Opening this week

Film review: ‘Running Shaadi’ sprints in different directions and ends up nowhere

Amit Roy’s romantic comedy is about an agency that helps couples to elope and marry as well as a slowburn love story.

Cinematographer Amit Roy’s directorial debut Running Shaadi has a lengthy warm-up before it settles into a race to define its subject matter. Is the movie, written by Roy and Navjot Gulati, a comic critique of arranged marriage? Or is it a quirky but slowburn romance between an odd couple? Running Shaadi tries to be a bit of both, and becomes neither.

The romcom (previously titled Running Shaadi.com) is centred on the blow-hot-blow-cold vibes sent the way of sari store employee Ram Bharose (Amit Sadh) by his boss’s daughter Nimmo (Taapsee Pannu). Bharose has made it a habit of getting Nimmo out of serious trouble, and it’s obvious in his doleful eyes that he is crazy about her. Nimmo knows this, but in true offbeat movie heroine fashion, she strings Bharose along for a bit, forcing him to agree to an arranged marriage to a candidate put forth by his uncle in Bihar (Brijendra Kala).

When he loses his job at the sari store, Bharose and his friend Cyberjeet (Arsh Bajwa) set up a company that helps couples in love to elope and marry. Their success rate proves that the Punjabi city from which they operate has no shortage of orthodox parents and clueless couples. But when Nimmo proposes to Bharose that they follow his professional advice and run away, he hesitates. Just why, it isn’t clear, but at least the plot development allows the movie to shift to Bharose’s home state Bihar, where better actors and better written comic sequences await.

Play
Running Shaadi.

The choppy narrative, slipshod camerawork and uneven tonality suggest a longer movie that has been hacked or reshaped on the editing table. The Punjab portions, which involve redundant scenes of various couples fleeing home, are inordinately stretched and needed to have been subtitled, given the amount of Punjabi sloshing around. Would a Hindi movie set in Maharashtra or Bengal have allowed 10% of the conversations to be in another language? It says something about the presumptions of Bollywood directors and writers in movie after movie set in Punjab or Delhi.

Running Shaadi enters its winning laps in the Bihar portions, which give fuller expression to the throwaway comic tone of the dialogue and allows other actors, including Brijendra Kala and Pankaj Jha, to take the attention away from the leads. Pannu, ineligible in some scenes because of the thickness of her Punjabi-inflected Hindi, is turning to be one of the more interesting young actors in the movies, and she is better placed than Sadh in conveying her character’s spirit. Arsh Bajwa’s Cyberjeet is an appendage to Bharose and gets far too much screen time for a minor character.

There’s too much of everything in Running Shaadi, whose casual humour would have worked better with a crisper and more focused running time. The idea of wedding organisers balking at the prospect of their own nuptials has been tackled with both greater economy and expansiveness in the past. By running in two directions, the movie ends up nowhere.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.