This is a film about the problems of rich young women who have no problems. They can afford to sit around smoking, drinking, swearing, talking of sex and acting just like badly-behaved boys. Anyone who expects a real film about female bonding and independent women will have to wait, Shashanka Ghosh’s Veere Di Wedding is not it.
But even as a film about four shallow young women — perfectly made up and coutured — and their relationship issues, it is remarkably superficial, and considering where urban women really are at in terms of achievement, it is very Sex And The City dated.
Mostly set in South Delhi, because where in Mumbai do people live in such lavish homes, it is full of stereotypes of cackling aunties, overfed Punjabi families (with generic Malhotra, Sharma type of surnames), creepy louts, garish weddings and wedding lehengas for which, to quote a character, you’d have to sell a kidney.
Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan, the only pitch perfect performance) and Rishabh (Sumeet Vyas) live in Australia and do god-know-what, when he decides that they are so different that they have to get married. So they move to India, where the couple is crushed under the endless rituals of a family wedding. It’s telling that Rishabh is called ‘Shishu’ (infant) by his mother, because once in the midst of family, he seems to lose his adult spine. “At least I have a family,” he tells the stricken Kalindi, because she comes from a broken home; her mother is dead, her aloof father has remarried, and is fighting with his brother over property. If at all there is something ‘today’ about this film, it is a gay couple living together happily.
Kalindi’s childhood friends are substitute for family — Avni (Sonam K Ahuja) is a lawyer, whose mother odiously nags her to get married with insults like “we will have to freeze your eggs” though she has no husband in sight. Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar) is the daughter of rich parents who gave her a five crore wedding which is now on the rocks, so she spends her days smoking and drinking alcohol ‘neat’. Meera (Shikha Talsania) had eloped with a ‘gora’ for which her family disowned her; she has a baby and is the only one with an ‘imperfect’ figure.
They all rally around the dithering Kalindi and desperate Avni. When the singing and dancing and dressing up around the wedding is on, the friends take a trip to Phuket, so that they can parade in resort wear and visit strip clubs.
No matter how bold the talk may be, at heart the film believes in the traditional happily ever after; nothing wrong with that, this is a fairytale after all, where small suitcases magically eject endless designer outfits, credit cards never max out and the prince does turn up in the end — mother and aunts in tow. It’s as watchable as a fashion catalogue is readable.