Launch a new brand of chips, sign up a woman as a brand ambassador, chances are that the brand of chips might be promoted as a breakthrough product. Better still, give the chips a pinkish hue and it might gain some viralness too. And that’s the problem with us today. Anything with a woman in it becomes something that’s breaking the female barrier, including films. So, when an all-woman cast film was announced, we were quick to dub it as a female-centric film. As the days passed, more and more was anticipated from the film. That film is “Veere Di Wedding”, starring Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania. Did it live up to the hype? I find out.
“Veere Di Wedding” is the life story of four women who are childhood friends. One of them is getting married, another’s mom is looking for her future son-in-law, another one is about to get divorced and the fourth one is married with a child. Of course, there are little story-arcs around each of them. One’s pa doesn’t approve of his firang son-in-law, another one can’t actually reveal the reason for her divorce, another one is finding married life difficult and, quite obviously, the one getting married is having issues of her own.
All good and fine for a web series that has it’s audience already in its sight. For its soap opera roots, “Veere Di Wedding” works well. People with a problem solve their problem – but for a mainstream film, that’s the problem – there’s only one problem. If you think reviewers are insulting the film, it didn’t begin there. It’s the writers who began with the first insults. We know nothing about any of the characters, apart from what’s needed for the screenplay. We know the professional life of only one of the four friends, and I suspect it’s because they wanted to put in that dialogue about wearing a bikini to work. There’s just one layer to the character and that’s it. If the lawyer is kind of kooky, that’s it. If the one about to get married is confident, that’s what she is. The about to be divorced woman is about to be divorced and the one who is wondering whether married life is worth it, spends the entire film doing that.
And then there’s the loopholes and made-for-frontbencher sequences. I mean, how does a lawyer – a lawyer, whose core job description is investigation – not know that her boss is married with kids before she decides to go down and dirty with him? This and some other parts of the screenplay jolt you and make you realise that what you are watching is a film, not reality.
Apart from the central theme – the wedding – and the four singular problems of the characters, there’s nothing that will keep the audience interested. There’s nothing wrong with the performances. Sonam Kapoor plays the ditzy role nicely. Kareena Kapoor does her bit too. Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania do what they are supposed to. If there’s one person who’s got a bad deal here, it’s Sumeet Vyas. Vyas didn’t need this role. Sumeet definitely needs to look at signing better projects in Bollywood.
All in all, the film’s place in Bollywood history will be equal to the story of the characters in the film. They were there, and then they weren’t.