Meenakshi Sundareshwar Review- Feels incomplete
Meenakshi Sundareshwar Cast: Sanya Malhotra, Abhimanyu Dassani
Meenakshi Sundareshwar Director: Vivek Soni
Watch Meenakshi Sundareshwar on Netflix
Even though rich with songs and excellent shots, Meenakshi Sundareshwar fails to create an impression. The movie is about a newlywed couple struggling to make their long-distance relationship work out.
The movie is set in Madhurai, a district in Tamil Nadu and starts with a typical arranged marriage set up in a Tamil household. The girl Meenakshi is not demure and straight up in conversations. She is also an avid fan of Superstar Rajinikanth (this seems to have become a defining feature of a south Indian character in Bollywood movies!). The guy Sundar is an engineer and loves coding. Unlike Meenakshi, he finds movies and books boring. He tells her that they put him to sleep. The cute first meeting of Meenakshi and Sundar is nothing cliché and maintains realism. And without further ado, they decide to get married.
The scenes from the wedding are beautiful and catchy. They do not have an unrealistic frame like in many Bollywood movies that stereotype the southern part of India. But the chemistry between Meenakshi and Sundar falls short of depth. Sundar is offered a job in Bangalore and leaves the day after their wedding. The movie, which mainly focuses on managing long-distance relationships, does not entirely do so. The struggles faced by long-distance couples are hardly depicted. The intimacy between the lead pair and their desperation to be together is handled very lightly.
I don’t understand why the makers went for a married couple instead of unmarried couples. The latter would have had more scope for storytelling. And why a Tamil household in a Bollywood movie? Is it because the arranged marriage setup is more convincing in a south Indian household? But I must say that though a movie set in the South of India, Meenakshi Sundareshwar does not stereotype the southern part of the country with characters that are caricatures and have over-the-top accents. The characters are well presented and speak the language just fine. There might be a few minute details that the makers failed to notice but it is fine to pass on that for now.
Read: South Indian Stereotypes in Bollywood movies
The star of the show is however Sanya Malhotra who effortlessly portrays Meenakshi. She is getting more refined as an actress with every movie. Abhimanyu Dassani does not have to offer much and is mostly bland in his expression. He could have been more expressive and presentable but offers a rather confined performance.
As a product of Dharma Productions, Meenakshi Sundareshwar is a fairly good project but lacks content and excitement. With more definition to the relationship of the lead pair and giving them more intimacy, the subject of the movie could have been explored more. Both Meenakshi and Sundareshwar have their own dreams and ambitions which are simply left behind. Expanding on this aspect could have helped in providing more substance to the storyline.
Though I would not recommend it for your weekend binge, you can watch Meenakshi Sundareshwar just for time pass if you are in the mood for it.
Image Courtesy: YouTube