When a female director decides to make a film about dowry, patriarchy and sexism, it is a known fact that these issues are still persistent in the Indian Society. Another film in the same genre of “Badrinath Ki Dhulania” (2017) where you’ll have the deja vu moment. Yes, these issues are important to address and more than the cinematic storytelling, above all they need understanding. Is the film necessary? was one question which tailed after Ratnaa Sinha’s “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana”.
Set in Kanpur, where the family of bride and bridegroom crack a deal of dowry while their children Satyendra (Rajkummar Rao) and Aarti (Kriti Kharbanda) who are progressive fall in love amidst the arrange marriage. Aarti aspires to be a PCS Officer while Satyendra works as a clerk, both wanting to have a decent government job. Soon, tables turn around and a major twist which follows during the marriage changes the course of the film to a revenge saga. 5 years later, Satyendra is a high-ranking officer to frames Aarti with corruption charges.
While I genuinely found the first half promising and expectations were riding high but soon hit a roadblock in the second half. First half has shaped really well though it is reminiscent and mixture of many Bollywood films. It looks like a TV Soap Opera converted into a film (B- Grade) with a story done to death in Bollywood. I liked the contrast characters, orthodox Aarti’s father and orthodox Satyendra’s mother who lend most to the happenings. Without any jerky narrative (other than 5 years gap), the film ticks all the necessarily (unnecessary) conventional elements of routine songs, love story, romance, revenge and (melo) drama. It’s not about technicalities or film-making, the film suffers with the derailment of the script and handling.
It’s a delight to watch Rajkummar Rao playing a love interest but soon he is reduced to repetitive acts, he came across as the potential candidate for new-age Shahrukh Khan. Kriti Kharbanda looks over-enthusiastic and excited to grab a role opposite Rajkummar but manages to deliver a fine performance. Supporting actors like the humble K K Raina, rigid Govind Namdev, typical Manoj Pahwa have tailor made roles by default giving their best.
While the people were rooting for Aarti during the twist, I wonder when will the patriarchy and societal bondage come to an end. No doubt a good attempt showcasing us the insider view of the practice of dowry but the long-stretched sequences make the viewer care less after a while. The film does have many highlights and if you decide to spend your weekend watching an entertainer with social message without any hard hits, then this is your film.
Two contrast love stories playing at the theaters currently, the unconventional and novel Irrfan-starrer “Qarib Qarib Singlle” and Rajkummar Rao’s conventional Bollywood masala “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana”– I would definitely recommended “Qarib Qarib Singlle Ko Zaroor Jana”.
Release: 10 November, 2017
Director: Ratnaa Sinha
Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.