Amit Roy’s “Running Shaadi” is the anti-Sairat.
Nagraj Manjule’s searing film from last year explored the repercussions of young love that flowers in the middle of a caste cauldron, earning more accolades than any Marathi movie in recent times. In contrast, Roy’s film trivialises the issues of caste, honour killings and barriers to love marriage in a largely conservative society. Worst, he doesn’t even manage to make it light-hearted and funny enough to elicit a few stray giggles.
In “Running Shaadi”, two friends run a wedding service and help couples, whose families are opposed to their relationship, elope and “live happily ever after”. The service usually involves hiring a car, finding a priest and then a lawyer who solemnizes the marriage. Why two fully functioning adults cannot do it themselves is a mystery that remains unsolved even after an excruciating 114-minute runtime.
Amit Sadh plays Bharose, an out-of-work salesman who is still able to wear designer clothes and drive a shiny red car. He is secretly in love with Nimmi (Taapsee Pannu), the daughter of his former boss, but cannot muster up the courage to tell her. Frustrated by his unemployment and hoping for a distraction from his unrequited love, Bharose decides to start a wedding service after witnessing a couple’s foiled bid to elope.
Along with his partner, Bharose solves many “cases” by getting couples married off with nary a thought about the possible consequences they might face.
The director assumes that everyone in the audience will know Punjabi (most of the dialogue has so many long-winding Punjabi sentences that even a crash course on Yash Chopra’s films will not help you grasp them), and takes the audience’s patience for granted by stretching an already thin screenplay to include boring half-hearted gags.
The performance of the leading pair doesn’t impress either. Sadh has a perpetual scowl on his face, and Pannu’s attempt at playing the gregarious Punjabi girl falls flat. This “shaadi” should have never happened.