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All bling and North Indian excessiveness make Veere Di Wedding a substance-less entertainer

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 1 June 2018, 15:52 IST
(Veere Di Wedding film still)

Outrageous is its middle name. Four girls with freewheeling expletives and unlimited expense cards navigate the world of sex, alcohol, and the small matter of their family members. Veere Di Wedding revolves around the lives of four women - Sonam K. Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania - and their attitudes towards everything in life.

Girls just want to have fun with a little bit of melodrama on the side. Film meets fashion. The film also meets a ton of brands (there is a laundry list of them during the credits). The film, Veere Di Wedding is one big advertisement for the rich of Delhi.

Veere Di Wedding is an easy movie to hate on. Maybe because of the antics of the actresses, or maybe because one just can’t accept a film about four women doing what men have been doing for aeons. Wait, though. Don’t disregard the movie before even giving it a chance.

This is a movie that needs to do well. A bunch of old men across the border in Pakistan banned the film because of “vulgarity” and the “theme”. Pakistan just can’t get on board with the fact that there are empowered women out there. One needs to see that women can make compelling stories, and in most instances, better than their male counterparts (looking at you Phamous).

One needs to realise that women are humans too and not the perfect beings demanded by all the men out there (looking at you Bollywood).

The film has its moments - quite a few laughable ones - and is intelligent in parts. One downside is the fact that the film teaches you that feminism in India is elite.

Film poster

Shashanka Ghosh’s Veere Di Wedding is a buddy film - not of the usual kind - meets blingy North Indian baarat. There is much more than just the four elite females though.

That more is limited to brand placement and men. Veere Di Wedding is an advertisement for a laundry list of companies that paid big bucks to appear on screen or for one of the protagonists to utter their name multiple times throughout the film.

We first meet the four girls celebrating the end of their board exams. They are friends first and foremost before the reality of adulthood hits them. Barely adults and sitting in Kalnidi’s (Kareena Kapoor) house, the discussions range from marriage to sex and condoms and just anything but college. Of course, it goes beyond saying that boys dominated their thoughts at that time.

From then on, we fast forward ten years. Avni (Sonam Kapoor) with her excessively fake eyelashes is a divorce lawyer. Kalindi has a broken home, doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage, yet is getting ready to tie the knot. Sakshi Soni (Swara Bhaskar) is a wealthy brat struggling to tell her parents the real reason for her divorce and likes the stiffest of drinks. Meera (Shikha Talsania) is a mother who just can’t wait to leave her child in the hands of anyone more experienced than her.

All four characters are team players, though individuals in their own rights (here’s looking at you Phamous, once again). The film takes off on an excessive, thrown in some Bollywood music for the sake of it, note that overshadows the excellent performances from the protagonists. Veere Di Wedding is an all-out entertainer, lest anyone tell you otherwise. While it doesn’t try to hide the fact, it’s writers - Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri - ensure the writing is nuanced and doesn’t give to shits about the excessive tone of the characters.

The plot may be unfocused, and the audience may not be able to follow all the strands of family drama happening in the background, the laughter is enough to ensure that these problems are pushed into the background.

Film still

We get all the things we aren’t used to in Bollywood, but in a way that isn’t demeaning or dismissive. There is an openly gay couple and there are females who like their drinks straight. There are women who like to excessively party. There is also a woman who, at first is mortified by a man’s line of questioning, can’t seem to escape his palms.

This film is a brave attempt to put all that out there. It isn’t second-guessing anyone. It’s showing elitism in India from the eyes of four girls living in North India.

The casting is spot on. Sonam Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor are there to add flair and give their superstar status to the film and all the promotions that go with it. But let me tell you something. It’s up and coming star Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania (a theatre actress only famous for her role in Wake Up Sid) that are the true stars of the movie.

While Avni is the most well-thought out and grounded and Kalindi is the centre of our attention, it is the interjections and the one-liners thrown in by Sakshi and Meera that steal the show. The latter two happen to steal the show in the fashion department as well.

Sakshi and Meera shoot off their mouths at any given point and just seem to ride high on the fact that anything flies in Veere Di Wedding. Their comedic timing is impeccable in the film. It works for them and it works for the audience.

Just a quick shout out to Avni’s mom (Neena Gupta) who is a walking-talking Bharat Matrimonial. Her quirkiness sheds another light on the films the main theme.

The film is ultimately It’s a test of friendship for the four best-friends-forever who make it out alive with their foundations intact. Its Bridesmaids meets Sex and the City. It just lacks the emotional depth that would help take the film the extra mile.

Four women should be enough to entertain the audiences, no? Well, Veere Di Wedding has a lot going for it. It takes two steps forward but unfortunately, simultaneously, takes a step back.

Should you watch the film?

The film's problems are couched under the excessive laughter and brand totting North Delhi elite of the four 'empowered' female protagonists.

Despite this, I’m going to end on a positive note.

Enough of the Dil Chahta Hai’s and the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’s. We need more Veere Di Wedding’s. This may not be the perfect film - far from it - but it is a film that Bollywood needs. It’s a film that the audience needs to embrace. It’s a film that needs to succeed.

There was Lipstick Under My Burkha and now there is Veere Di Wedding. Sign me up to watch the first-day first show of the next such film. Whenever it is that it comes out.

Rating: 3/5

First published: 1 June 2018, 15:52 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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