In an arranged marriage, Meenakshi (Sanya Malhotra) and Sundareshwar aka Sundar (Abhimanyu Dassani) meet for the first time. While he believes that engineers make the best husbands, the future bride already has a list of criteria to consider when choosing her life partner. While movies send Sundar to sleep, we realise she is a superstar Rajinikanth fan.
Despite their conflicting interests and a snag, the couple gets married with their respective families’ permission. Is there a happily ever after? Well, not in this case, as Sundar accepts a job offer from a Bengaluru-based IT firm and relocates without his wife. When he gets there, he realises that the company only hires single people and lies about his marital status. Sundareshwar, unable to resist this alluring offer and escape joining his father’s saree company, which he despises, persuades Meenakshi to marry him long distance. Is it true that distance makes the heart grow fonder?
Vivek Soni makes his directorial debut with Meenakshi Sundareshwar, a charming, straightforward, and sympathetic story of a new-age couple dealing with the difficulties and tribulations of their long-distance marriage. While the filmmaker gets the film’s heartbeat right by weaving some charming moments between Meenakshi and Sundareshwar, the writer’s pen runs dry when it comes to bringing the couple’s fears, squabbling, weaknesses, and problems to light while they are apart. A bit more crisp scripting on that front would have taken the film up a notch or two.
Abhimanyu Dassani, who made his Hindi cinema debut with Vasan Bala’s extremely amusing Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota, immediately slips into the role of Sundareshwar and emits a childlike charm that endears his character. When he’s being timorous on film, he’s the most entertaining to watch.
As the mischievous Meenakshi played by Sanya Malhotra packs a punch in the Rajinikath way. Her eyes tell volumes in several scenes, and you can hear her reactions aloud. Keep an eye out for the scene where Meenakshi, in search of some intimacy, inhales the aroma of Sundar’s shirt and fantasises about spending some delicate moments with him.
Manoj Mani is a well-known Indian actor. Sundareshwar’s dessert-loving brother, Matthew, provides some hilarity to the film. Archana Iyer, Shivkumar Subramanium, Purnendu Bhattacharya, Ritika Atul Shohtri, Danish Sood, Varun Shashi Rao, and Kalp Shah round up the rest of the cast.
Debojit Ray’s camera work is excellent, and his lens vividly captures Madurai’s colourful environment. He makes certain that his photographs are beautifully framed in order to capture the spirit of this temple city. The editing by Prasanth Ramachandran is excellent.
In an age of remixes and remakes, Justin Prabhakaran keeps faithful to the spirit of the film and gives the music a South Indian flavour. Whether it’s Abhay Jodhpurkar-‘Tu Madhushree’s Yahin Hai,’ Benny Dayal’s ‘Vaada Machaaney,’ or Shashwat Singh & Aanandi Joshi’s ‘Mann Kesar Kesar,’ each song stands out and works nicely with the story.
Many of Meenakshi Sundareshwar’s nuts and bolts are in place, but it is let down by weak writing and a director who mixes uneventfulness with realism.