India Hot and bothered: India's answer to Sex and the City stirs debate Banned in Pakistan and slammed by right-wing groups, Veere Di Wedding is a box office hit, but is it a feminist feat? Veere Di Wedding, or My Friend's Wedding, is a two-hour comedy that was banned in neighbouring Pakistan because of curse words and scenes of a sexual nature but survived a boycott call in India. Unlike most Bollywood buddy-comedy films, which centre on the lives of male characters, Veere Di Wedding features four rich female friends who drink, smoke cannabis, curse their partners and families, and discuss the challenges of marriage and sexuality.
Right-wing, ultraconservative sections of Hindu society, which had backed the boycott call, have taken to the internet to vent their frustrations, deploring the film on social media for its open sexuality - something they claim is not compatible with Indian culture and values. Many took offence at one scene, in particular, in which Bhaskar's married character, Sakshi Soni, masturbates, and made their feelings clear in tweets to the actor.
On Wednesday, Bhaskar defended the scene, writing on Twitter: She's 31 and so didn't want to show any conventional cheating. She said, '"et her moment of shame be dysfunctional, too,'" director Ghosh told Al Jazeera. But I wanted the friends to be dysfunctional, like people normally are. I could have told the same story with four boys too.
The funny lines keep coming up in first half and it's refreshing to see women spewing gaaliyan for once. Product placements, two end credit songs and a weak plot are minor blemishes on an otherwise fresh film. Avni's Kapoor Ahuja nagging mother is desperate to marry her off, Sakshi is in the middle of a messy divorce, and homemaker Meera Talsania is married to a white American with a two-year-old son, a life which has led to a lack of intimacy.
Although some critics have hailed Veere Di Wedding as a feminist feat, others have questioned the message the film sends out to ordinary Indian women, the overwhelming majority of whom are not as privileged as the lead characters.
Ruhi Tewari, an associate editor at The Print, a Delhi-based outlet, said the film lacks nuance. The biggest problem in the movie is how forced all this seems, aimed merely at shocking audiences," she wrote in a review. Veere Di Wedding, a buddy comedy, depicts four female friends with messy lives [Courtesy: Raindrop Media] Paromita Vohra, a Mumbai-based writer, filmmaker and the founder of Agents of Ishq love , a popular website on love and sexuality, said the film suffers from a loose plot and was "carelessly made", but was ultimately a feminist success.
There is an entire universe of human desire in the film," she told Al Jazeera. The film is about a wedding. But within that structure of a Bollywood mainstream film, it manages to puncture a lot of notions around an Indian wedding.
Hit them where it hurts. Even [Kapoor Ahuja's] character is trying to conform to her mother's desire and feels a pressure from the world. She is thinking 'Maybe I should be married, I don't know. For Kapse, whose work has focused on the notions of pleasure and suffering in Indian cinema, Veere Di Wedding is subversive because it delinks female characters from the predominance of motherhood in Indian cinema by emphasising female appetites over domesticity.