Tumse Na Ho Payega is a film with a gem of a message

Gaurav Pandey, Ishwak Singh, Mahima Makwana and Gurpreet Saini in Tumse Na Ho Payega. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

Tumse Na Ho Payega, based on a bestseller that wants to say something significant in its humor-laden narrative, is a gem of a film. I wouldn’t know how much of this story by Varun Agarwal is autobiographical, but the key message is that success in one’s life can be best assessed not by others but by self. Ergo, the truly successful person is the one who considers himself or herself as a success. The world cannot decide your parameters, and the parameters are not necessarily based on money alone, or on social media and society reactions. Right in the beginning, that difference between truth and social and societal perception is highlighted.

Gaurav Shukla (Ishwak Singh of Rocket Boys fame) is not at all keen on his job. Probably his only joy at his job is her mother (Amala Akkineni)’s lunchbox. Fired from his job for not having any interest in it, he decides to go in for a start-up of home-cooked meals for employees. Another inspiration is a colleague who would love the food Gaurav’s mother makes over the canteen ‘muck’ he has to devour daily. The dark patch is that Gaurav’s father had failed as an entrepreneur and also the elements of doubt and discouragement that creep in on Gaurav from all quarters. And so when he begins his new business, he initially hides it from his mother.

Gaurav has loyal friends in Mal a.k.a. Sharad Malhotra (Gaurav Pandey) and Hardik (Gurpreet Saini) and is in one-sided love, since childhood, with Devika (Mahima Makwana). But, as of now, she prefers the society’s ‘gold standard’ successful Arjun (Karan Jotwani). However, they are all from the same school and Devika insists that Arjun is just a date, which does not necessarily mean a life companion.

Gaurav has beginner’s luck in his start-up and that fires him more. He convinces Mal to quit and join him and the business grows. One thing leads to another and soon his company, given the name of Maa’s Magic, expands—and how! Soon, a business magnate (Parmeet Sethi) invests an enormous amount in their company.

Gaurav replaces most of the women who cook for his tiffin-boxes in various Mumbai areas with a centralized kitchen. The standard obviously falls and Mal and he want to go back to their old style of functioning. But now, the investor makes things tough for them. And Anu aunty (Meghna Malik) and her prodigal son, the same Arjun, make things more difficult for them, as they have been influencing Gaurav’s mother from the beginning. What happens next?

The lightweight drama packs a wallop, especially in the developments in the latter half where we have a solid tussle between head and heart, and also in its initial humor-laden beginnings where the satire is sharp and truly funny. Like most of the Tiwari clan’s work (Chillar Party, Dangal, Chhichhore, Nil Battey Sannata, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Bawaal) there is a huge take-away from the movie, and that lingering lesson, perhaps in this case, is a wake-up call to those who define success just by material or society standards.

The writing is smart, crisp and intelligent, and the ‘how’ factor in the predictable end is what keeps the interest going. The actors are wonderful, Ishwak Singh once again showing how low-key can also be brilliant. The fluid Gaurav Pandey steals many a scene with his quicksilver eyes and expressions, while Gurpeet Saini is wonderful as the third friend, who is often like a conscience-keeper. Mahima Makwana is a total charmer as Devika and deserves more work.

Onkar Das Manikpuri makes an endearing cameo as a tea-vendor who backs Gaurav and Mal to the gills, while Parmeet Sethi, Meghna Malik and Karan Jotwani are correctly gray in the identifiable ‘filmi’ way. From the ‘maa’s who cook for Maa’s Magic, Farida Dadi and Sangeetha Bhalchandran stand out.

In the current phase of cinema that only desires success and is assessed only on those parameters even by the lay cinegoer, here is one film that follows its own philosophy and homes in on heart and humanism as the true credo. And though Star Studios, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Ronnie Screwvala are the support system and ‘investors’ in the project, one can se(ns)e the Nitesh-Ashwiny passion behind the movie.

And director Abhishek Sinha deserves hosannas for following the Tiwari ethos in his own way and giving us a treasure of a film that is as full of edutainment as any of the best work in the last two decades of Hindi cinema.

Rating: ****

Disney+Hotstar presents Star Studios’, Earthsky Pictures’, RSVP’s & Roy Kapur Films’ Tumse Na Ho Payega  Produced by: Star Studios, Nitesh Tiwari, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Ronnie Screwvala & Siddharth Roy Kapur  Directed by: Abhishek Sinha  Written by: Varun Agarwal, Nitesh Tiwari, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari & Nikhil Mehrotra  Music: Abhishek Arora & Ananya Purkayastha  Starring: Ishwak Singh, Mahima Makwana, Gaurav Pandey, Gurpreet Saini, Karan Jotwani, Amala Akkineni, Meghna Malik, Shyam Gopal, Omkra Das Manikpuri, Farida Dada, Deepak Kripalani, Sangeetha Bhalchandran, Manoj Dutt & others



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