Satyaprem Ki Katha (2023)

Satyaprem Ki Katha (2023)

A Hindi film torn between wanting to be a romance and a social issue drama

6.0

Movie

India
Hindi
Drama, Romance
2023
SAMEER VIDWANS
Anuradha Patel, Gajraj Rao, Kartik Aaryan
146 min

TLDR

In ten years, I hope whoever remakes Satyaprem Ki Katha takes better care in depicting this issue.

What it's about

In last year’s Navratri festival, unemployed bachelor Satyaprem (or Sattu) falls in love with the beautiful Katha, a festival performer who was dating someone else. Hearing that she’s single now, Sattu hopes to win her heart, despite his inability to get his law degree.

The take

Centered on a unique marriage, Satyaprem Ki Katha could have reinvented the romance genre with its depiction of women’s trauma. The film does care about the issue, as it sides with the victim in this regard, and there’s a certain sweetness in the relationship being portrayed. Kiara Advani’s performance feels believable and she clearly makes the best of her existing scenes. However, the film is too afraid to be critical of the men in this film, especially as it’s too concerned with Sattu as a savior. On top of this, it relies too much on the standard Indian song-and-dance, which, while spectacular, takes away too much time from the issue at hand. Because of this, Satyaprem Ki Katha feels like a missed opportunity.

What stands out

With the way virginity is valued in a society formed by arranged marriages, it’s sweet to see Sattu so clearly devoted to Katha even as he heard about her previous relationship, especially as the reason for their break-up is revealed to be a serious issue. However, the fundamental storyline betrays any good intentions meant by the film. While Satyaprem Ki Katha realizes that the wedding isn’t the be-all and end-all, it’s still obsessed with the idea of the couple having an actual marriage. It’s hard to believe the film’s sincerity in depicting women’s trauma, when it spends its entire first half on Sattu and his concerns.

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