The worst thing that I could ever do as a moviegoer.
I saw Veere Di Wedding (IMDB)!
Yeah, the same movie that has driven a wedge between the otherwise stable relationships of all the men and women that were living in peace and harmony. There are men dismissing the movie as a chick-flick. There are women defending the content. Then there are men siding with the film and there are women who are saying that modern girls around their 30s are not like how they've been portrayed.
Its a fascinating battle brewing and I would love to take a side but then I am not as educated or informed as the twitterati. Oh, my universe is limited to twitter only.
Why would I commit an atrocity of this magnitude on myself?
Well. Lesser said about it, the better. Now that its been done, it's time to write a review. After I got some 300 odd hits on my review for Bhavesh Joshi, I have this career as a film-reviewer and I ought to stay with it.
So, the logline is, a group of four girl friends, each with a dysfunctional family, tries to come to terms with their respective issues as they come together for the wedding of one of the girls from the group. Neat. Sounds like fun. Similar to Dil Chahata Hai - a story of three friends trying to grow up as they make a trip to Goa.
|Still from Veere Di Wedding|
I'll come back to it.
PS: If Farhan Sir is reading this, please excuse me. For I have sinned by comparing your masterpiece with this!
So, the friend I saw the film with, she said the film is inspired by the famous sitcom, Sex And The City. No, I haven't seen the sitcom. But I am told that the even though it has a million episodes or something, sitcom stays true to the theme (of 4 middle-aged women trying to cope with relationships in a big, fast-paced city). Each has a set of relationship issues that needs sorting and the friends are the support system, the coping mechanism, the bouncing board and all that.
In VDW, while the inspiration is striking, the "episode" is just about 2 hours long, it veers all over the place. The characters are flat, the friendship bland and there is no support or coping or bouncing happening. Flat as in wine that's been left in the open for too long. Bland as in cheese that's been given too much air.
Coming back to DCH, the relationships (both between the set of friends and with others) were really deep. You could experience their elation, anguish, anger, happiness and all those things. In each scene. In each dialogue. In VDW, you cant remember if they were laughing in the previous scene or if they were crying. May be a gang of girls is like that? On a perpetual rollercoaster ride. I am not sure. At least the ones I hung out with were, are not like that.
In DCH, when the guys argue and fight and all that, you feel their anger and the pain. You can understand their actions. You know the dude has fucked up and you take sides. In VDW, the conflict, whatever little of it has been portrayed, is so weak that you don't realize that it was the peak and the characters need to resolve it to take the story to the ending! Mr. Campbell must've turned in his grave. Of course not every story has to conform to his monomyth structure.
You know of those movies? Coming of age? Bildungsroman? May be VDW is an attempt in that direction? If it is, they ought to have spoken to Abhishek Kapoor. The guy, I think, has got coming of age right in India. You know of his repertoire?
Anyhow. The movie, ladies and gentleman is so ordinary that you can easily skip it!
A. The story to start with. Actually come to think of it, the story was ok, you could tweak it a bit. But screenplay needed a lot of work. It just couldn't keep me interested. Despite all the gorgeous places that films has been shot at, all the color that is splashed around by the sets, all the banter between friends, all the mockery that they've made of the loud South Delhi culture, the film couldn't keep my interest.
B. I'd definitely improve the on-screen camaraderie between these friends. I mean I've never been part of these pajama parties, as they call em, but I am sure they are lot more fun. The banter is forced. The dialogues are predictable. The lines are cliched. Apart from a bracelet with their initials and a painting by mothers of one of the friends, they don't seem to have anything that identifies them as part of a clique. The screenplay should've established their friendship better and stronger.
C. The conflict, when it all was supposed to fall apart, when the friends fight, when they call names and all that, is so weak and so short-lived that you don't even realize that it had happened. Compare it with DCH. There is a big-ass argument and a fight and it takes Herculean effort to fix! Here, in VDW, all it took was a holiday? A phone call? Come on!
D. There are some really bad product placements.
The one with the cigarette.
I don't know why one of the characters always had a cigarette around. In the loo, in the car, on the beach, on the bed, in the wedding. Ok, I know you want to establish her as a free-spirited woman (did you?), could you not find a better instrument than a cigarette? Or those Calvin Klein sports bras?
Ok, you are scared of this whole thing called marriage. I understand. I actually think that her character was written well! I don't have any complaints. But then, I also don't really have any vivid memories of her after I've seen the movie. She is ordinary. You know how you have this salt-shaker on the dining table that no-one notices unless they need em? That!
Sigh. Lesser said the better.
If you can't seem to endure this blogpost, please skip to the bottom and do read the open letter that I've written to her.
The married one.
She is actually the best of the lot. Played her part well. Had better one-liners to deliver compared to others. I wish she had a meatier role. She could've held the story together. But then shes not a Kapoor you know. Or may be I am wrong. The point however remains that her character had hope and they fucked it up.
The good parts?
A. There is this character called Bhandari.
He comes in rather late but when he does, he is probably what makes the film tolerable. He may sound crass, down-market, a letch or whatever but he is what he is. He's done a great job - the kinds that would've taken a lot of effort to pull off. I want to see more of him. I actually miss him. He doesn't have a lot of dialogues or scenes but every-time he comes up, you do take notice. He's like that subtle flavour, seasoning in a complex dish that you cant put your finger on. But you know that the dish has the distinctive taste because of that one flavour. You know? The magic sauce? That!
B. I loved the cinematography!
The locations are breathtaking. The movie looks gorgeous. Of course the 4 ladies are pretty and all that but even if I removed them from the shots, the empty frames would look great! Its, as more established critics will say, is
So, the verdict?
Don't go to a movie hall to see it.
Once its on Netflix, you may want to spend an evening fast-forwarding your way through it.
I'd give Veere Di Wedding a 1 star.
Also, I must say that I saw the film on a Tuesday night and the hall was almost half-full. Which is a lot considering its been a few days since the film came out. So maybe, there's something there.
And while you are at it, you may want to see this review by this lady.
Oh, if despite the warning, you do decide to watch this, all the best!
Do let me know what you think.
I am @saurabh on twitter.
Thanks for reading!
PS.: As I end this, there are two things that I want to talk about.
Please know that as a critic and a reviewer, I do not want to merely diss the creators. My intent of being a critic is not to discourage the ones that do the new. But to learn from them. And when its my turn to create, not repeat the mistakes. I subscribe to Anton Ego says about critics.
As someone who's had a crush on Sonam
I really really love your sense of style. Plus I am a big fan of your smile. It is second only to Julia Roberts' . The way you carry and conduct yourself? It is so unique that you're one of your kind. Anyone would want to give their arm and leg to see you smile. I will.
But could you PLEASE stop acting?
I mean take inspiration from your sister - Rhea. She is a producer. And she has chosen to remain that. What if you remain a mere socialite? and actually up the ante at those parties and charities and fashion events? Really! As a marketer, I really think that's a greater opportunity for you. For every crappy film that you do, you reduce the brand value and you takeaway reasons from brands like Loreal et al to pull the plug. There is a limit to which that these brands can support you. No?
Oh, btw, even if you decide to continue working in films as an actor, of course as someone who loves you, I will continue to support you. All the best!