By Shreehari H
Expletives and mangalsutras cohabit the same sentence in Veere Di Wedding, a film so gung-ho about its own notion of progressiveness that it might as well have been called ‘Veere Di Bedding’ instead. The movie begins with four young girls grappling with the idea of prematurely ringing their school bell—a dilemma that eventually causes much bedlam to break out on campus. “I don’t want to lose my badge,” the nerdiest of the gang petulantly points out, even as she goes on to clink a glass of champagne with her graffiti-emblazoned friends.
Much of Veere Di Wedding unfolds in a similar vein. There’s sass, there’s spunk, and there’s the occasional stupidity as well, but director Shashanka Ghosh keeps things light and breezy with his terrific cast—a coterie of foul-mouthed, unselfconscious protagonists so spirited that they help iron out the film’s many weaknesses.
The divorce lawyer in Veere Di Wedding is one who shudders at the mention of a prenup.
“You look like a lesbo,” Avni Sharma’s (Sonam Kapoor) mother (Neena Gupta) berates her, to which she replies, “I will wear a bikini.” She’s “baahar se Sati, andar se slutty,” as described by her friend Sakshi Soni (Swara Bhaskar) at one point in the film, the kind of girl who unerringly wears an om-shaped pendant at all times and doesn’t balk at the idea of “going to have sex with someone called Nirmal.”
“Mommy se hi shaadi kar le, bloody motherlover,” she screams at her paramour, and it is clear that this graduate from “Symby”, like the rest of her ballsy gang, is not someone to be trifled with.
As her ringtone proudly proclaims, she’s always about to whip someone’s ass.
Sakshi is the sultry siren of the film—a no-holds-barred firecracker of a woman who doesn’t mind discussing vibrators with her parents. “Dhumrapaan sehat ke liye haanikaarak hai,” she tells one of her friends in a moment of inspired lunacy, even as a much-reviled disclaimer about the aftereffects of smoking occupies its place of honour on the screen. As her choice of jackets demonstrates, she is a “gundi” in her own right, and even the cigarettes smoked by her grow progressively bigger in size.
Kareena Kapoor is likeable in her portrayal of the tiara-clad, overthinking Kalindi Puri, but it is the refreshingly spontaneous “Mother Diary” of the lot, Shikha Talsania, who walks away with some of the film’s best scenes.
There’s a lot of Calvin Klein on display throughout the film, and many a designer outfit as well. For an enterprise as perfectly manicured as this, there’s a lot to gape at, from bonsai plants to terracotta pots, from Range Rovers to Bentleys, and even the statues in Veere Di Wedding are busy indulging in love making. The men here don’t hesitate to pose with brassieres and drape their heads in dupattas, and the mechanics of childbirth are elaborately laid out in the most hilarious of ways.
As a registration plate on the back of a car shows us, this sucrose-laced film has “SA XI” written all over it.
Not everything works in Veere Di Wedding, however. The dialogue is occasionally puerile (“It’s not going to be easy, huh? Family never is.” “Settlement! Mein usko settle kar doongi.”) and the background score, mildly effective at best. A song with lyrics that go “aa jao, itna kya sochna” reminds us that what we are watching is (indeed) a breakup scene, and another commonly encountered malaise—product placement—is rampant throughout the film as well (Real Milk! Real Ice Cream!). There are times when the film overreaches in its attempt to sound modern, and it’s hard to overlook the fact that there’s little substance underneath its baroque exterior.
Veere Di Wedding is undeniably a jolly romp of a movie, one that is fleet-footed and revels in drollery, but it sometimes rings a little shallow because of how contrived and predictable it is. At one point in the film, I spotted a book called To Be the Best by H.L. Hertel in Kalindi’s immaculately stocked bookshelf. For now, this remains—at best—an unfulfilled, aspirational ideal. It takes a Vikas Bahl to metamorphosise a damsel in distress into a Queen.
Shreehari H is a lover of films and an even greater lover of writing.
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