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'Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’: Rajkummar's sincere act only high point

By Sanya Pandey
New Delhi, Nov 10 (UNI) After successful films like ‘Badrinath ki Dulhania’ and ‘Bareilly ki Barfi’ with a flavour of shaadi season, it was with much expectation that one enters the cinema hall to watch Rajkummar Rao’s ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’.
On the overall level, however, the film turns out to be a disappointment with no different plot talking about dowry in Indian marriages and women empowerment.
The movie is a love story set in Kanpur that revolves around Satyendra Mishra aka Sattu (Rajkummar Rao), an excise department clerk and Aarti Shukla (Kriti Kharbanda), a college topper eyeing a civil service job and wary of being trapped in the four walls of domesticity.
They meet through an arranged marriage alliance and fall in love. At the same time, their parents are making their marriage into a dowry business.
On the day of their wedding, Aarti finds out that she has been selected in the UPSC and that her future mother-in-law doesn't want her to work after marriage. Encouraged by her elder sister, she runs away from her own wedding to pursue her aspirations, leaving behind a devastated Satyendra.
Five years later, they meet again under different dire circumstances. However, this time, there is no love, just war, as Satyendra sets out to take revenge on a repentant Aarti. Will Sattu avenge Aarti's betrayal? Will the two get together? That's what the rest of ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ is about.
Despite a buzz around it, 'Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana' comes across as a muddled take on a girl who dares to run away from a wedding in order to pursue her career ambitions leaving a loving boy behind, leaving one wonder which side of gender is right.
The film starts off on a rather promising note and stays on course for roughly the first 30 minutes -- this phase is devoted to an about-to-be-married couple's awkward courtship. And then the dowry blow is delivered. It is all downhill from here on.
It seems that the debutante director Ratna Sinhaa wants to embrace topics like anti-dowry, anti-corruption, women empowerment -- all in one go. However, in the end the movie has nothing new to offer.
However, the movie is interesting in parts. For example, the entire scene where both the families bargain on the dowry is intense and leaves an impact. It also reveals layers of certain characters being peeled off and show their nature.
Sattu’s family asks for Rs 25 lakh as dowry, which the girl's father agrees to solely because 'Acche ghar ke ladke itna toh maangte hi hai’ (This is the least that boys from good families expect from the bridegroom family) despite the fact that his daughter is more educated and more capable than the boy.
Rajkummar is brilliant in every scene, be it in a scene which has him blushing over pronouncing an English word incorrectly, or one where he blasts Aarti for saying the wrong thing.
However, while overall Rajkummar does a good job as Satyendra Mishra, his act becomes repetitive after a point. The actor wastes his talent wooing a woman throughout the film.
It is a pity that Rajkummar had to play a role so haphazardly written wherein Satyendra Mishra mutates from a self-effacing, sensitive young man to a vengeful lout.
Kriti Kharbanda's character was under-written. She wilts under the weight while sticking steadfastly to a single expression to convey a range of emotions.
Her character of Aarti, meant to be -- joyous, chirpy, emphatic, rebellious, cornered, does not let her feelings register on her visage.
Story and screenplay are the weak links in the film. The story is so weak and unbelievable in certain parts that you fail to connect with Kriti’s character. Kriti, who was impressive in 'Guest in London', needed a better script to prove her mettle.
Nonetheless, she makes for a beautiful watch and together the couple is a delight.
The supporting cast of Govind Namdeo, Manoj Raina and KK Raina, is decent.
Music is nothing to talk about with most songs being melodramatically loud.
The film has excelled but melodrama is too much, the pace is too slow and the second half is unbearable.
'Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ is a huge, uncontrollable cinematic dab that runs its tiresome two-and-a-half-hour course without ever getting its perspectives in order. The film is an invite that should be ignored but it’s a treat to watch solely because of Rajkummar and his skills.
Ratings 2/5 (one for Rajkummar Rao’s acting, one for cinematography)
UNI PY/AR SW SNU 1415
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