CHENNAI: Director Sharat Khatariya’s passion seems to be dysfunctional families. While his 2015 film “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” was a hilarious take on how a plus-size woman struggles to find acceptance in her marriage and new home, his latest work, “Sui Dhaaga: Made in India,” weaves into a middle-class community on the outskirts of Delhi where a family struggles to keep its head above water. Much like Akshay Kumar’s “Pad Man,” “Sui Dhaaga” (Needle and Thread) is a compelling take on the Indian entrepreneurial dream. What is delightful about Khatariya’s movie is its focus on small-town India, where aspirations are growing, and along with it the resolve to be a master of one’s own destiny. This means goodbye to hire-and-fire jobs and hello to self-reliant start-ups.
Varun Dhawan’s Mauji may be a village bumpkin, often facing the butt of his employer’s insensitive jokes, but when they begin to hurt and humiliate him, he walks out of the shop where he worked for years. With a father (a delightfully sarcastic Raghuvir Yadav) on the verge of retiring from his nondescript assignment, an ailing mother (Yamini Dass) and a young, full-of-hopes wife, Mamta (Anoushka Sharma), to take care of, Mauji’s decision could have been nothing short of disaster. It is here that Mamta breaks out of her meek, demure shell to get her husband back on his feet and nudge him toward his talent. An excellent tailor, he literally stitches his way to stardom.
Despite the agonizing struggle of its lead characters (the scene in which Mauji is at a sewing competition, running the machine with a bleeding leg, is brilliant), “Sui Dhaaga” never slips into gloom and there is enough mirth and lightheartedness to push it through the tapestry of a small town, marvelously captured by cinematographer Anil Mehta. Both Sharma, simple and sweet sans any heavy makeup, and an understated Dhawan add sparkle to the narrative. But we know where the story line is headed, and this is where “Sui Dhaaga” fails to tailor the perfect cut.