Netflix’s romantic comedy ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ revolves around a newlywed couple who is forced into a long-distance relationship due to their careers. Directed by Vivek Soni, the film sees Meenakshi and Sundareshwar/Sundar going through the ups and downs of virtual marriage, familial drama, and personal ambitions. It stars Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani in central roles.
The Hindi-language film, interspersed with Tamil, alternates between Madurai and Bengaluru. It focuses on how physical distance impacts the couple’s emotional connection. With the pandemic having forever changed the way we live and work, the film’s premise of a long-distance marital relationship rings true for a lot of people. Is the story of Meenakshi and Sundar a fragment of reality? Or is it simply a figment of the imagination? Let’s find out!
Is Meenakshi Sundareshwar Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ is not based on a true story. Like most fictitious films, it borrows well-known elements, phenomena, and traditions from real life in order to weave its romantic tale. The Netflix rom-com is Soni’s directorial debut. “‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ will always be very special to me as this is my first film as a director. Working with Sanya and Abhimanyu on making this fresh and adorable love story come to life has been phenomenal,” stated the director. Soni co-wrote the film with Aarsh Vora.
The film revolves around Meenakshi and Sundar’s struggles with their newly established marital relationship. Many criticized its stereotypical representation of Tamilians as well as its decision to cast non-South Indian actors as the South Indian protagonists. However, others related to its premise of a long-distance relationship. With job-related transfers and pandemic-related career shifts being an everyday reality, it’s easy to see why couples (and not just married ones) across India relate to the predicament of Meenakshi and Sundar. “The film beautifully sets up a tale of love, marriage, the struggles that follow and everything in between,” said Dassani (Sundar).
At its heart, the film is a cheesy, lighthearted, and, most importantly, fictional tale of love. Nonetheless, it manages to accurately capture the highs and lows of a long-distance marriage. From late-night phone conversations to saucy video-call roleplays, the film points out the various technology-mediated methods adopted by real-life couples to keep their romance alive despite the distance. Through generous amounts of exaggeration, it also highlights the inability of many from the older generations to understand the perks of virtually maintained romances.
The feel-good film also represents the very real concerns regarding job placement and career progression that plague the youth of today. As Sundar goes to Bengaluru to pursue his dreams, Meenakshi is left behind in their hometown of Madurai. After all, the Silicon Valley of India is known for attracting career-oriented individuals from all across the country. As Meenakshi and Sundar deal with work-related pressures, their marriage begins to bear the brunt.
Additionally, a small and entertaining snippet of the director’s life is included in the film — Meenakshi’s obsession with Rajinikanth has roots in Soni’s own love for the famous actor. “He [Rajinikanth] is my personal favorite, and that is the reason we chose Meenakshi to be a fan of Rajini sir as such,” confessed Soni during the film’s trailer launch in Mumbai. Thus, ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ is a fictional love story that explores whether distance can make the heart grow fonder. While some of its elements and themes reflect real-life circumstances, most of it is simply the product of imagination.
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