Veere Di Wedding: The good, the bad & the downright ugly

With it being Kareena Kapoor Khan’s comeback and a chick flick with a #IamNotAChickFlick tag attached to it, Veere Di Wedding was intriguing and a film to look out for right from its announcement. For those who were looking forward to seeing a coming of age film, you would’ve been in for a treat if the initial posters were anything to go by. However, this was shattered the moment the trailer came out and promised… well, anything but one might’ve been expecting. It was bold to say the very least and with expletives that weren’t beeped out, it can easily be seen as an experimental movie which will be coming to the mainstream and making a mark where no other film has. However, does it really deliver what it says on the package?

I should start by saying that these are my personal views and not associated to any website or other thought expressed by any other critic. So it’s fully acceptable for me to admit that the trailer gave me vibes of Sex and The City, right? It’s also acceptable for me to say that what Veere Di Wedding gives Bollywood is something that probably looks down on the audiences – in my opinion? I think the biggest gripe I saw with the trailer was that it put all the ingredients in a film which haven’t been seen in Bollywood (or so it seemed) but what it also did was disregard the age of Netflix and the internet in which its main Indian audience would have been exposed to such nuances and characters previously. Not sure if that’s a clever move as such.

So here are four girls… Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan), Avni (Sonam Kapoor), Sakshi (Swara Bhasker) and Meera (Shikha Talsania). They have been a foursome since their school days, seeing each other grow and change over the years. They all have their own respective lives and each are at a different stage of marital status… & they are all coming together for Kalindi’s wedding. What they don’t realise is that it’ll be a life-changing journey for them all.

The Good:
There are many good things about Veere Di Wedding but the one thing that stood out over anything else for me was the fact that the film plays on stereotypes and laughs at the bizarre traditions on Indians (wedding or no wedding). You see the to-be mother-in-law pouring her family’s traditions on her to-be bahu, you see the family arranging an engagement function to make “society” happy and you see the stigma attached to a woman who is reaching 30 but not married yet. This is something the film does very well and it shows many of these instances in almost a mocking way but not really offensive as such.

What the film also does very well is show that no matter what stage a woman is at in her life, there will always be challenges and other voices that get in the way of how she really feels inside. This is also something that comes through each and every one of the four women, no matter where they are in their lives.

The film’s backdrop is also great, showing modern India very well. The friendship element is also fabulous and it is a first in B-town that a story about female friendship has been made in the mainstream. And the fact that the group refer to each other as Veeres (a male term) should also give an idea of how the ladies all bond with one another.

Kareena Kapoor Khan is the soul of the entire movie. I’m glad makers waited on her because she literally shines on screen – much like you’d expect her to.

The love story in the film (which is part of the main narrative) is very sweet and very real. This is one of the best things about the film aside from the four women. There are real feelings and real challenges… but there’s still real love all the way through.

The Bad:
Oh the bad! In my personal opinion, I don’t think the expletives were needed. I wasn’t offended or taken aback by them but I didn’t understand the emphasis on them so often throughout the film. Do real people really swear that much? Does it make the film or a situation appear any more real if you add in those words? Food for thought.

The film gets a little preachy and cringe-worthy in various parts. And realistically, it definitely is a bold film for B-town but whether this level of cringe was needed is debatable. It’s very in-your-face and… well… sometimes it wasn’t funny even when it was meant to be. You do hold your head in your hands in certain instances just at the sheer way things are portrayed and dealt with. This isn’t because any of the film or characters are difficult to identify with but just because so much is exaggerated. If the story is meant to be an entertaining way of bringing issues to light then why preach?

The boldness, for the most part, is absolutely within context within the feel of the film but it does get a little too much quite often. Again, audiences have seen these things in Hollywood or other world cinema… Why Bollywood needs to put these things in a film just to show it to the so-called Bollywood audiences is a little beyond me. Perhaps the evolution of technology and the audiences should be taken into accounrt some more.

The Ugly:
I think for me the “ugliest” thing was the boldest character – Sakshi. As the character developed within the narrative, Swara Bhasker made it quite clear that she was a great fit for it. However, the character was simply too out there for my liking. Again, I wasn’t offended but the character was very much like Samantha’s in Sex And the City – doesn’t really care about her image, does what she wants without really thinking of consequences. And the climax of that character is probably the weirdest of them all.

 

In conclusion, there are many similarities between Veere Di Wedding and Sex And the City and for me – as an average member of the Bollywood audience – it was all things I’d seen before. If these four women were meant to represent women in the current time then I’m afraid this film falls shortly terribly. It is a very fickle and unrealistic portrayal of the many layers of beautiful and bold Indian women there are in the world… and their incredible strength of character. And I feel like that’s a great chance missed. This film could have been a truly wonderful portrayal of the strength of Indian women today in a society which always wants to put labels on them and “people” around them who are never happy. Instead what this does is something quite different.

I came out of the film wondering what the makers really aimed to achieve. The film is undoubtedly an entertaining watch but would I watch this again? Probably not.

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