Star Cast: Kirti Kulhari, Medha Shankar, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Ranjan Modi, Shenpenn Khymsar, Ajay Jayanthi, Apurv Dogra, Nishank Verma and ensemble.
Director: Raj Singh Chaudhary
What’s Good: It pitches two women from the extreme sides of the spectrum against each other, while another is on the verge of falling on either side. The idea is intimate and deserves to have your attention.
What’s Bad: The predictability of it all and the “this is too obvious” tag that it brings in.
Loo Break: it’s a 94 minutes long film, end credits included. That’s not even a question here.
Watch or Not?: You can give it a try if you are in mood to watch feel good climax movies and feel optimistic. But don’t be too ambitious going in.
Available On: Disney Plus Hotstar
A music band that includes a girl (Kriti) and three boys (Shenpenn, Ajay and Apurv) who are on their way to Ajmer to perform at a wedding. Some altercations makes a ‘sanskaari’ family join them along to the same wedding. Begins the clash of generation, ideology and thoughts.
Shaadisthan Movie Review: Script Analysis
The clash of generations and ideology always churns out a conversation that is valid, and concerns both parties in a highly different manner. Here the topic for this one is wedding, and if that is the only thing that defines a woman in the so called ‘society’. Written by Raj Singh Chaudhary, Nishank Verma and Kartik Chaudhry, Shaadisthan explores a woman (Nivedita) burdened by patriarchy majorly in conversation with another who has managed to break the glass ceiling (Kriti as Sasha).
Of course, that is not the only premise of the film. But what stayed with me is the two talking to each other about the lives they have led, and if it was of their choice. The script looks at them as a parameter with both on either side. Standing in the centre is an 18-year-old girl (Medha as Arshi) who is from Sasha’s generation, but her patriarchal father wants to push her to the side of the spectrum that almost means slavery.
Shaadisthan is a concept that is not untouched or never seen. But it is a fresh take on how it has been set up. Or maybe the travelling part of it made me say that. God, I crave a long drive! But what the film ends up being most of the times is too predictable, and many will get the chance to say those golden words, “See, I told you she won’t!”. And that is where it takes a dip.
That’s not it; the part where there is a change in the heart seems too rushed and well out of place all the time. For instance, in the moment where Nivedita is under influence of a drink with Medha, they dance as if stuck in some trance. It looks made up, and not organic. Cut to 5 minutes later we get a scene where Nivedita and Kriti talk, and it saves the day. But one cannot do much if they decide to invest 35 minutes in setting up the story in a film that is just 94 minutes long. Maybe the ratio there went wrong, thus affecting the pace of the film.
Men onscreen, though more in the ratio, are only to help the women shine, and one must not complain. All these years, we have seen the reverse of that and applauded it, so digest this too. But that doesn’t mean they are one tone or paper-thin. They do represent something.
Shaadisthan Movie Review: Star Performance
The most interesting thing about the movie is the casting. While Kriti Kulhari, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Ranjan Modi and Medha Shankar deliver what is expected of them, good performances with all honesty, the boys happen to be the craziest bunch.
Shenpenn Khymsar is a filmmaker composer and an active voice in the Free Tibet movement. Ajay Jayanthi is an actual musician and is a master at playing the violin. Apurv Dogra is also a hip hop artist who practises the art rigorously. And last but not the least, Nishank Verma who plays a smaller inconsequential part is the man behind the story idea for Netflix’s brilliant Hindi show Jamtara and this one too. Stalk them all on Instagram! When artists who in real-life represent what they play on screen meet, authenticity is bound to translate on screen. And it does in Shaadisthan.
Shaadisthan Movie Review: Direction, Music
Direction by Raj Singh Chaudhary, who also holds co-writing credits, is part fresh part staple. While majority of the film takes place on the road, we are never made familiar with the landscape. Watch Piku if that statement confuses you. There is a conflict in that too, but the landscape also breathes in the film and becomes a character.
Music Nakul Sharma is fun and worth being in your playlist for a while. The production design is believable and doesn’t seem out of the place.
Shaadisthan Movie Review: The Last Word
All in all Shaadisthan is an honest attempt at talking about a stigma that needs to be addressed. But more depth and layering could have done wonders to the film. Thank the actors for being their authentic selves in front of the camera!
Shaadisthan releases on 11th June, 2021.
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Skipping this one? Read our Vidya Balan’s Sherni review to know if that’s worth a watch.