Lights  Camera Shehnai !


In our movies, it’s wedding season all year long. Bollywood can’t get enough of brides and grooms and in-laws- high voltage drama and emotions, euphoric song and dance, chaotic action and fun, lavish outfits and opulent décor, glitzy lights, chi-chatter and never ending ceremonies. All in all, both Indian weddings and Bollywood movies have all the ingredients for a pure entertainer. The box-office wonders of wedding movies like Hum Aapke Hai Kaun and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge almost started a trend in Bollywood, which inspired more film-makers to give wedding ceremonies an extended screen-time in their movies.

Let’s have a filmy ride through the flicks that enthrall you with their theme of wedding and perhaps make you nostalgic about some of your favorite movies:

The 1980’s hit Khubsoorat entertained the audience with its fun romp about ‘shaadis’ and ‘saalis’. Boasting of Rekha’s most spirited performance, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comic drama won the 1981 Filmfare Best Movie Awards with Rekha being awarded her first Filmfare Best Actress Awards for her role as Manju Dayal. The movie features the Gupta family which is run strictly by the ‘dictatorial’ Nirmala Gupta, the mother figure of the family and how the scenario changes after the entry of the effervescent Manju (played by Rekha), the sister in law of Nirmala’s second son. As the movie goes with its dramatic plot marked by the excellence of Gulzar’s script, the youthful Manju wins the heart of the family(and of the audience as well) and ties knot with Inder (played by Rakesh Roshan), the third son of Nirmala.

Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin, the 1991 ripoff of Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, will be remembered for its entertaining and topsy-turvy story about a girl (Pooja Bhatt) running away to marry the man of her dream- film-star Deepak Kumar and end up falling in love with someone else in her journey and finally the father cheering his daughter escape from the wedding. Pooja Dharamchand (Pooja Bhatt) the daughter of a rich Mumbai shipping tycoon is mad about marrying Deepak Kumar (Sameer Chitre),the star, against the wish of her father  Seth Dharamchand (Anupam Kher). The girl finally escapes one night from her father’s yacht only to meet on herjourney to Bangalor, a loud-mouth newspaperman who has just lost his job. As the journey progressed the two became weak for each other and finally when the time came to seat on the bridal ‘pidi’, the girl recognized the call of her heart and ran away again from the wedding to meet Raghu, the newspaperman (played by Aamir Khan).

Raj and Simran- The iconic characters of Aditya Chopra’s all time hit  Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) still rule the hearts of young generation. The fact that this movie runs in certain theaters even after 16yrs of its release speaks of its success and indelible impression on Indian Weddings. The movie showcases the rituals of a traditional Punjabi wedding including sangeet, karva-chauth and mehendi in the backdrop of a well scripted story of a man defiantly wanting to win his potential in-laws over instead of bolting with the bride.

Thinking of movies about shaadis brings us automatically to mind of the 2010 hit Band Baaja Baaraat directed by the debutant Maneesh Sharma. This very well-written romantic comedy featuring an unlikely but very compatible pair — Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh – drew our focus to the increasingly lucrative wedding planning market. Its fresh subject, commandable performances and lots of weddings make this a shaadi film to love.

If you are one of those who believe that life and love ends after marriage, you need to watch some of the cult Bollywood movies that endorse arranged weddings. There is something so very romantic about marrying little known somebody, discovering things about each other, falling in love, and ultimately realizing that it is definitely a match made in heaven.

Often referred to as a wedding documentary by critics, Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun forever changed the way weddings took place in North India-during and after its epic theatrical run. The movie made people fall in love with arranged marriages. The festive pre-wedding celebrations, the enormous enjoyment during the wedding and the heart touching moments post-wedding stole hearts all over the country. Best of all was the beautiful portrayal of the little innocent moments of mischief that are always an integral part of Indian arranged weddings. Sooraj Barjatya didn’t miss out a single wedding ritual or ceremony in the movie and added more flavor to it. Since this musical extravaganza came to the theatres, shaadis were never the same again.

The continuation of Sooraj Barjatya’s penchant for wedding movies can be found in Vivah, an adorable movie about love and commitment in an ideal marriage. This movie conveys the message of honoring your commitment to young couples and the importance of facing the challenges of a marriage together and staying dedicated to your partner under all circumstances. Well it can be taken as ‘must have’ lessons about the commitment in a marriage!

Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding received both commercial success as well as critical acclaim for its real life portrayal of a modern day arranged marriage in an upper middle class Punjabi family based in Delhi, in a way that would scare the Barjatya’s style. This movie is a must watch for its satire on families trying to blend traditional values with western style, a stark contrast to the movies mentioned above. There was much incest, behind-the-scenes familial politicking, random sexual trysts and a whole lot of things going on, but the spotlight was on the wedding planner- Dubey (a brilliant portrayal by Vijay Raaz) and his predilection for both maids and marigolds.

 Hyderabad Blues ! this was arranged marriage as seen through the eyes of the hapless men and women finding themselves as mere pawns in a great big familial role-play scenario. Marked by a sparkling direction by Nagesh Kukunoor,  this light-hearted romantic comedy- about a south Indian NRI who wants to date a prospective bride in an arranged marriage, found applauds among the entire young generation who could completely relate themselves to the lead character played by the director himself. An excellent performance by Nagesh Kukunoor makes it count as a ‘never to be missed’ movie ! –lets you find the perfect life partner for you.


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