Balaji Telefilms & Anil Kapoor Film Company Network presents “Veere Di Wedding”
Produced by: Anil Kapoor, Rhea Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor & Nikhil Dwivedi
Directed by: Shashanka Ghosh
Written by: Nidhi Mehra & Mehul Suri
Music: Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran & White Noise
Starring: Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam K. Ahuja, Sumeet Vyas, Swara Bhaskar, Sakshi Soni, Shikha Talsania, Neena Gupta, Vishwas Kinni, Vivek Mushran,
Ayessha Raza, Manoj Pahwa, Alka Kaushal, Ekavali Khanna, Sukesh Arora, Anjum Rajabali, Ishwak Singh, Suraj Singh, Edward Sonnenblick, Kamlesh Gill, Bubbles Sabharwal, Babla Kochar, Kalpana Jha, Kavita Ghai and others
Chick flicks in Hindi cinema, in a way, have been a dime-a-half-dozen, but “Veere Di Wedding” is the real stuff. What’s more, it employs the “Hum Aapke Hain Koun!...”-“Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” blend of a wedding celebration as a base. Needless to say, at the center is the wedding of one of four bosom (no pun intended) chicks who are buddies. Well, they are professionally living away from each other, but their bond remains. Avni is now an attorney specializing in divorce.
We are introduced to all of them at school level where Avni (later Sonam Kapoor) is besotted with a classmate, Arjun. Kalindi (later Kareena Kapoor Khan) is now working in Australia, and her live-in friend of three years, Rishabh (Sumeet Vyas) propels the life-defining story by proposing marriage to her. Kalindi comes from a home that saw her father Kishan (Anjum Rizvi) and mother (Kavita Ghai) have massive rows and she is afraid of marriage. She has lived largely with her uncle Kuki (Vivek Mushran), who cannot see eye-to-eye with her father after her mother passed on and father remarried.
The third friend, Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar) has married Vineet (Suraj Singh), and their marriage is on the rocks. The fourth, Meera (Shikha Talsania) is overweight and happily married overseas to a foreigner, John (Edward Sonnenblick) and has a kid. She has defied her father to marry John and has no contact with him.
Against her will, Kalindi decides to respect her boyfriend’s wish and, while they both would like a simple ceremony, Rishabh’s tycoon father (Manoj Pahwa) and mother (Ayessha Raza) want a lavish affair. During the pre-wedding ostentatious ceremonies, an unfortunate remark by Rishabh makes Kalindi break the engagement.
The chicks take off for a holiday to Phuket. When they return, more problems are in store. What happens next?
Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri write an engrossing 130-minute script without a single moment when the tempo flags. While sticking to the various contretemps connected with the wedding (the four girls call themselves “veeres,” which actually means brothers in Punjabi), the film has ample time to follow the twists, turns and detours in their individual lives and also showcase their terrific chemistry. Happily, as in the male equivalent “Dil Chahta Hai” made 17 years ago, there is no ruffle in their bonding.
Of course, the emotional angle is maintained throughout, and most conflicts are resolved finally with brevity and – the best part – wherever possible in a light and non-melodramatic way.
A thorough and refreshing entertainer, the film, however, makes itself partially niche by catering almost exclusively to the metro-centric youth and young ones at heart. The conservative audiences, if they do not see the larger picture, have lots to frown about, starting with the liberal use of the F-word and other expletives that are obviously blanked out. However, I said “starting with” and that means that there is a lack of inhibitions (by traditional standards) in what the four say, do and in how they behave as well.
However, for the first time in a Hindi film, all these bold aspects are made an integral part of the movie, the characterizations and the plot and never seem like gimmicks that are attempts to salvage a weak script and film.
In fact, the only weak aspect of this film is the music, which simply does not register. The pounding beats of Punjabi folk have been done ad nauseam and ad infinitum, and there is nothing to recommend here. The additional fact that almost all songs are used as background numbers makes it worse. The lyrics, sadly, match the mediocre standard, except for the Rajshekhar-written “Aa Jao Na.”
A great score by a solo composer would have done miracles for the film’s promotion, opening (which is anyway very good and could have been excellent) and future as well as lasting prospects. Forget great scores in “Hum Aapke…,” “Dilwale Dulhania…” and “Dil Chahta Hai,” even bold subjects in the past worked with great music, like “Daag,” “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” or “Lamhe.”
If someone matches the script’s forthright wackiness, it is Shashanka Ghosh with his direction. Leaping miles ahead of his last three films (all flops, including Anil-Rhea’s “Khoobsurat”), Ghosh shows the quirkiness for which he is known with a perfect mix of emotions. This critic has worked with Ghosh professionally in Channel [V] eons ago, and I always felt that he was never in full bloom in his earlier films.
The cinematography (Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti) is a treat to the eyes, generally. Arijit Dutta’s background music is impressive, as is the production design by Priya Ahluwalia. But Rhea Kapoor, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla often slip in making the costumes needlessly bold for effect. The same is true in some cases also in the ‘dialogues,’ as earlier mentioned.
Kareena Kapoor Khan looks like a dream and is the ultimate evidence that a Diva remains a Diva even after motherhood. Her performance is flawless and her expressions very skilled and sincere. Ranking next is Shikha Talsania, who does a great job of Meera. Swara Bhaskar is competent, though her character, in one sense, plays to the gallery, Sonam K. Ahuja nee Sonam Kapoor is generally herself, but shows the needed spark and spunk in several occasions.
The men are no less. Sumeet Vyas, as Rishabh, does a dexterous job as he has to go through multiple emotions in his character’s journey. Vishwas Kinni as Bhandari is excellent, and so are Vivek Mushran as Kuki, Ayessha Raza and
Manoj Pahwa as Rishabh’s parents, Sukesh Arora as Keshav and Ekavali Khanna as Kalindi’s stepmom, who brings the house down when her laugh breaks the sound barrier. The rest of the cast too are competent.
This one is not to be missed if you want to have fun at the movies. But while I would cut a star for needless expletives, I do feel that a film can be made without them, and have cut the rating by half a star because cusswords are not for the Indian audience.