Satyaprem Ki Katha review: Kartik-Kiara shine in a pure love story | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Satyaprem Ki Katha review: Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani shine in this pure love story on a sensitive subject

Jun 29, 2023 03:12 PM IST

Satyaprem Ki Katha review: Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani deliver stellar performance in his romantic comedy with a beating heart.

It's been quite some time I hadn't seen a sweet, endearing and pure love story that has its heart at the right place, coming out from Bollywood. While I entered Satyaprem Ki Katha hoping it'll be one, turns out it's much more than just a simple love story. Using the canvas of a love story, director Sameer Vidwans addresses an important issue that has plagued our society for long, and in the process, he blends raw emotions of the young generation, conservative outlook of the elderly, and the shame that middle-class lot has for long lived with. With a brilliant story and idea in hand, the film falters at places with its execution, though it's never to an extent that it takes away from the purity of the story. A musical romance with a good-looking lead pair -- Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani -- who have earlier also made heads turn with their chemistry in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 - Satyaprem Ki Katha is refreshing, entertaining but never lets go of the sensitivity of the subject at hand.

Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani in Satyaprem Ki Katha.
Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani in Satyaprem Ki Katha.

The story starts with Satyaprem aka Sattu Aggarwal (Kartik Aaryan), a charming, virgin, Gujju guy who hasn't been able to clear his law exams for three years, hasn't ever dated a girl in his life, but despite being labelled as a loser, carries a heart of gold. He meets Katha (Kiara Advani), a free-spirited, modern and outgoing girl, at a community celebration, and instantly falls for her, though he knows she's way out of his league, and already in a relationship. But as fate had it planned, they end up marrying each other. While Sattu tries hard to woo Katha, she's holding on to a secret that's not easy to let go of. How Sattu uncovers the truth and in the process, gives Katha the courage to come to terms to it, shed her inhibitions and stand up for herself, forms the premise of the story.

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While the first half lacks lustre and takes too long to take off, I was totally swayed by the fast paced second half that has a lot happening and twists unfolding one after the other. I liked how Sameer wastes no time in taking us through a series of boring and time-consuming flashbacks, and instead, keep us engaged in the present day and what's happening in that moment. Also, there's no forced attempt at presenting a modern family setup with everything hunky dory, but we are shown a realistic scenario where parents and relatives in a middle-class family interfere by all means if their newly married son and his wife are not sleeping in the same room.

At 2 hours 36 minutes, Satyaprem Ki Katha effectively tells the story of this couple, and gives the message it set out to. Written by Karan Shrikant Sharma, the film never confuses you with heavyweight dialogues or over-the-top Gujarati lines. While there's a lot of Gujarati - both in words and accent put on by the characters - it effortlessly adds wit and humour to the dialogues. Ayananka Bose's cinematography is quite in sync with the story-line and especially the portions shot in the spectacular Kashmir valley are simply breathtaking. On the editing table, Charu Shree Roy ensures that the film isn't dragged much, and there is a flow that keeps you hooked.

Having mostly done funny parts and a couple of extremely dark and intense ones (Dhamaka and Freddy), Kartik's Sattu beautifully and effortlessly blends sweetness and vulnerability. In the emotionally-charged scenes, he is top notch, and in the funny ones, he is a pro. Oh, there's even a hint to his infamous monologue from Pyaar Ka Punchnama and that's quite a clever insertion. Kiara is a show-stealer by all means. After Jugjugg Jeeyo, she once again gets to showcase a variety of emotions and layers in her character. From a strong-headed girl who dreams big to someone who breaks down so easily, she emotes so well onscreen and looks stunning in each frame. As a pair, Kartik and Kiara reminded me of Raj-Simran from DDLJ -- there's something so pleasing and calming about their screen presence, especially in the emotional portions.

Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani will remind you of Raj and Simran from DDLJ.
Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani will remind you of Raj and Simran from DDLJ.

Among the supporting cast, Gajraj Rao as Sattu's father is a patriarch and quite an interesting casting. From Badhaai Ho and all other soft and sweet characters we have seen him do, this is a much more layered character and Gajraj does full justice to it. Supriya Pathak as Sattu's mother doesn't have much to do for most part of the film, but there's that one important scene where she indulges in a heartfelt conversation with her son and tells us how to keep his marriage afloat. That's quite moving and makes up for the lesser screen time Supriya gets. There's Shikha Talsania as Sattu's sister, but gets very little to do in the script. Siddharth Randeria and Anuradha Patel as Katha's parents deliver a decent performance, and their portions with Kartik are in fact, quite well written. Rajpal Yadav as the doodhwala is as wasted as you can imagine.

There are portions in Satyaprem Ki Katha that take you back in time to the 80s and 90s era where simplistic love stories worked, and while narrating Sattu and Katha's tale, the director gives us a lot more to stay invested. 20 minutes into the film and we see Kartik making a smashing hero entry with the song. Minutes later, enters Kiara looking gorgeous doing those dance moves in yet another peppy number. The mood for the musical is set right from the beginning and there are several songs that are well spaced out in the screenplay.

As Satyaprem Ki Katha ticks most of the boxes in the checklist, it could very well be the much-needed love story that Bollywood needed at this point. Watch it with your family and partners for there's a message for everyone and no, it won't bore you even for a bit.

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