Hailing from a conservative family, Aarti Shukla (Kriti Kharbanda), an educated girl from Kanpur, falls in love with her arranged match Satyendra (Rajkummar Rao). Sattu's stable government job (clerk in excise dept) and upper class family background impresses her parents; while his humility and liberal thoughts, win over the girl. But the love story takes a drastic turn when Aarti flees on her wedding day, leaving Satyendra at the altar.
Fearing she'll end up as a housewife after marriage, an ambitious Aarti sacrifices her love for Sattu as she chooses career and independence. Scarred with rejection, heartbreak and societal humiliation, Sattu becomes a changed man. Years later, fate brings them together. What unfolds forms the story.
Though director Ratnaa Sinha addresses various social issues (dowry, bribe, gender equality) in her overstretched and a tad outdated tale, her film is predominantly a romantic drama that seems inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion. Class and gender disparity, revenge, jealousy and eternal love - it ticks all boxes.
However, unlike Austen's classic that beautifully captures the simmering tension, regret and passion between two former lovers, this one leaves a lot to imagination.
What then keeps you engaged despite the rather implausible plot riddled with misunderstandings is some real good performances, led by the very talented Rajkummar Rao. Whatever he touches turns to gold. His subtle and honest portrayal of Sattu is a testament to his much talked about acting brilliance. Kriti Kharbanda exudes charm and simplicity, thus complimenting Raj perfectly.
The film could have been much better than it eventually turns out to be. But if you don't mind watching a modest family drama, reminiscent of the 90s, you won't mind being privy to this emotional alliance.
Our overall critics rating is not an average of the sub score below.