Cast: Amit Sadh, Taapsee Pannu, Arsh Bajwa
Director: Amit Roy
The name of Runningshaadi.com was changed to Running Shaadi when a matrimonial site objected to the film’s title. The makers probably didn’t realise how much it would eventually hurt the film’s flow. It feels like a party pooper and ruins the viewer experience every time the word ‘.com’ is bleeped. But this isn’t the only flaw that dogs Running Shaadi.
After he gets fired from his job, Bharose (Amit Sadh), a Bihari migrant in Amritsar, zeroes in on the idea of opening a website where he can help lovers elope and get married. His close friend Cyber (Arsh Bajwa) fuels his ambitions and his former boss’ daughter Nimmi (Taapsee Pannu) lends her credit card to buy a domain name. It was supposed to turn into a mad caper from here on, but a clogged screenplay reduces it to an average fare with occasional comic relief.
What begins in Punjab and looks like a subtle film about the problems faced by a migrant ends up travelling to Bihar where loud actors and forced scenes expend most of the novelty.
Bharose’s role initially evokes sympathy because he is trying to make it big as an underdog in an alien land. Casual chemistry between Bharose and Nimmi also works fine as an idea. At least, Nimmi is someone who is not judgmental. The best thing about Running Shaadi is that characters seem to rise above the boundaries of caste and creed.
Though Amit Sadh keeps faltering in switching accents and Taapsee Pannu talks like Bollywood’s now stereotyped Punjabi girl, their characters have been written with some depth.
Taapsee’s character is unapologetic about her body and desires. She buys condoms and has an opinion about abortion and love, something Bollywood shies away from showing because it still wants its heroines in a particular mould which suits the ‘family audience’. Similarly, Amit Sadh’s Bharose shows a progressive attitude, but remains rooted. A mixture of what we are and what we want.
But the second half of the film gets bogged down by an influx of an army of actors with distinct traits. Led by Sinha Jee (Pankaj Jha), these actors talk in many dialects including Maithili, Bhojpuri and chaste Hindi. As parts of a well-knit Bihari society, they churn out some intriguing moments, but fail to do it seamlessly.
Director Amit Roy may have unnecessarily stretched the film to 114 minutes. Running Shaadi has its moments, but they are too few to keep you engrossed.
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