A charming rom-com whose heart eclipses its flaws
Wedding Season is your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy, abound with fun tropes and cheesy dialogues, with one main difference — its protagonists are Indian American. This delightful love story shows how the same story can be markedly different when told from the perspective of a different race or culture. Among the myriad of white rom-coms around, Wedding Season proves the importance of and the need for more stories about people of colour.
A quick, light-hearted watch, Wedding Season comes from the heart. It takes a simple concept and makes it shine with the help of talented actors and good writing, which slightly falters in the second half. Still, there are some truly poignant moments in between the romance and comedy that stay with you, including dialogues like, “Let your love be greater than your fear”.
Like with most media related to India, the colours are vibrant but easy on the eyes. I do have to commend the costume designer for picking some truly stunning Indian outfits (a marked change from the usual Hollywood productions that go for pizzazz rather than actual style). A shout-out to the soundtrack, which matches the rom-com vibe perfectly and includes some memorable tracks like Show Me by Natania and Tiptoeing by Hope Tala.
The story follows Asha, a career driven women who is passionate about social justice, and Ravi, an MIT graduate who is walking an offbeat career path. As wedding season approaches, the two decide to enter a fake relationship to fend off the community’s inquisitive aunties. But soon, their fake relationship turns into something real.
Their slow descent into love is one of the best parts of the movie, carried by the talents of Pallavi Sharda and Suraj Sharma. Sharda’s portrayal of a strong independent woman feels organic, real and relatable. Meanwhile, Sharma, as Ravi, has a casual wittiness that will charm the pants off you. Plus, he nails the I’m-falling-in-love-with-you eyes. The two have a palpable chemistry that is sweet and endearing. It makes you root for them. Obviously, things aren’t that easy, as Asha’s insecurities from a previous relationship and secrets from Ravi’s past come to the fore.
Apart from the gossipy aunties who seem a tad exaggerated, the movie does get its characterisation right. We see a range of different people, each one with their own quirks, qualities and desires. They are interesting and even more so are the relationships between them.
The film also tries its hand at portraying the complex web of these families and their community. It throws light on the immense pressure faced by first generation Indian Americans as well as the hardships endured by their immigrant parents. It looks at Asha’s desire to be independent, her sister’s anxiety about being the first in the family to marry a non-Indian and Ravi’s constant fight against family expectations. Towards the end, we even see Asha’s become a little closer to her roots.
The second half puts its focus on these subjects and while the stories themselves are compelling, the execution is a bit sloppy. In trying to look at all these different facets within the short run time, the movie ends up not being able to give them the depth they deserve. Additionally, this comes with a slightly jarring tonal shift. However, the dramatics fall under the usual rom-com tropes and these flaws are not deal breakers.
The last segment of the film feels more stretched out than was necessary. In particular, the scene at the wedding where nearly every character grabs the mic to have their say. Personally, I think these speeches would have hit harder without the large audience but it seems the combination of grand gesture and Indian wedding was too tempting to pass on. To make up for it though, both, Asha and Ravi’s romantic declarations are heartfelt and with just enough cheese.
Ultimately, Wedding Season is a fresh take on the rom-com genre, with a heartwarming romance that is a pleasure to watch.
Verdict - 7/10