Shaadisthan actor: Kirti Kulhari, Medha Shankar, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Shenpenn Khymsar, Apurv Dogra, Ajay Jayanthi, Kay Kay Menon
Shaadisthan Film Director: Raj Singh Chaudhary
Shaadistan Name: Two stars
The two different worlds come together, separate, and eventually come together. The sounds are poetic, and perhaps that was the intention of Shaadisthan, played by actors Kirti Kulhari, Nivedita Bhattacharya and Kay Kay Menon. However, the end result is a more dominant and pleasing sermon than an attempt to dismantle the Foundations of patriarchal society. Shaadisthan tells the story of a journey by a conservative family who wants to marry their 17-year-old daughter. On the trip, they have a band for the company. They don’t care about the rules of society as Kirti Kulhari’s Sasha characters would like you to get to know them. In a film that barely smiles – it’s very harsh about the corruption of society.
The goal of both sets of people is the same: to get married. Arshi’s daughter doesn’t want to get married, but her parents are stubborn or rather her father. She fulfills the stereotype of her uncle’s desire to stop her daughter from speaking, and almost beats up one of the members who tries to approach her.
Break up and ask Sasha (Kulhari) and his crew, “Are your parents monsters?”
From then on, Sasha plays the Messiah to Arshi and her mother, played by Nivedita Bhattacharya. She has the sensitivity of a ram and wants to know Arshi’s mother that she has the Privilege to marry whoever she wants and that she was born in freedom. This empowering discourse occurs when rotis are being made. As Sasha explains, “I make food because I want to. You’re here for your adaptation.” The conversation is almost painful when Sasha asks, “When was the last time you had sex?” He goes on to say, “When was the last time you hugged your ‘voh’?” Meanwhile, Arshik, with a bare face, tells one of his teammates that he feels like killing himself. However, after Sasha preaches more, there is a sudden shaking of her thoughts, old beliefs are shattered and personalities are rewritten. Everything in a few minutes. Happy ending to all.
We also have more to say about Sasha’s life or her Personality than she does about judging others with the same level of freedom. Like Sasha, Kirti Kulhari just looks at the others, addressing a harsh comment to anyone who interferes in her space. But he’s the hero of the show, and you know you have to root for him.
Shaadisthan was able to deal with these deeply layered issues with greater sensitivity and grace. The oppression of less privileged families who constantly silence women cannot be shaken by some admirable discourses. The savior complex is even more pronounced when Sasha says, “Hum jaise auratein ladte hain taak aap jaise auratein apni zindagi mein khush raho.”
There are pleasant moments scattered here and there, when the mother shyly reveals that one day she would like to go on her own and as the start of the road trip.
This movie could have been so much more. It could have been stronger and more nuanced. Instead, it feels like a nice talk you never want to hear.
Shaadisthan is now streaming Disney Plus Hotstar.
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