Finally, after 105 years, mainstream Bollywood has woken up to its women, to tell their story from their perspective but unfortunately, it’s a story that has the signature gloss of an Ekta Kapoor TV show and the depth of a teacup.
Four school friends meet after a decade as one of them Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan) is getting married. Kalindi is commitment phobic, Avni (Sonam Kapoor) feels the pressure to get married, Sakshi (Swara Bhaskara) is going through a bad marriage and Meera (Shikha Talsania) is dealing with her 'bade papa' who hasn't accepted her 'Gora-Amrican' husband, who by the way is called, John. Ahem. Each story is ‘beautifully’ explored. For instance, Avni's story begins with her fake eye lashes, the kind of detailing required to establish her as the prettiest divorce lawyer in Delhi's Tees Hazari. Ha! Kalindi’s dilemma is brilliantly juxtaposed with a flashy Punjabi Delhi family who want a destination wedding for their son, but settle for a farm house affair. (Tch tch such moving tragedy!). But why do we need to explore Kalindi’s commitment phobia when we have just shown that she comes from a broken family? That's more than enough! Anyway, we are too busy creating caricatures out of Malhotra family members. After all, we have to sell this movie out as an entertaining film bhai! So what if the humour seems forced? As long as we have jokes to crack, we are all good!
Swara Bhaskara lends ‘meaning’ to her broken character of Sakshi who is going through a bad marriage. So she doesn't have lines or expressions to show her pain but multiple glasses of hard liquor. Daru se dard ka bayaan. Uff too much. To give her due credit, she gets the Delhi lingo on point as she calls her mom, maate. Her 'malhotre' and 'bakwaase' shows she has great observations as an actor that she uses to lend some dimension to this half-baked character that she plays. Shikha Talsania, despite mediocre writing and direction, is the only one who genuinely shines on. Her punches are predictable but her fabulous performance brings heart-warming smiles to this yawn inducing film. Simple lines that she says so nonchalantly like 'aaj toh aap dhaage pehan ke aa gayi hain', as she comments on Avni's tiny dresses made me laugh.
Veere Di Wedding is lazily written and poorly directed. Conversations, even the heart-to- hearts, look staged, like kids in an annual play. Actors don't play off each other. Lines start and lines finish, and you hardly see any character connect with the other. And despite being a woman centric film, the film shames its women with abused lines like, 'grow some balls' or 'stop this Randi Rona'. Also, what was that in your face advertising!? Bikaji namkeen packets travel to foreign locations and are thrown in your face like it's going out of fashion. 'Air India is so comfortable’ and 'always on time' was such a shameless plug that I almost saw Swara cringe as she said those lines.
However, Veere di Wedding does show a few things that not many Hindi films have done before. Sonam's Avni, driven by emotions and hormones, has a one night stand. Unlike Anjana Anjani, where Priyanka's character chickens out last moment, Avni does it. Thankfully, it is unapologetic, without ever slut shaming her. And that's an achievement for us who have always presented our heroines as sati savitri, preserving their virginity for their pati parmeshwar. If they don't, they are tagged immoral and loose. Similarly, when Sakshi tells her parents about an intimate 'apna haath jagan naath' moment to her parents, her father laughs and hugs her. Even the subtle setting of an old gay couple, without ever making silly caricatures of them is a progressive depiction.
Besides these very few and very far in between moments, Veere Di Wedding looks exactly like a Balaji production, all gloss and glamour and hardly any soul.