Warning: Spoilers ahead!
I watched Veere di Wedding last Sunday. I cannot lie. It is a most foolish and contrived film. I wanted to like it. In fact, I went with rather high expectations as the cast, especially Swara Bhasker and Sonam Kapoor, are actors who have worked in some good films, except the odd dud in the case of Sonam Kapoor. I have liked both these ladies in some of their previous outings – Nil Battey Sannata, Neerja, Khoobsurat et al.
So the premise of four women who are close friends and how they steer through a phase in their lives, seemed like absolutely the best way to spend a precious Sunday morning. Except that it wasn’t.
First of all, each person’s story seemed so contrived and pointless. These are women with unjustified angst. One, an accomplished lawyer (Sonam Kapoor) whose only obsession is to get married, or at least to sleep with someone, which she does, and with a most creepy, cheesy lines spouting, Lothario. The very same guy who gave her the shudders earlier. Another (Kareena Kapoor) is commitment-phobic and has deep seated, unresolved feelings about a father who has married a much younger woman with a most inane, high-pitched laugh. (Okay, it was really funny. The laugh, I mean). The third (Shikha Talsania ) is married to a firang and has a kid, though her angst is not very clear, except that she constantly harangues her husband in chaste Hindi, which the poor chap, just doesn’t get. And the last and the most disappointing (Swara Bhasker) has had a divorce (oh my god, what travesty in this day and age!!!) and is the ‘bad girl’ of her community.
She reinforces that by returning late or rather early morning in itsy-bitsy, fur trailing clothes, which provides more grist to her neighbours’ mill. And most times with a cigarette dangling from her lips. She is shown lighting up at the drop of a hat. Okay, we get it. She is badass, she is mad, she is a ‘modern’ girl. But also, so, so contrived. Swara Bhasker does her best, but one can’t help but overdo such a role, unless the hand of the director steadies one. Here, there is a hand involved, but it is the hand of Swara herself, in one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie: The big reveal about her divorce. She is caught by her husband in the middle of making out, and just when we think it’s a guy she’s heaving under the sheets with, it’s a BoB (Battery operated Boyfriend, get it?). And the lady in the throes of her big O, sees her shocked husband and just puts out a hand to stop him from saying anything till she’s achieved her goal! Dear lord!! Shocking, and So Very Bold Indeed. Especially For A Hindi Movie. It jolts one out of one’s reverie. Till you realise that her husband has not only divorced her, but has blackmailed her about this little vibrator fact, in exchange for Rs.5 crores. Huh??
Hindi films have come a long way indeed from the time we were tricked into thinking that a bee sucking at a flower, or two birds necking, was how little humans were made. ‘Coy’ was the nauseatingly, patronising tone in those days. Today, movies deal with issues like sperm donation, surrogacy and erectile dysfunction. And with this film they have shown pretty graphically that women have desires which can be fulfilled without, well, a man. Way to go! But, not the way to go.
Swara’s character is bold, devil-may-care, but she isn’t able to deal with talk about her ‘character’ and her divorce. She flees in tears when she hears bitchy aunties baring their claws about her. Duh! Under the veil of being progressive and contemporary, the movie is actually quite regressive. The man obsession and the feeble excuses for the wrongs that happen in these womens’ lives are so botoxed and made up that you think the whole facade is going to crack open any minute. One is just thankful the length of the movie is under two and a half hours.
Watch it for its beautiful actors (Kareena especially looks smashing), some hilarious dialogues, wonderful costumes and lovely sets and locations. Sometimes reason enough to go watch a movie. Just remember to park your sensibilities at home.
MyGoodEarth rating: 2.5/5