An Jo’s note on Toilet : Ek Prem Katha

In one of the scenes in TEKP, Akshay repeats the same line he used in KHAKEE; that he’s a human and not a ‘machine’ to keep repeating the sex-act at the will of his heart or something below his navel depending on his wife’s bedroom-demands. It was a nostalgic moment endorsing a fantastic masala movie. Thank you, director, for that.

I am not inclined to write a review of this movie; but of course, just write something. In terms of the story, it’s just a man’s struggle to get his wife back not through one’s heart; but a toilet. It’s a couple’s journey not to bring a ‘sauchalay’ to fruition in a remote town ‘MANDGAON’ [note the relation to MAND-BUDDHI or ‘dumb-witted’] near Mathura and Agra {also, note another irony; ‘MATHURA’, that holy place –where things are supposed to be spick and span thanks to its direct proportionality to holiness}; but to change the ‘sauch’ in ‘sauchalay.’ Akshay fights his ‘pandit’ brethren, the panchayat staff, the women who actually suffer the humiliation, and finally, the government machinery itself that’s quite happy being corrupt thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the small-town folks thanks to ‘culture.’

Having said that, this is quite a remarkable movie, in the sense that it actually hits out pretty bluntly at the Brahministic hierarchy in Hinduism! For a movie or a story that’s supposed to be a ‘propaganda’ vehicle for the current administration, it’s actually quite scathing in its attack on Manu-smriti, and in turn, Brahminism and Hinduism! This movie actually accuses the Brahman caste of being hand-in-glove with the ridiculous theory that one cannot have a toilet in the house where the ‘vaastu’ has a specialized geo-location for the Tulsi plant! Now belonging to the caste of the hero and the heroine in the movie and more specifically, having adorned the last name of the heroine in this flick, the irony was not lost on me and my ilk that this is actually a strong pointer at me! And there-in lies the dichotomy; maybe the ‘liberals’ might argue that since Modi belongs to the back-ward caste, he would actually be quite happy to go against the Pandit and Joshi clans! Conspiracy theories, I tell you, will survive multiple decades; and that’s Zaid Hamid’s contribution.

The first-half is spent in Akshay’s wooing of the heroine in the small-town; and that’s quite fun in itself; inspite of the fact that it involves the hero recording and shooting images of the heroine on his cell-phone. If one cannot apply the standards of 12th century Islamic rulers to present century, then can one apply NYC standards of what constitutes stalking to the ones in Mandgaon? Right? Or are the standards different? Just curious. The 2Nd half is spent in Akshay’s character walking through the bureaucratic hurdles and offices to figure out the actual problem of toilet-allocation in villages. Suffice it to say, this movie isn’t a documentary, but fits quite well as an entertainer.

I don’t know about the repeat value of this movie; it is quite entertaining to watch inspite of an ‘expected’ second-half. It’s quite a simple movie in terms of what it tries to address. But let me say, this is NOT an easy movie to watch in spite of the ‘comedic’ or even ‘Chaplin-esqe’ turns it takes: the entire subject of this movie is embarrassing and painful to watch: One listens to ‘words’ that are not used frequently used in daily life. For ‘privileged’ folks like me, it was quite an eye-opener.

As I said before, this is quite a blatant endorsing of Modi, what with similes tied to demonetization versus toilet-locks: But what’s also quite intriguing is that it takes the so-called ‘upper’ echelons of the Hindu religion by its horns!

The irony, then, is not lost on me when I take a loo-break in the interval and enter a highly sanitized environment…with music playing to-boot…

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14 Responses to “An Jo’s note on Toilet : Ek Prem Katha”

  1. Well, brahmins are a minority and so they can be attacked. Is it easy to attack Jats, Rajputs, Yadavs or Devars? Tamilnadu under Periyar effectively did this and drove thousands of brahmins to neighbouring states.

    In Goa I stayed in a picturesuqe village where only our apartment and few more had toilet facility. Others with big houses, used nature and it used to be a sight.

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  2. During my engineering, it was quite a sight from our hostel room window …. but my circle was quite decent and despite knowing, they always kept their windows closed. But at that time, my impression was that those ladies are from poor families and they can’t afford toilet at home. I never knew that some people take it as offense of having toilet at home.

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    • Ya well, I thought the toilet issue in the north was mostly due to poor families not being able to afford any..isn’t it so? This issue was not at all discussed in the movie? I can assume that cudnt be shown as the reason for akshay’s family since him with his scooter and mobile and she with her salon hair can hardly argue financial constraints.

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  3. Bob cristo Says:

    I said it somewhere else and repeating here. These are Akshay Kumar’s movie so nobody is protesting. The way he took trigger happy , encounter loving patriotics to the task in Jolly LLB ann now Brahmins in TEPK. If there were some khan especially SRK in his place then these movies might have been get blacklash.

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  4. The same thought came to my mind while reading this review.. but let it pass. There is no point in always picking up stuff which most prefer not to see.

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  5. SRK getting backlash for doing TEPK is a moot point. SRK is busy doing Swiss romance. No one expects him to do a film on open defecation. TEPK doing much better than JHMS is another matter altogether.

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    • You do remember SRK’s last film was a real story based Raeez isn’t it?

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      • That movie which made distributor losses and yet BOI calls it semi-hit? Talking about SRK’s flopshows is getting boring now.

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        • talk wasnt about box office..talk was about doing a film or not. Sad to see that for an Aanir fan only box office talks. Are you an aamir fan becos of his acting or his box office?

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        • LOL! Sad to see a SRK shying away from BO talk now, such is his standing at the moment. Anyone who has lived through the nineties know where his unending arrogance comes from – only sex and srk supposedly sells!

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  6. Now aamir is doing a muslim family based film. Let us see how they will react or overreact! I feel any criticism of their faith in some countries will be taken much more seriously and blasphemy laws will be applied. India is far better.

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