MS Dhoni and Chennai's mutual love for each other knows no bounds. Hailed as the adopted son of Tamil Nadu ever since his glorious tenure as the captain of Chennai Super Kings, Dhoni has taken a leap into the world of film production. His fans couldn't contain their excitement right from the film’s announcement. Especially because Let's Get Married is set in his second home, none other than, Tamil Nadu!
While Dhoni has left us awestruck with his iconic ‘finishes off in style’ moments on the cricket field it's now time to check if he can deliver the same magic in the theatres.
Gautham (Harish Kalyan), who is raised by a single mother Leela (Nadiya), falls in love with Meera (Ivana). The parents of both families don't object to their love. I know their families are modern, but are they even Indian if they accept a love marriage without an ounce of resistance? Sorry, not relatable.
Anyway, coming back to the story, why can't the lovers get to the wedding stage? It is because the girl wants to know if she is compatible with her lover's mother. How does she do it? By going on a road trip before deciding to marry into the family.
In Let's Get Married, filmmaker Ramesh Thamil Mani, who is also the music composer of the film, daringly delves into the infamous feud between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law in Tamil households, giving it a refreshingly modern twist. Instead of merely poking fun at this common theme, the director takes an intriguing approach by attempting to find a solution to the age-old problem. The crux of the storyline promises excitement, luring audiences in.
However, once this enticing premise is set, the screenplay takes a lethargic turn, dragging its feet with sporadic moments of laughter expertly enacted by ace comedians Yogi Babu, RJ Vijay, Vikram Arul Vidyapathi and Hari Muniyappan. Despite its potential, the film challenges the audience to stay engaged as the plot meanders until the rewarding moments finally shine through.
The film presents itself as a road-trip movie, where the characters embark on a journey together, intended to serve as a backdrop for self-discovery, bonding, and character development. However, it suffers from a very inorganic setting, and the detached route to the conflict seems superficial in the South Indian family context. As a result, the film fails to move you with its emotions, leaving the audience feeling disconnected from these characters.
In one of the scenes, Nadiya’s character (the mother-in-law) says to her future daughter-in-law, "Koopta odane poitiya ma?," which means, "Did you go with him immediately after he called you?". This seemingly innocent line carries a subtle mockery, indirectly insulting the girl for getting along with a stranger and questioning her upbringing.
But hold on, isn't her son the one who called the girl in the first place? Shouldn't we be questioning his upbringing instead? It's disheartening that in this day and age, two consenting adults wanting to know each other better have to face such implications about their character and upbringing. Doesn’t such an indirect jab at the girl only perpetuate harmful stereotypes and reinforce regressive beliefs?
However, the film boasts beautiful visuals, exuding richness and brilliance in its immaculate craftsmanship. With great attention to aesthetic details, it captivates the audience with its stunning and visually pleasing presentation. The film shines but we can't help but wonder if it's all glitz and no depth.
MS Dhoni's cricketing career began with a humble duck out, but he rose to be one of India's celebrated cricket legends. From this modest start to an awe-inspiring triumph – his journey is truly inspiring. Similarly, I think Let's get married is a duck on his production debut. Let's hope Dhoni masters script selection and turns this hiccup into a blooper reel on his way to becoming a true film production legend!
With his Midas touch, I’m sure, a blockbuster future awaits. As an ardent 'Thala' fan, I wholeheartedly believe his film journey will mirror the glory of his cricketing career. Lights, camera, action and a second inning await!