The Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania starrer Veere Di Wedding is the story of four friends, Kalindi, Avni, Sakshi and Meera who join in the celebrations of their friend Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan) who has decided to get married to Rishab (Sumeek Vyas). Rishab’s family wants a big expensive, Punjabi wedding and Kalindi is dealing with commitment issues cue hilarity. Or maybe not. The Khoobsoorat director returns with another female centric film and writers Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri attempt to give Veere Di Wedding a fun, frolicky vibe with a subtext of familial wars, personal struggle and a path to rediscovery. But Veere Di Wedding only manages to create laughs in certain places, a few watchable sequences and overall two plus hours of privileged young women in beautiful clothes and upper-class problems trying to resolve unconvincing conflicts. The film starts off weakly as four young girls (who are absolutely terrible actresses by the way) have just graduated school and are talking about boys, sex, weddings and family vacations. It seems hard to believe that in a country as big as India and with as much talent in it, they couldn’t find four girls who could act or speak better onscreen than the four young women chosen to open a multi-starrer film that is expected to be a Bollywood blockbuster. Two plus hours of privileged young women in beautiful clothes and upper-class problems trying to resolve unconvincing conflicts The girls grow up and their life moves them in different directions and one of them, Kalindi Puri (Kareena Kapoor Khan) parties with her boyfriend on Bondi Beach, Australia, as her boyfriend, Rishab (Sumeek Vyas) proposes to her. She reluctantly agrees and all her friends, Avni (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja), a divorce lawyer whose mother wants her to get married as soon as possible, Sakshi Soni (Swara Bhasker), an heiress who is always shown drinking, smoking and swearing, and Meera (Shikha Talsania) who has eloped, much to her family’s chagrin, with an American man, John, and has a two-year-old child, Kabir, all decide to attend her wedding in India. It is curious that while we know almost all of these women’s marital statuses, apart from Avni’s character, we are rarely shown what these women do for a living or make money. Sakshi is rich enough to buy everyone a first-class vacation to Phuket. Meera hops on a plane and arrives to attend the wedding at a moment’s notice. Real life problems like money or work don’t seem to be on top of anyone’s list of considerations in Veere Di Wedding. Kareena Kapoor Khan’s talents are wasted for the entirety of the story as the film clumsily tries to convince you that Kalindi’s conflicts are worth investing in. Her internal family conflicts and discomfort with the big fat Indian wedding are unable to evoke sympathy or reliability. Kareena gives a sensitive and authentic portrayal but her character seems to be written in a hurry or not given enough thought for audiences to connect to her journey. It is even more disappointing because Kareena is a fantastic actress and her choice to do this role doesn’t offer her enough margins or afford her enough power to shine. It is Sonam Kapoor Ahuja’s character that is the most fleshed out and well-rounded. Avni’s character makes you laugh and Sonam’s portrayal as the often-prim and mostly-pressured divorce lawyer struggling to find a good husband seems to be the only plotline without many loopholes. Perhaps it is because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t anchor the main story itself. It’s a surprising treat in the film that you didn’t expect to make as much sense or have as much ethos as it did. There are many points in the film in which characters appear tone-deaf and wholeheartedly elitist. While eating pani puris at a roadside stand, the girls make fun of a boy they see on a dating site and call him ‘below poverty line’. At another point in the story, Avni’s character talks to her maid who is beaten black and blue by her husband and almost seconds later, the same maid is laughing and dancing like a prop to a fairly silly Avni-problem. Or what Indian critic Anupama Chopra calls, Posh People Problems. There are also enough jokes in the film that make light of the word ‘bai’ and enough sports cars, designer dresses and expensive jewelry shots to make you wonder if you’re watching a film or an expensive wedding montage that in a country where the top one percent of the people bag 73% of the country’s wealth. If the blatant product placements aren’t enough for you to roll your eyes, the expanse of time in the film dedicated to people simply having fun on weddings surely will. But it’s not all a loss. Veere Di Wedding has many positive and heartwarming and groundbreaking images like that of girls who don’t obey the codes of patriarchy. They swear openly, they talk about sex, they aren’t meek and they are unapologetic about how subversive they are – the only question remains is if Veere Di Wedding confirms the idea that all these groundbreaking images are also becoming property of elite, upper-class women who don’t have to work to pay their bills – or their weddings. 1.5/5 Stars. Published in Daily Times, June 2nd 2018.