Debojeet Ray) are all constantly notable.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar, like its two main protagonists, would not have required supernatural intervention or Rajinikanth’s love for its marriage of intention and execution to work if the script had avoided the laboured pre-climactic turns. The former is superior to the latter.