Director: Ratna Sinhaa
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Kriti Kharbanda
Ratna Sinhaa’s directorial has all the elements one’d expect in a typical ‘masala’ entertainer- song, dance, drama, romance, and revenge. Just that they aren’t in place and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana ends up being an extended television saga and a wedding that you’d perhaps consider attending without a ‘sagan’.
Aarti Shukla (Kriti Kharbanda) and Satyendra Mishra (Rajkummar Rao) are set for an arranged marriage meeting by their respective families. Both despising the idea of deciding on a spouse in one meeting, fall for each other in the first few minutes itself. All seems well until the wedding night when just before the ceremony, Aarti flees leaving Sattu at the altar. Cut to 5 years later, and their cheesy tale now becomes a story of revenge with a heartbroken Sattu seeking personal vengeance on her.
The first thirty to forty minutes manage to keep you involved with mushy exchanges like “Tum pink mein Juhi Chawla lagti ho” and “Aap toh har rang mein Shah Rukh lagte hai”. Soon talk about dowry, higher studies, and work after marriage begins. While the makers perhaps aimed at igniting ongoing debates on the above-mentioned issues, by the end, they end up normalizing the very subject of dowry.
Both Rajkummar and Kriti are able performers and their performance in this film is testament to that. Because despite the shoddy script, it’s the acting that provides for any kind of investment. Rajkummar plays an adorable Government ‘clerk’ and an amicable lover in the first half, and a thorough high-grade officer with strong beliefs against the constitution of marriage and love in the second. His transformation is commendable but at the same time, one feels a hangover of certain past films. Like Behen Hogi Teri for Rajkummar’s performance and Badrinath Ki Dulhania for the idea.
Kriti, too, delivers a decent act but the lines don’t give her enough space to bring out the best in her. Rajkummar and Kriti make a fine pair and on some levels, they complement each other- for instance, there are scenes wherein Rajkummar’s blushing smile balances out Kriti’s wide-eyed expression or when Rajkummar tries to kiss her and she responds with a cheeky line.
Nayani Dixit, Navni Parihar, Govind Namdev, Manoj Pahwa, Vipin Sharma and KK Raina are all dependable names who continue to save films, including this one, from falling flat. Except the casting, the makers also get the entire Kanpur set-up right which feels as if it's straight out of real life. Some scenes make you ponder over the ways arranged marriages are finalized and the aftermath (profit and losses) of it all. But the idea never hits you like it really should.
While the first half makes you smile at the small town love story, the second half derails, trying to incorporate too many things at a time and starts feeling a bit aged for a 2017 release. The thoughts which should’ve been spoken out loud are kept under wraps and the ones which could’ve done without words, come right at you.
So while the film gets you chuckling at times, it disappoints you for being a mixture of familiar works and for not justifying the issues it supposedly deals with. Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana is an invite that you may decline or attend without a gift perhaps.