The first 25 minutes of Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana are the best. It takes turns to sometimes feel like Bareilly ki Barfi, then Badrinath ki Dulhaniya and at other times like Shubh Mangal Saavdhan.
The utterly adorable Rajkummar Rao and the ever smiling Kriti Kharbanda seem like a hit jodi. There is talk of shaadi and dahej and by that time you know which way the story will go, but you are enough in love with the on-screen proceedings to remain patient. But sure enough, disappointment creeps in slowly.
For most parts, the movie plays out like a Hindi TV serial, because that is where we still see dialogues like “Mishra khandaan ki bahuyein shaadi ke baad naukri nahi karti”and social evils being nonchalantly practiced and encouraged.
When sasuma demands Rs 5 lakh dahej in the manner of a business negotiation, one hopes the writer Kamal Pandey will turn tradition on its head and come up with some witty repartees.
However, the film is just a cesspool of archaic notions on pratha, parampara and women. Why would not one character, not even the earnest hero Sattu or the self-respecting heroine Aarti, so much as shake their heads in disagreement about dowry?
It’s absurd and also highly infuriating! It’s 2017 dear Bollywood and you have made a film normalising dowry! What a shame!
It’s also serial-like in the way the plot gets stretched in various directions. The “revenge” angle is ludicrous. The only thing that makes the film slightly watchable is the cast.
Aarti might be a topper but she has zero personality. Satyendra is sincere and likeable, but a wimp. Still Rajkummar Rao is a pleasure to watch.
Even when the script flounders (which it does many times) and director Ratnaa Sinha’s hold slips on the narrative, the supporting cast has names who are ever dependable. Govind Namdev, KK Raina, Navni Parihar, Vipin Sharma and Manoj Pahwa try and salvage the situation to an extent but the shoddy script lets everyone down.