Running Shaadi: Light hearted and strong in performance
Running Shaadi is breezy while it lasts and worth a watch for its performances, writes Deepa Gauri
For comparison sake, let us say, Running Shaadi does not deliver a Band Baaja Baaraat experience.
While the latter mixed content with comedy, taking on the behind the scenes of lavish marriages, Running Shaadi only has a flimsy one-liner, and as the title not very convincingly says, it is about running away to get married.
The premise makes for a smile and that is all to it in the movie too; it doesn't take the one-liner to the next level, and since its genre is firmly set as comedy, the 'running away marriages' that cause such havoc in the villages of India (as was portrayed in NH 10), is conveniently glossed over too.
The rules the society sets, which stand in the way of love blossoming into marriage have made for hundreds of films in Bollywood but Running Shaadi takes the originality award for a theme that could very well be big business in India.
But there is only so much you can go with the premise, which is why, Running Shaadi runs out of steam pretty soon. After hurrying over some 49 'running marriages' facilitated by the founders - Ram Bharose (Amit Sadh) and Cyberjeet (Arsh Bajwa), the film quickly gets into fixing the relationship between Bharose and Nimmi (Taapsee Pannu).
Their bonding had been quite complex; he was an immigrant from Bihar picked off the streets by Nimmi's father; he had saved her from some excruciating circumstances; there was love and friendship - but yet with Nimmi's years in college, things had changed.
In a bid to 'go on in life,' Bharose had set up Running Shaadi, and now his business was becoming his life, as the film switches from Punjab to Bihar, where Bharose must set the scene for not only showing his gratefulness to his uncle who has arranged a marriage for him to another girl but also allay Nimmi's concerns.
Yes, the proceedings are a bit complicated but none of that comes with any fuss because the film is sure of its narrative approach; it aspires to deliver nothing more than a breezy watch, and that is assured in Running Shaadi with no surprising twists, great lines or laugh-out comedy.
It is therefore left to the actors to address the structural weakness of the film, and they do a fantastic job. The three protagonists 'live' the role, and play it natural and cool. Amit Sadh and Taapsee are such talent powerhouses, and they bring credibility to the roles and the film.
The supporting cast are no less better; while Arsh Bajwa plays the 'cool techie' with ease, the horde of actors playing the family and extended relatives of Nimmi and Bharose do their roles (often caricatured) with effortless ease.
Running Shaadi has three big pluses in addition to its performances: The direction and detailing; its cinematography (not the lush bright picture post card style but earthy, rooted and mood-based) and its music.
With four such strong compartments if Running Shaadi doesn't run straight into box office gold, it is only because the story and script offer nothing captivatingly new.
That is a shame because films such as Running Shaadi, with such talents behind the scene, ought to be celebrated for the hard work that they lend to its production.
Directed by Amit Roy
Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Amit Sadh and Arsh Bajwa
Now playing at theatres in the UAE Rating: 2/5