Central Board of Film Certification head Pahlaj Nihalani is an easy man to provoke and a hard man to please. When the censor board chief praises a film (never mind if he comes across as displaying blatant bias), you know what to expect: the production is in line with his nationalistic beliefs and reflects his recently acquired love for socially themed cinema after years of rolling out potboilers.
Toilet Ek Prem Katha is likely to be made mandatory viewing, given how closely it mirrors the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign. Movie star Akshay Kumar plays Keshav, a rural gent whose bride Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar) leaves him as soon as she finds out that she will have defecate in the open like all the other women. Keshav vows to bring about a toilet building revolution, and finds that his superstitious father (Sudhir Pandey) is one of his obstacles.
Produced by Neeraj Pandey, directed by Shree Narayan Singh, and written by Siddharth-Garima, the movie aims to deliver its message through humour (Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for his wife, and I cannot even get a toilet built, Keshav dolefully observes.) The cast include reliable comic actor Divyendu Sharma. The trailer leaves us in no doubt about what the August 11 release will be like, how it will begin, and how it will end. We can also predict tax free status, a few National Film Awards, and, hopefully, the building of some toilets in real life.