“Veere Di Wedding”: Worth the Hype?

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If a movie could be awarded points for an intelligent marketing campaign, Shashanka Ghosh’s “Veere Di Wedding” would certainly score high. Unfortunately, the marketing campaign masks an average feature film.

The film is about four childhood friends nearing 30, all concerned with the vagaries of marriage. When the leader of the group, played by Kareena Kapoor, decides to marry Sumeet Vyas; the three friends (played by Sonam K Ahuja, Shikha Talsania and Swara Bhaskar) collect in their hometown to celebrate the momentous occasion. So follows an over-the-top “West Delhi” (their words, not mine) wedding, plenty of family drama, single girl insecurities, a hedonistic girl’s trip, and a lackluster romance; couched in generous potty-mouthing.

The movie can be credited for its exploration of timely themes including unwarranted excessive spending at Indian weddings; the immense pressure put on an otherwise independent career-driven 30 year old woman for marriage; and asinine family feuds over property. However, in attempting to cover too much ground, no single theme is allowed to build to a logical conclusion. Many plot points are glossed over, with things moving at an incredibly fast pace to reach the happy ending everyone expects.

There is no character build-up, especially of the four female protagonists. The actors portray their individual roles well, but lack chemistry amongst themselves. Kapoor, the star as always, shines far brighter than her fiancé, Vyas. The duo’s acting skills fail to ignite romantic passion in an already unlikely pairing. Bhaskar and Talsania have a firm grip on their roles, and along with the creepy sidekick to the groom played by Vishwas Kini, deliver the only laughs the film offers. Sonam Ahuja falters in perhaps the most nuanced role of the four.

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Shikha Talsania, Sonam K Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Swara Bhaskar in a still from the film. Picture courtesy: http://www.thenational.ae

Unlike slick female oriented films of the past, the costumes are tacky and over-the-top. The music is surprisingly dull with the exception of the catchy song played in the end credits, “Tareefan”. The sloppy editing doesn’t allow the multiple story lines to form a credible flow. The humour and provocative dialogues are more forced than funny. However, the biggest failure is the lack of emotion in the friendships. One can’t help but compare it to other films like “Aisha”, “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, and “Monsoon Wedding”; which explored female relationships more realistically.

As a woman in the same age group as the four protagonists, their interactions didn’t resonate with me. In theory, all friendships have a similar vibe, but the easy camaraderie of real friends is missing in this film. This is partly because the director of the film is a man. At the risk of gender-stereotyping, Ghosh’s fault lies in presenting a textbook version of four ‘types’ of women; without showing the various shades of a woman’s personality and the strong yet intricate bonds that tie a girl gang together. Excessive drinking, a major preoccupation with sex and marriage, and filthy language, though part of it; is not the essence of true friendship as shown here.

In the hands of an able (perhaps female) director, this set of actors and this story could’ve achieved a cinematic home run. As it stands, the film lacks soul. Watch it if you’re looking for mindless entertainment without any expectations.

FILM RATING: 2/5

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*Feature image courtesy: http://www.asianworldnews.co.uk

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