Wedding Season is passable comedy in passé genre

Suraj Sharma and Pallavi Sharda in Wedding Season. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

From the late 1990s to a decade or so later, crossover Indian stories, passing off mainly as Indo-American romantic comedies, abounded among movies made in the US by a mixed team of Indian and American cast and crew. After a lo-o-o-ng gap of sorts, comes yet another film in this genre that begins extremely differently and unusually with a satirical look at fabricated online profiles for matrimonial alliances! But it gradually settles on a template-like track of events heading for a a crisis before a predictably happy resolution.

In the final analysis, Wedding Season is a passable romance between Ravi (Suraj Sharma) and Asha (Pallavi Sharda), who are both reluctant for a relationship souls at first, while their families are, as usual, over-eager to become rishtedaar (relatives) by marriage. Adding to the formulae of such films is Asha’s sister, Priya (Arianna Afsar) and her suitor, Nick (Sean Kleier) and their initially forbidden romance.

There are complications—Ravi has quit MIT and is a DJ with buddy Yoshi (Julius Cho), Asha and he have to pretend to be romantically involved, and while Ravi’s dad has a dim view of his son’s abilities, as he does not earn enough, Asha’s mom (Sonia Dhillon Tully) is the kind who keeps pressurizing her unwilling daughter into alliances. Of course Asha and Ravi, while pretending to be lovers, really fall in love and then have a massive misunderstanding that shatters them internally. The climax, of course, is subtly melodramatic as with all such movies, and lacks the drama it would have possessed in the classic indigenous Hindi film. Now, whether that is a positive or a negative aspect is something of an individual view!

The film boasts of some witty lines and occasional genuinely warm or humorous situations, but nothing of the sort that would give the viewer a comic or emotional spike. The music is ho-hum, and while the director is in command, he does not really rise over the predictable script.

Pallavi Sharda, who has starred in two mainstream Hindi flops, Besharam (Yes, she had made her debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor!) and Begum Jaan, and sparkled in the latter, gives another polished and nuanced performance, and her expressions are quite eloquent. Suraj Sharma is alright in a role that has been done umpteen times by other actors. I quite liked the expressions of Rizwan Manji as the hero’s dad and Manoj Sood as Asha’s father. The two mothers put in decent work.

Thanks to its crisp length, the film is not a drag and can be watched once, like encountering a pleasant past acquaintance after a long gap. Such films cannot be called substandard, but they have absolutely nothing new in them. You can visit them once to have a relaxed, pleasant time for the while the film is on.

Rating: ***

Netflix presents Jax Media’s, Samosa Stories’ & Imagine Entertainment’s Wedding Season  Produced by: Swati Shetty, Brian Grazer & Ron Howard  Directed by: Tom Dey Written by: Shiwani Srivastava  Music: Jongnic Bontemps & Raashi Kulkarni  Starring: Suraj Sharma, Pallavi Sharda, Rizwan Manji, Arianna Afsar, Sean Kleier, Veena Sood, Manoj Sood, Sonia Dhillon Tully, Ruth Goodwin, Damian Thompson, Julius Cho, Subhash Santosh & others



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