Hindi Reviews

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana Review: A Muddled Rom-Com That Even Rajkummar Rao Can’t Save

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There’s a lot that comes to mind while watching Ratnaa Sinha’s Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, but originality is not one of them. There’s a bit of Badrinath Ki Dulhania, a bit of Bareily Ki Barfi, and lots of drama and cheese from any 90s flick. For most parts, the film largely remains undecided where it stands, bringing various angles and stories after one another. It’s almost too confusing to keep up.

Aarti Shukla (Kriti Kharbanda) meets prospective groom Satyendar Mishra (Rajkummar Rao) chosen by her father. Five minutes into their meeting, they agree they’re right for each other.

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While Aarti has dreams of studying further and becoming a PCS officer, Satyendar is more than happy being a government clerk and dreams of being a happy married man. Tragedy strikes when Aarti on her wedding day has to choose between love and career. She chooses the latter despite her tyrant of a father promising to kill them, and runs away just when the groom and his party arrive. Satyendra is heartbroken and vows revenge. Five years later, they meet. He’s in a position of power, and she’s an officer. The revenge starts, and so does the melodrama.

***

The trouble with the film is, at no point are we convinced that the makers know where the film is heading. It’s as though they decide to go with the flow, leaving far too many loopholes and areas unexplored. When the whole topic of the dreaded dowry comes into play, there’s a segment on how the girl’s father struggles to gather Rs 25 lakhs but agrees to it because she’d be a part of a well-to-do family. When she runs away, the family uses dowry as an excuse, as though she was sickened by the whole idea. At no point does Satyendar, who admits to truly love her, re-examines himself and his family’s wrongdoings. He seems absolutely unfazed that his family even asked for dowry in the first place and chooses to go sulk and go against Aarti, who has pretty much faced opposition and bias all her life because she’s a girl.

There are many such moments where one is left seething and fuming. While the film wanted to show how independent and determined Aarti is, someone who wants to beat the system and rise above the sexism and unfair treatment she faces, it ends up siding with the boy and his warped sense of revenge and professionalism. Unable to grasp the fact that she “betrayed” him for a career, he becomes a powerful government officer all because of her. And even then, he chooses to make their interactions personal in a professional environment. He taunts and belittles her, all because of eventually being rejected. It’s enough to be sick of that person, let alone wanting to reunite with him.

But, the typical Bollywood heroine that she is, the one who believes that there’s good in every bad and that underneath his hardened shell, there’s her old fiance. Aarti chooses love now, marred with so many complications and toxicity, something straight out of a pseudo-progressive daily soap.

The predictability, too, grows with every scene. While the makers might have chosen to go with the flow, the flow seems to have chosen the cliched parts, leaving little room for suspense.

Rajkummar Rao, who has had five releases this year, doesn’t have much going with this one. Granted he’s a terrific actor and even makes you a little terrified when you watch him transform from a cheesy lover to an angry government officer, but even his skills do little to outweigh the lack of substance in this film.

Kriti Kharbanda is every other Bollywood heroine.

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She is gorgeous and has a good screen presence, but there’s little about her acting that strikes us. With actors like Rao and Govind Namdeo, it’s almost impossible to watch her trying to fit in.

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, a mixture of films and concepts that have been done far too many times, would have been so much better had we, for once, had the female lead do well in life and didn’t have to ever see the man she left ever again.

***

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