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Veere Di Wedding is drawing mixed reviews from movie lovers. Does it live up to the hype it generated? You have to read this review to find out.
At the very outset, I want to mention that I am not really a fan of most of the cast and crew of Veere Di Wedding. It was the controversy reeking trailer, that aroused my interest in this movie because there was something in it that struck a chord within me. All through my life, I have been blessed with friends who have been my lifeline and hence, I was inevitably excited about the fact that finally we have a mainstream Bollywood movie on a gang of girls with sisterhood as its cornerstone.
So, does the movie live up to the hype and deliver as promised? For the most part, it does and that is relieving as it paves the way for many more such movies in the future.
Veere Di Wedding is a coming-of-age dramedy, which wastes no time in any sort of build up and sets the tone of the narrative in the opening scene itself. The characters of the four friends are quite well-defined and very early on in the movie you know exactly who they are and what they are grappling with in life. The underlying premise is of course, the wedding of Kalindi (played by Kareena Kapoor Khan) with her beau, but in essence the movie is about relationships, flaws and acceptance. So, while Kalindi is commitment phobic due to being privy to the strained relationship between her parents during her childhood, Avni (played by Sonam Kapoor) is a divorce lawyer who is desperate to hook up with someone, but somehow the right relationship has been evading her; Sakshi (played by the unapologetically feisty Swara Bhaskar) had married on impulse and is now on the verge of a divorce due to which she is the subject of gossip among her pesky neighbours.
On the other hand, Meera (played by the extremely natural and talented Shikha Talsania) is happily married to a foreigner, but never found acceptance from her family due to which her relationship with them has gone kaput and to add to her woes are the challenges that motherhood throws at a woman. The movie is about how these characters find their answers, heal and evolve through their experiences, with the love and support from each other.
The actors share an easy vibe and comfortable camaraderie with each other which makes their friendship very believable and heart-warming. The casting in the movie is spot on and not just the lead cast but majority of the supporting actors also live their characters. They slip into their respective roles, just like a fish takes to water. Kareena Kapoor Khan does a swell job at shouldering the responsibility of leading the film to its climax with her lively and impactful performance and she ensures that there is rarely a dull moment in the proceedings. Shikha Talsania is an actor to watch out for and Swara Bhaskar proves her versatility and mettle as an artist yet again in a role which demands her to play to the gallery.
Sonam Kapoor has worked on her craft and has shown tremendous improvement in the display of her histrionics as compared to her initial films. I want to give actor Sumeet Vyas a special mention, for his wonderfully restrained and mature performance which is a like a breath of fresh air amidst all the craziness and chaos unfolding on screen. He gives us a male hero who, instead of enforcing his views on his girlfriend, helps her deal with the inner turmoil that she is experiencing before her impending marriage.
I think it is important to clarify that the movie does not have an inherent message about women empowerment and has completely steered clear of using te feminism card to justify the actions of the protagonists, and this is one of the biggest factors that works in its favour. It is simply a journey of four friends, who are far from perfect, are confused and at times, are even over the top but have their heart in the right place.
The prime focus of the makers is clearly on entertaining the viewers and the movie succeeds in generating quite a few laughs along the way. The puns and gags have been well-timed and fit into the narrative effortlessly. The promos of the movie had sparked enough debates about the foul language, but if one considers the setting of the movie, the cuss words don’t seem forced or jarring in this breezy, sassy entertainer.
What I absolutely loved in the movie was that though the protagonists have been shown to be unabashed, unapologetic women, they have also been depicted as being equally befuddled and vulnerable. Their choices and behaviour have been neither glorified nor rationalized. The makers have also spared us the superfluous melodrama, even in emotional moments. So, after a fight ensues amongst the foursome, the reconciliation happens without copious tears being shed and after an unintentional one night stand, there are no typical Bollywoodish dialogues ridden by guilt.
For me, one of the highlights of the movie is the scene in which Swara Bhaskar is caught masturbating by her unsuspecting husband, just when she is about to reach orgasm. Kudos to her, for brilliantly pulling off this scene and a round of applause for the makers who did not shy away from touching upon the topic of female sexuality and desires in the story. Not only this, there is also a normal gay couple in the movie who are not caricatures and it was heartening to see that this sub-plot was handled with sensitivity and pragmatism.
The movie is sure meant to be an enjoyable flick, but for it to really leave its lingering effect on the viewers, there should have been some more depth in the writing. It does not really pass the Bechdel Test and I did think on more than one occasion as to why the friends cannot have a conversation on topics other than men and sex. Honestly, there were ample opportunities for the makers to give us some profound scenes. I found this sorely missing especially during the girls’ trip which was a turning point in the movie. In this aspect, I was left asking for more because with a powerhouse of an ensemble cast, it would not have been difficult to achieve this without compromising on the entertainment value of the film.
The first half of the movie was engaging and taut but somewhere in the second half, things started falling all over the place. The climax seemed hurried to me and some of the closures came across as contrived. Also, it is fine that the movie is unremorsefully elitist but dialogues like- “No one calls my best friend a bai” or “Din mein sati, raat mein slutty” made me cringe in an otherwise non-judgemental script for the most part.
In a nutshell, Veere Di Wedding is no path-breaking cinema. It probably could be much more with some nuanced writing and a tighter screenplay. But, to be fair to the team, maybe it was never intended to be that. The underlying message, if any, is to live life on your terms without the fear of committing a mistake and to learn along the way which is a beautiful takeaway for the cinegoers. I was certainly entertained. I really think Bollywood should further explore the theme of sisterhood and hope this movie has got the ball rolling.
Image Source : Movie Promo Stills
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I did my engineering in computer Science and went on to do MBA in systems
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