With Veere Di Wedding, Bollywood tailors its favourite genre for the Instagram generation

Abhishek Srivastava

Jun,04 2018 17:36:14 IST

Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor starrer Veere Di Wedding is another in the tradition of Bollywood’s favourite genre which celebrates wedding in all its glory. The trailer of the film showcases all possible elements that one encounters in a conventional Bollywood film with a wedding at its core – opulence, extravagance, colour, clothes, fun and oodles of entertainment. In other words, it ticks all the right boxes which might make Veere Di Wedding a success at the box office.

Wedding sequences have been integral to Hindi films for decades, but it was the late Yash Chopra who truly comprehended its potent power and gave an impetus to this genre of films. Right from Kabhi Kabhie to Silsila to Kaala Patthar — Yash Chopra religiously incorporated a wedding song in all his film. But with Chandni, he entered a different trajectory. Though Chandni didn't revolve around a wedding per se, a major part of the film was centered around the happenings at a wedding. His son, Aditya Chopra, with his debut film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, gave finishing touches to all that senior Chopra had failed to do during his movie making career.

A Still from Veere Di Wedding/Image from Twitter.

A Still from Veere Di Wedding/Image from Twitter.

Chandni unknowingly started a trend which almost became an El Dorado for Bollywood’s producers. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Hum Saath Saath Hai, Monsoon Wedding, Hum Dil Chuke Sanam, Tanu Weds Manu, Band Baaja Baaraat, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania were few form the wedding genre which ensured that producers went laughing all the way to their banks.

Why is it that Bollywood keeps coming back to this genre trying to exploit all possible angles that can be explored? One reason is that wedding films come closest to depicting the Indian culture onscreen in its myriad forms. Though the very concept of Indian culture, when it comes to depiction onscreen, has been frivolous and superficial, the coming together of the entire family, friends under one roof, dancing and merry making are few things that cuts across cinegoers.

These films, in their inherent nature, are coated with things which have pan-Indian appeal. Such films also give opportunity to filmmakers to pack in all emotions which make the very foundation of a typical Bollywood film. Regular song and dance routine, which has always been the barometer of a film’s success, is another factor offered in plenty to filmmakers. But the appeal does not end there.

Wedding has found acceptance among the audience not only in its traditional form but also when films have deviated away from defined norms. While Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge delved solely on the issue of two families coming together, Monsoon Wedding went a step further and showed the underbelly of a flawed family amidst a wedding scenario. Similarly, Band Baaja Baaraat talked about two lovers who make a living out of wedding functions, while Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam delved into the pre and post event of a marriage in an extremely traditional set-up amidst the trademark grandeur of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

A still from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam/Image from YouTube.

A still from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam/Image from YouTube.

The most useful tool is that the film's narrative offers the freedom to steer it in a direction that suits filmmakers the most. Such films also portray themselves as the torchbearer of Indian culture. The Indian mind-set is so uni-dimensional that even with films depicting the not-so-bright side of marriage, the final take away is always the fun element.

Monsoon Wedding dealt with a very serious issue of pedophilia, but all people remember is the Kawa Kawa song and the antics of a love sick Dubey Ji (played exceptionally by Vijay Raaz). The crucial track involving Rajat Kapoor and Shefali Shah was soon forgotten. On a similar note, in the Tanu Weds Manu films, the key was always Kangana’s character and her struggles, but the songs and Haryanvi and UP lahja and antics of Pappi Bhai proved overpowering. In a nutshell, if a Bollywood wedding encompasses fun, laughter and unique characters, it's bound to have acceptance among the masses. No one cares about the serious issues.

Despite the superficial aspects of such films, most are rooted in reality. The plot have their reflection in Indian festivals, and wedding events have dance and song integral to their proceedings. The wedding films of Bollywood have also been in tune with the time and have adapted to the changes in the social milieu.

While films like Chandni, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge had Indian traditional values as their fundamental, the films that came later like Band Baaja Baaraat and Tanu Weds Manu did not hesitate from including sex talks which reflects the sentiments of the generation of that era. Veere Di Wedding seems like a film which takes the journey to the next level — tailored for the Facebook and Instagram generation.

Updated Date: Jun 04, 2018 17:44 PM