'Satyaprem Ki Katha' review: This Kartik Aaryan-starrer oversimplifies a serious issue

From rom-com to serious drama, Satyaprem Ki Katha oscillates between multiple themes


Satyaprem (Kartik Aaryan), who hails from a humble background, desperately wants to get married despite having no career. His eyes are set on Katha (Kiara Advani), a girl way out of his league, who belongs to a wealthy family. After a breakup and a suicide attempt that followed, she is under pressure to get married to ‘save the face of the family’.

His father is convinced that a naive and unemployed son-in-law would be a great fit for his ‘spoiled’ daughter and so arranges a match and gives his business, a snacks and savories showroom, as dowry to Satyaprem.

The first half of the film comfortably nestles in its romantic comedy genre with the audience in the dark as to where the film is headed. As the film progresses, the romantic comedy genre takes a backseat, and a serious tone, a pressing issue, sets in. Satyaprem finds out that Katha was raped by her former boyfriend and had to undergo an abortion. Her family, unaware of the rape, accuses her of being ‘morally loose’ and forces her into marriage to save themselves the 'embarrassment'.

Suffering from trauma, Katha finds herself unable to consummate her marriage as memories of her assault come rushing back every time she comes physically close to her husband.

It is then that her husband grows a conscience and decides to become the hero of her life – the same husband who never cared to be financially independent or did not hesitate to say no to dowry.

The partly problematic film that tries hard to be an entertainer even as it preaches righteousness ends up oversimplifying a serious issue and masking it while ending up neither here nor there.

Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan’s chemistry reflects well on screen and Gajraj Rao as Aaryan’s father remains in his element. However, his portrayal comes off as another problem factor as in the first half; he provokes his son to go after the girl and charm her. However, when he learns about the rape, he worries about his reputation and blames the girl’s family for hiding the fact. Supriya Pathak Kapur is yet again at her Gujarati best as she portrays an overbearing matriarch who supports her daughter-in-law.

The film could have elevated its plot by avoiding the dramatisation, simplification and Bollywoodification of a sensitive topic. Perhaps its National Award-winning director Sameer Vidwans (whose Anandi Gopal won a National Award for best feature film on social issues) wanted to highlight another important issue of the high number of unreported rape cases in India.

Film: Satyaprem Ki Katha

Director: Sai Kabir

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani

Rating: 3/5

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