Don’t applaud a ZNMD if you can’t watch girls having fun in Veere Di Wedding

Before I start ranting about people ranting about Veere Di Wedding and how it doesn’t stand up for feminism, let’s establish two things:

A) If you can watch, laugh at and enjoy a film like Dil Chahta Hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or even (the very misogynistic) Pyaar Ka Punchnama, you should appreciate Veere Di Wedding too, because it legit is the same thing; and

B) VDW never claimed to be a feminist film.

What stuns me the most is the fact that people expect something just out of women. The fact that three friends are dealing with mid-life crisis’ in Zoya Akhtar’s ZNMD never was a matter of concern. But when four girl best friends go through similar issues, because they fall in the same age bracket as Akhtar’s characters, they are suddenly expected to do something, they are expected to start a movement, bring a revolution.

When women hadn’t realised that they had the power to speak up, many many years ago, they were expected to represent purity in the world. They were expected to fall within a certain bracket of being a good daughter, wife, mother, and so on an so forth. Even though under years of suppression, women have been defined as an accessory to men, it was she who was expected to be ‘something’. Today, when women are as liberated, and above everything, they know their rights, with education and awareness, they are expected to be ‘feminists’. They are, even today, expected to be in a bracket and lead a new wave. Why? What if someone believes in equality, but doesn’t want to be associated with the label of feminism?

Veere Di Wedding promotes the fact that women are not only free to be whoever they want to be but also that they need to be unapologetic about it. VDW does not shout out that ‘hey look at me I’m trying to say that I can smoke and drink because I am a feminist.’ NO. It just is a film about these four girls (played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania) who are just having fun.

Criticising VDW basically means forgetting the fact that ZNMD was, in fact, made by a woman. It was her vision and direction that made the Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol starrer what it was. But that’s another debate altogether. The point here is that Rhea and Ekta Kapoor or even the leading ladies of VDW, for that matter, never claimed that the film will be at the forefront of feminism, that it will get down to the battlefield and fights all odds. No. Veere Di Wedding always was a film about four girls having fun, in fact, it was more about four humans having fun, irrespective of gender constructs.

As I pointed out earlier, the question we need to ask ourselves is that why do we expect women to be something, always? Earlier she had to be a sati savitri, today she needs to be this powerful version of Durga who has to fight the battle of feminism.

Veere Di Wedding did start a revolution, if you ask me. Maybe the makers never intended to make a ‘feminist film’ but they did want to prove that women (especially leading ladies) can combine their forces and what their combined forces can do. They wanted to break the norm and prove that four independent women, each of them a very talented artist, can come together and make a great film, backed by two women producers, without any petty issues. And that is just what they did!

So stop dissing Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Kalindi because she ran away from her wedding, Sonam Kapoor’s Avni because she’s not getting married, Swara Bhaskar’s Sakshi because she smoking, drinking and talking about sex while being in an unhappy marriage, and Shikha Talsania’s Meera because she decided to elope and get married to the love of her life.

So don’t read too much between the lines. Watch Veere Di Wedding as a film with a huge heart, just like I did.

Note: Veere Di Wedding is not a cinematic masterpiece like ZNMD and I am, in no way, comparing the quality of these two films.

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