The Great Indian Family Review: Vicky Kaushal Film Is A Sincere But Unimpressive Take On Hindu-Muslim Religious Divide

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The Great Indian Family Review: Vicky Kaushal Film Is A Sincere But Unimpressive Take On Hindu-Muslim Religious Divide
hauterrfly Rating: 2 / 5

Vicky Kaushal has been making headlines in the past few days for his film The Great Indian Family starring Manushi Chhillar, Manoj Pahwa and Kumud Mishra. Produced by Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, this film was released in theatres across India on September 22. The comedy-drama film stars Vicky Kaushal in the lead role as Bhajan Kumar. Dive in to read my review of the film.

The Plot of The Great Indian Family

Vicky Kaushal plays the role of Ved Vyas Tripathi aka Bhajan Kumar. The film tackles the great Indian religious debate of Hindu vs. Muslim. It follows the story of Bhajan Kumar and his conservative Hindu family of Pandits in Balrampur. The film opens with a young Ved Vyas Tripathi and his transformation into Bhajan Kumar. Life is good for Bhajan Kumar except for one thing – finding love. But that comes to an end when Manushi Chhillar’s Jasmeet enters his life but like they say, all good things come to an end. Just when Vicky’s Bhajan finds love, life throws him a curveball. A mysterious letter leads to the discovery that Ved aka Bhajan Kumar is actually a Muslim by birth. What ensues is his journey of self-discovery and unlearning religious biases while the world as he knows it crumbles.

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Vicky Kaushal as Ved Vyas Tripathi aka Bhajan Kumar: Vicky Kaushal looks comfortable in his character and seems to have eased into it. He breathes life into Bhajan Kumar as he portrays every single emotion of his character. Bhajan Kumar seems to be tailor-made for Vicky and vice versa.


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A post shared by Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09)

Maunshi Chhillar as Jasmeet: Sometimes I truly wonder why actresses sign films that fail to give them screen time or a meaty role which is precisely the case here with Manushi. While the actress plays the role of Bhajan Kumar’s love interest, her character does not have much to offer to the story except for a badass Sikhni who breaks norms (read: hangs out with both Hindu and Muslim boys and doesn’t discriminate). Now, I’d say she was a purely ornamental character but NGL, I wouldn’t have missed her in the film.


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A post shared by Manushi Chhillar (@manushi_chhillar)

Kumud Mishra as Pandit Ji/Ved’s Dad: Kumud Mishra is a nuanced actor who owns the screen space and keeps people hooked to the screen every single time he appears and he seems to have done it once again. Despite his limited screen time, the actor has played the role of a conservative pandit who hesitates when he holds a Muslim child but learns to unlearn his biases.


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A post shared by Kumud Mishra (@kumudkmishra)

Manoj Pahwa as Ved’s Chacha Ji: Manoj Pahwa is yet another skilled actor and he does well in his role. However, I truly wish we got to see more of him.


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A post shared by Manoj Pahwa (@manoj__pahwa429)

The rest of the supporting cast namely, Yashpal Sharma, Sadiya Siddiqui, Srishti Dixit, Vedant Sinha, Alka Amin, Bhuvan Arora, Aasif Khan, Bharati Perwani and Anushtosh Ujjwal had a lot to offer the film but sadly, the script of The Great Indian Family did not have anything but flimsy roles to offer to the promising cast.

Also Read: Jaane Jaan Review: Kareena Kapoor, Vijay Varma, Jaideep Ahlawat’s Killer Acting Covers Up For Weak Screenplay

Verdict: Unconvincing Dialogues, Chip-Thin Characters

Let’s talk about what works for this film. It’s Vicky Kaushal and the social issue that the film tackles that makes it intriguing. While there’s no denying that The Great Indian Family is thought-provoking and has been powered by Vicky Kaushal’s skillful performance, there’s nothing more that it has for us. We might be in the era of family comedy-drama films but the comedy in this film is not comedy-ing or making anyone laugh. Except for a few punchlines here and there, there’s nothing funny about this film.


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A post shared by Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09)

The film is marred by clichés like Hindu people (in this era of digitalization) assuming that Muslim people greet each other by screaming “Allah Hu Akbar” and not “As-salaam alaykum”. To make matters worse, the dialogues are weak and borderline cringe. ISTG, I cringed (HARD) when Manoj Pahwa said “khoon pukar raha hai” to Vicky Kaushal’s Ved Vyas Tripathi. Marred with stereotypes, this film attempts to break the stereotype with the age-old argument of “hum sabka khoon laal hai”. But bro, where’s the logical argument? The makers seem to have taken the topic of the great Indian Hindu-Muslim debate and instead of using their creative liberty to modernise it and make a solid argument, they decided to transport the viewers to the 90s with cliché and mediocre dialogues. In fact, what’s even more heartbreaking is that Vicky Kaushal’s Ved Vyas Tripathi aka Bhajan Kumar has a monologue in the end which is so boring and unconvincing that it might just put you to sleep.

Also Read: Sukhee Review: Shilpa Shetty Film On A Housewife’s Journey Of Rediscovery Tries Too Hard, Feels Cliché

NGL, the story does have potential but one cannot deny the fact that thanks to the shoddy writing, none of the characters have any depth or character arc apart from Vicky Kaushal’s Bhajan Kumar. He’s the only character dealing with his own religious biases as he goes to the other side (the Muslim area of their Mohalla), with his friends to beat up a guy for being friends with a girl from their side. And I kid you not, the Muslim part of the Mohalla is as cliché as it comes with a Mosque smack in the middle and tiny streets with vendors selling non-vegetarian food and the even more cliché checkered scarf and Muslim skullcap stalls. It’s even more annoying when the Hindu characters use the word “Mohammedan” to refer to Muslims. However, it is interesting to witness Vicky’s Bhajan Kumar realise how deep-rooted his own biases are and then go on to feel ashamed about it and make a change.


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A post shared by Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09)

The interpersonal relationships between the characters of The Great Indian Family are half-baked and seem rather forced. The film tries to delve into interfaith relationships but ends up forgetting the subplot along the way. Chip-thin characters and flimsy dialogues make this meaningful film come across as preachy. And let’s not forget the stretched screenplay and the mandatory character played by an influencer (if only they’d have let Srishti Dixit do what she does best, she might’ve given us a few extra laughs here and there). That, my friends, is why I’m giving The Great Indian Family 2 stars out of 5.

The Great Indian Family is currently playing in theatres across the country and will later stream on Prime Video.

The Great Indian Family Trailer: Vicky Kaushal, Manushi Chhillar Film Tackles The Great Hindu-Muslim Religion Debate!

Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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