When we first caught wind of Veere Di Wedding some months ago, we were thrilled at the idea of an all-female cast – a rarity if not in Hollywood then certainly in modern day Bollywood. Having seen the movie ahead of general release, we can confirm this Shashanka Ghosh-directed flick is unlike any other. It’s a laugh-out-loud, occasionally cringey, often eyebrow-raising portrayal of Indian women today; their hopes, anxieties, vices and sexual desires narrated via witty in-your-face feminism.
There’s a particularly squirmy sex scene, so unless you plan to never look your mum, dad or nanima in the eye ever again, watch only with your squad. A family movie Veere Di Wedding is emphatically not – consider yourself warned!The movie opens in Delhi with commitment-phobe Kaloo (played by Kareena Kapoor Khan) who gives a less than enthusiastic answer to her boyfriend asking a very important question on bended knee. He manages to coax her into saying yes (needless to say, any bride who must be persuaded into marriage has trouble and drama written all over her) by promising an intimate ceremony – but his family have other ideas. When her wedding prep descend into chaos she bolts to Thailand; with her three closest friends in tow.Meet her mates; first Avni (the newlywed Sonam Kapoor-Ahuja) a lawyer with a mother determined to find her daughter’s Prince Charming on a dating app. Then there’s mother-of-one foodie Meera (played by Shikha Talsania), who has been shunned for having marrying an American – nehi! Finally there’s the boozy, lewd and completely loveable Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar), in the midst of a messy divorce. Free and open about sex, Sakshi is confident about her sexuality to the point of arrogance.
Having megastars like Kareena and Sonam in the cast could have left their co-stars in the shadows but such is the strength of their acting that both Shikha and Swara dazzle onscreen, reinforcing the overriding theme of female friendship, who have each other’s backs through thick and thin.
We loved the outfits – no surprise with style queen Rhea Kapoor overseeing wardrobe – and the final wedding scene (yes, happily there is one!) is styled and put together with such finesse that we’re sure it will provide endless inspiration to anyone with I Do’s to plan.
But while it was refreshing to see taboo subjects broached, Veere Di Wedding has the feel of a film that’s bitten off a bit more than it can chew.For one, Ghosh as director attempts to address too many complex issues: homosexuality, multi-faith relationships, family problems and ladette culture are touched upon in in a valiant effort to capture contemporary society. But does anyone have this much drama in their lives? Product placement is peppered throughout, which can be distracting. And then there’s the dialogue, which felt like being blitzed with f–bombs just for the sake of it.
Despite this, Veere Di Wedding is the watch of the summer. As the world’s biggest film industry, Bollywood’s power and influence is huge. With so many explosive scenes and excellent use of humour delivered by a stellar cast, Veere di Wedding will break down that dusty stereotype of a sexually repressed, shy, obedient Indian woman.
There are definite shades of Sex and The City and Bridesmaids, but ultimately it’s a story about the strength of female bonds. If there was ever a movie to watch with your bride tribe, this is it.
Veere Di Wedding is out in cinemas from 1st June 2018.