AVOID THIS SHAADI!
Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana – a film with excellent cast. A story that seems progressive. What could possibly go wrong? Well, it’s turned out to be an absolute disaster.
Rating: 0.5 / 5
Starring: Rajkummar Rao, Kriti Kharbanda, Govind Namdeo
Written by: Kamal Pande
Directed by: Ratnaa Sinha
The Story: Satyendra (Sattu) is a simple middle-class man with endearing qualities. He meets Aarti in an arranged marriage set up and falls in love. Thus beings Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana.
Aarti reciprocates his feelings and shaadi date is fixed. Unknown to the two youngsters, a significant amount of dowry is agreed upon, with some half hearted NO’s from the groom’s father and some annoyance on the part of the uncle of the bride.
Shaadi preparations are underway and the love birds cannot wait to be together. A few minutes before the baaraat is supposed to arrive, Aarti learns that she has a cleared a competitive exam which she had secretly appeared for. Her happiness seems to have doubled.
But as her elder sister makes her understand, Sattu’s mother won’t ever allow her to have a career. There is an intense dilemma, does she choose the love of a man and life of a housewife or the fulfillment of her ambitions and dreams. Her sister and uncle help her escape. As news travels, parents on either side are deeply upset.
There is now a practical problem – the dowry amount that has already exchanged hands. Sattu’s father and uncle are restrained till Sattu brings the money back. This creates more chaos as a part of the money has been spent by his mother and she is now forced to sell her jewelry. All this while Sattu desperately tries to contact Aarti – now on the run. She doesn’t take his calls so as to not sway emotionally, as advised by her sister. Finally, when she does call him back, it is too late, a heartbroken Sattu deletes her number from the phone and possibly her from his heart.
The Verdict: Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana starts off well and the supporting cast especially makes it a convincing small-town saga. Rajkummar Rao as Sattu and Kirti Kharbanda are earnest and bring authenticity to their characters.
However, there are so many glaring examples of absolutely unforgivable misogyny that it totally ruins a film that started well! Both the issue of dowry and why, even in 2017, a woman feels she has to choose between her career and marriage are just plot points.
Not one person in this film thinks either is a huge problem. Literally no one questions why dowry was given and received in the first place – not even the bride and groom!
Satyendra as a heartbroken lover is bitter is understandable but that he thinks nothing of making inappropriate remarks about a female colleague is shocking and disgusting. He actually suggests that they spend a night together in a hotel as a price of her freedom.
Despite all these unwarranted acts of humiliation, Aarti desperately chases Sattu in the latter half.
What could have been a comment on social evils with love and dialogue triumphing in the end becomes a horrifying mess of shoddy and sexist plots and the film leaves you angry and disappointed.
I give it a half star, only because all the actors tried so hard to salvage this awful script.
– Film reviewed by Nandini Arora
Nandini Arora is a TV writer by profession, having contributed to many a masala saas-bahu shows. She seeks masala in her real life too, sometimes by unashamed gossip, delectable food and in books. She loves movies and discussing them even more, over a cup of elaichi chai!
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