So, finally after 105 years, has bollywood got a microcosm on women issues or say ‘liberated’ conversations on screen?. Is VEERE DI WEDDING helmed by Shashanka Ghosh (QUICK GUN MURUGUN, KHOOBSURAT) starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhasker, Shikha Talsania and Sumeet Vyas is the Indian answer to the Sex and the City’ things of Hollywood?, Is this movie really not a chick flick and an ‘open minded’ debate on the dilemma of liberated women in a conflicted society?. Let’s find out.
Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan), Avni (Sonam Kapoor), Meera (Sikha Talsania) and Shakshi (Swara Bhasker) are BFF since high school. The intro is perfect and generates hope that something unusual and riveting is in the offing. A decade later, the girls have grown up into four liberated woman who enjoy wearing their independence on their sleeves. Kalindi is in dilemma after committing to her three year old boyfriend Rishav (Sumeet Vyas). Avni (Sonam Kapoor) is under pressure from her mother played by Neena Gupta to get married. Sakshi (Swara Bhaskara) is fighting a failed marriage. Meera (Shikha Talsania) is happily married to a 'Gora’ (American) but his ‘bade papa’ has not accepted the foreigner. Kalindi says yes to Rishav and the girls unite. They call themselves ‘Veeres’ (rough translation pals, brothers). The girls unite and what happens in their life and how they cope with their beliefs and the trends of the society forms the crux of the movie.
First thing first, VEERE DI WEDDING after all the beauty, gloss and noise, is actually a desperate movie modeled somewhat on the lines of DIL DHADAKANE DO with forced lingo, swear words that come just to show that the girls are cool and know what they want. Just like Ekavali Khanna’s forced giggle, the movie is staged and forced.
There are some moments and the movie dares to tread in lanes where a mainstream Bollywood movie would think twice and thrice - Swara Bhasker’s 'apna haath jagan naath' sequence and Sonam Kapoor’s unapologetic fling.
However the problem is that the characters in the movie lack depth and this touted woman centric film fails as a study/observation of women in different societies and their behavior.
Further, the movie sticks to the cliché understanding of modernity in mainstream films. Does smoking, drinking using the 'f' word regularly make you modern. Every wedding has to be a Punjabi wedding and the Punjabis shown should appear like cousins of YRF, KJO movies.
Kareena Kapoor’s inhibition about marriage is understandable but her reason to say yes is not convincing. Swara Bhasker consumes more glasses of liquor then her lines. Her character is interesting but not well groomed. Sonam Kapoor’s character lacks graph. Sikha Talsania’s character has some meat.
The performances by the quartet are endearing and the actors try to give their best. Sumeet Vyas lends good support. Vivek Mushran is fine. Neena Gupta is okay. Manoj Pahwa has his moments.
Production values are top notch. Set design by Achala Mirza is fabulous. Costume design by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla is perfect. Rhea Kapoor’s styling is elegant. Camera work by Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti is beautiful.
Rest, VEERE DI WEDDING is like hat caricaturish engagement stage shown in the film that can excite those who are not exposed to other more exotic avenues. VEERE DI WEDDING may garner praise from those frogs whose zest for water is limited to a well or a seasonal downpour. But for those who have gone overseas and experienced enlightenment in women centric films like Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki’s CARAMEL, for example, will find VEERE DI WEDDING a well performed and gorgeously looking Balaji’s soap opera that fails in giving that ‘charam sukh’ (lacks soul).
Ironically, the movie is a classic case of confusion where the genre, the filmmaker, the characters and last but not the least the CBFC is found confused. Swara Bhaskar’s ‘charam sukh’ (meaning of orgasm as said in the film) moment is blurred but a cap worn by Sonam Kapoor in Phuket that has an obvious illustration is left untouched.
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