Synopsis: Four girls on their way to find true love discover that friendship this strong has its consequences.
Review: Over the past few years, there have been times when I’ve wanted a Bollywood film to be good, not because of a particular liking for the cast/director/crew, nor because I’d spent money for the tickets and wanted its worth, but because the trailers showed the promise of something more than run-of-the-mill B-town fare. I had decent, not great, hopes from this film too.
But what really happened?
Our protagonists are four girls, BFFs, who want to live their lives on their own terms. In one word, you could call them nonconformists, although there are idiosyncrasies of character even among the four. These girls have much in common too. They all have huge wardrobes, they all live in plush houses, and smoke/drink/cuss as and when needed. And they’re all, combined, dealing with issues that young women in India have to deal with. But, of course, the main problem is marriage, or, in other words, the marital status of the women. Why aren’t you married? Why are you getting divorced? When will you have babies? Blah blah blah.
So, with this premise, I was excited enough to give this film a go. 15-20 minutes into the 125 minutes runtime, I had a recurrence of the uneasy feeling that told me that I’d probably made a bad choice. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to change that feeling, right till the end. Or rather, wasn’t provided a chance by the film.
Let me first talk about the film’s positives though. Veere di Wedding (VdW) is an ode to female friendship in the way Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) was for men. The girls are prepared to go to great lengths for the sake of their veeres, their best mates, and while a lot of this means splurging unabashedly, there are some genuine moments of tenderness too.
Another good thing is that the actors, despite having rather stereotyped roles, have done well in their parts. The female leads, Kareena Kapoor Khan (Kalindi), Sonam Kapoor (Avni), Swara Bhaskar (Shikha) and Shikha Talsania (Meera), all sparkle. They’re almost always fabulously dressed too, courtesy the tireless work of the costume designers and make-up artists. Sumit Vyas continues his upward journey from web series stalwart to Bollywood hero. Vishwas Kini as Bhandari also makes his mark, rising from a stupid distraction to welcome comic relief.
The cinematography is great and you could almost be forgiven to think that the film was shot entirely on foreign beaches and in grandiose bungalows.
The rest? Well, there’s the mediocre and the poor. Women have to fight issues. Yes, we get that. This film is batting for feminism. Yes, we get that too. The characters are all from uber-rich families. Yes, that too. But all of that doesn’t mean you stereotype them. Nor does it mean that you substitute exaggeration for opulence. That ZNMD reference? Well, super-rich, good-looking actors loafing around the screen is okay, but coming-of-age is much more than just bonding exercises, which makes me wonder how VdW is different from the gazillion Bollywood flicks that have preceded this film. Exhibit A: Karan Johar’s films.
Another problem with the film is how so many major plot points are either rushed or overlooked. I didn’t notice when or how the character of a mother dies. She is there in the film at the beginning, and then she’s not. Two siblings have a major falling out over an issue, but that’s mentioned almost in passing, despite that issue being the major emotional crux of the film.
And then there’s the supposed USP of the film – the outspoken, nonconformist nature of the leads. Yes, it is “new-age” to have leading ladies cuss and drink with abandon onscreen, something that was male-dom once, and which surely signals “progress,” no? But, the story here is so weak that actors feel like faking it (pun intended) when they’re cussing. The most obvious of those is Sonam Kapoor. Shikha is the leader of the nonconformist movement in the film. So apparently, since Bollywood audiences don’t get understated drama, everything has to be over-the-top. Shikha gets the weirdest dresses and is drinking more than half the time she’s on screen. Then you have Cookie Chachu’s (Vivek Mushran, Ye ilu ilu kya hai fame) boyfriend. He’s gay, you know, as in GAY. Shout that out from the top of the screen, in his mannerisms, dialogue delivery, everything. Because hey, unless we make fun of the few gay characters we have in a film, how would the people know what they’re watching? How would they get their laughs?
The film doesn’t run away from the A rating given to it by the CBFC. There are innuendos and sex jokes galore, some inane and others innovative, which do bring comic relief. But overall, I couldn’t help lamenting that maybe some expectations are best not kept.
Verdict: Veere di Wedding is one marriage invitation you can pass.
Viewing Guide: Rated A, strictly for adults.
Genre : Bollywood, Comedy, Female Buddy film
Pumped up for/watched VdW? What’s your assessment of the film? Did this review measure up to your own expectations/appraisal? Please tell me in the comments section.
All images credits : Google Images
P.S. – A big thank you to all the readers who have, despite barely any new content on the site in the last four months, come down to this corner of the internet and spent their precious time on my blog. Much obliged!
P. S. II – Every filmmaker/actor has a right to do the kind of film/role she wants to do. Those choices mustn’t lead to an online torrent of abuse. That’s unwarranted and undemocratic.
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