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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.

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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.

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Modern home design trends that are radically changing living spaces in India

From structure to finishes, modern homes embody lifestyle.

Homes in India are evolving to become works of art as home owners look to express their taste and lifestyle through design. It’s no surprise that global home design platform Houzz saw over a million visitors every month from India, even before their services were locally available. Architects and homeowners are spending enormous time and effort over structural elements as well as interior features, to create beautiful and comfortable living spaces.

Here’s a look at the top trends that are altering and enhancing home spaces in India.

Cantilevers. A cantilever is a rigid structural element like a beam or slab that protrudes horizontally out of the main structure of a building. The cantilevered structure almost seems to float on air. While small balconies of such type have existed for eons, construction technology has now enabled large cantilevers, that can even become large rooms. A cantilever allows for glass facades on multiple sides, bringing in more sunlight and garden views. It works wonderfully to enhance spectacular views especially in hill or seaside homes. The space below the cantilever can be transformed to a semi-covered garden, porch or a sit-out deck. Cantilevers also help conserve ground space, for lawns or backyards, while enabling more built-up area. Cantilevers need to be designed and constructed carefully else the structure could be unstable and lead to floor vibrations.

Butterfly roofs. Roofs don’t need to be flat - in fact roof design can completely alter the size and feel of the space inside. A butterfly roof is a dramatic roof arrangement shaped, as the name suggests, like a butterfly. It is an inverted version of the typical sloping roof - two roof surfaces slope downwards from opposing edges to join around the middle in the shape of a mild V. This creates more height inside the house and allows for high windows which let in more light. On the inside, the sloping ceiling can be covered in wood, aluminium or metal to make it look stylish. The butterfly roof is less common and is sure to add uniqueness to your home. Leading Indian architecture firms, Sameep Padora’s sP+a and Khosla Associates, have used this style to craft some stunning homes and commercial projects. The Butterfly roof was first used by Le Corbusier, the Swiss-French architect who later designed the city of Chandigarh, in his design of the Maison Errazuriz, a vacation house in Chile in 1930.

Butterfly roof and cantilever (Image credit: Design Milk on Flickr.com)
Butterfly roof and cantilever (Image credit: Design Milk on Flickr.com)

Skylights. Designing a home to allow natural light in is always preferred. However, spaces, surrounding environment and privacy issues don’t always allow for large enough windows. Skylights are essentially windows in the roof, though they can take a variety of forms. A well-positioned skylight can fill a room with natural light and make a huge difference to small rooms as well as large living areas. However, skylights must be intelligently designed to suit the climate and the room. Skylights facing north, if on a sloping roof, will bring in soft light, while a skylight on a flat roof will bring in sharp glare in the afternoons. In the Indian climate, a skylight will definitely reduce the need for artificial lighting but could also increase the need for air-conditioning during the warm months. Apart from this cleaning a skylight requires some effort. Nevertheless, a skylight is a very stylish addition to a home, and one that has huge practical value.

Staircases. Staircases are no longer just functional. In modern houses, staircases are being designed as aesthetic elements in themselves, sometimes even taking the centre-stage. While the form and material depend significantly on practical considerations, there are several trendy options. Floating staircases are hugely popular in modern, minimalist homes and add lightness to a normally heavy structure. Materials like glass, wood, metal and even coloured acrylic are being used in staircases. Additionally, spaces under staircases are being creatively used for storage or home accents.

Floating staircase (Image credit: Design Milk on Flickr.com)
Floating staircase (Image credit: Design Milk on Flickr.com)

Exposed Brick Walls. Brickwork is traditionally covered with plaster and painted. However, ‘exposed’ bricks, that is un-plastered masonry, is becoming popular in homes, restaurants and cafes. It adds a rustic and earthy feel. Exposed brick surfaces can be used in home interiors, on select walls or throughout, as well as exteriors. Exposed bricks need to be treated to be moisture proof. They are also prone to gathering dust and mould, making regular cleaning a must.

Cement work. Don’t underestimate cement and concrete when it comes to design potential. Exposed concrete interiors, like exposed brick, are becoming very popular. The design philosophy is ‘Less is more’ - the structure is simplistic and pops of colour are added through furniture and soft furnishings.

Exposed concrete wall (Image Credit: Getty Images)
Exposed concrete wall (Image Credit: Getty Images)

When building your home, it is important to use strong and durable materials. A value-added premium product with high compressive strength, Birla Gold cement is used to make tough, impermeable concrete that sets quickly, lasts long and minimises cracking. Its durability will ensure that your dream home always looks new and the steel structure inside remains protected. Birla Gold offers variants that are optimised for different needs. The unique hydraulic binding properties of the Birla Gold Premium cement variant prevent seepage, making it resistant to even corrosive water, especially important for houses in coastal cities. The Birla Gold Royal cement variant provides very high strength and is perfect for the foundation. As the video below says, with the different varieties of cement that Birla Gold offers, you can build the home of your dreams.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Birla Gold Premium Cement and not by the Scroll editorial team.