Veere Di Wedding secures third highest opening of 2018 — a huge feat for a film about girlfriends

Karishma Upadhyay

June 03, 2018 10:04:51 IST

That Veere Di Wedding stars four actors — Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam K Ahuja, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania — at the top of their game should be enough to take you to the nearest theatre. There is a lot more that makes the price of the popcorn worthwhile – this is the first Hindi film in our lifetime that has women just doing whatever the hell they want to do. And, that’s reason enough to celebrate with the Veeres.

The quartet of sassy leading ladies are childhood best friends in the buddy comedy directed by Shashanka Ghosh and written by Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri. We first meet them on their last day of school. Conversation between the girls as they sip on celebratory champagne served by one of their mothers oscillates between college and boys. Right off the bat, Ghosh promises a film that is both at once familiar and yet brings something new to the screen.

Also read — Veere Di Wedding movie review: Kareena, Sonam, Swara, Shikha play relatable non-conformists in a fun buddy flick

A decade later, even though they are scattered to different corners of the world the bonds remain strong thanks to technology (there are some advantages of WhatsApp groups!). The girls are at different points on the marriage spectrum. Meera (Sakshi) is a young mother who has lost her mojo. Avni (Sonam) is a divorce lawyer by profession but she obsessed with getting married. Sakshi (Swara) is a foul-mouth wealthy brat struggling with an ugly divorce. And, Kalandi (Kareena) is the child of a broken family who doesn’t believe that marriage equals to ‘happily ever after’ but gives in when her boyfriend Rishab (Sumeet Vyas) proposes to her.

A still from Veere Di Wedding/Image from Twitter.

A still from Veere Di Wedding/Image from Twitter.

The relationship these girls have with one another — they aren’t afraid to call each other out on bullshit, sing jokey jingles about each other’s sex lives, dispense hugs and wisdom and know how to end trivial — is beautiful to watch. Even though there are romantic relationships, they never overshadow the female friendship that tethers the film. The focus in Veere Di Wedding is not on the girls finding love, but on finding joy. Their friendship is not just a connection, but a means of emotional and mental survival.

From Sholay’s Jai-Veeru to the metrosexual boys of Dil Chahata Hai and more recently Sonu and Titu from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, we’ve seen the stories of male friendships that have sustained through relationships, careers, not to mention the aches and pains of aging. It’s exceedingly rare to see women bond in Hindi films the way they do in this film. That the film has opened strong at the box office means that it’s resonating with the audience. A Rs 10.70 crore opening Friday makes Veere Di Wedding the third highest opener of 2018, a huge feat for a film about girlfriends.

Also read — Veere Di Wedding: Feminism is now a buzzword, and the onus of talking about it solely rests on Bollywood's women

The film balances humour, glamour and an honest look at the lives of young women. We’ve all shared bathroom stalls with girlfriends and walked the Walk of Shame. We’ve gone on girls’ trips to cut loose and encouraged our girlfriends to try new things. These women are really funny but they also feel deeply. They are sexy but also goofy. They are real girls. And, real girls do swear, party hard and talk about sex. It’s been 35 years since Cyndi Lauper first sang ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’, we can’t still be wondering ‘why do women have to party hard (aka just like men) to have fun?’

A still from Veere Di Wedding/Image from YouTube.

A still from Veere Di Wedding/Image from YouTube.

The film is the lovechild of Sex in the City and Bridesmaids with a splash of Girls Trip. It’s a fluffy and fun film, with women at the center that is not looking to make any big sociological statement. And, that should be okay. Expecting every film with female protagonists to carry the flag of feminism is unfair. That this film challenge societal and patriarchal norms without making a big deal about it is just another reason to love it.

There’s an openly gay middle-aged man (Vivek Mushran) who lives in with his partner. A bride, while on stage, downs two shots of alcohol in quick succession. A girl has a one-night stand with a man whose first name she doesn’t know. And a daughter talks to her parents about masturbation. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Swara’s moment of charam-sukh. It was nothing like anything Bollywood has experienced before.

Updated Date: Jun 03, 2018 10:04 AM