Veere Di Wedding released in Dubai this weekend and women turned out in large groups to watch the film; I could hear them giggling all the way. The many heads sitting in from of me were nodding as if they could relate to the coded jargon and girlie-talk that prevailed through the film, which is a spin on Sex and the City but a heavily Indianized one.
Veere Di Wedding isn’t a family film, that’s for sure, but behind all the skin show, slang, swearing and one night stands, there is an underlying message that in adulthood, whether it is a girl or a boy, they all have the right to live their life on their own terms. So what if it the decisions they take turn their lives into a mess; at least they will be proudly owning their mistakes and will learn from them.
Heavy on sexual content, the film got banned in Pakistan, for obvious reasons. While ‘What Women Want’ has been a narrative Hollywood has been covering for decades, it is new to India and newer or even alien for Pakistan. I watched the film in Dubai, wondering what the fuss was all about that got the film banned.
Here’s what all must have constituted to ‘vulgar’…
The F word and general language
Count: 20+ expletives in total or was it per person!
Swearing is pretty much normal in a millennial’s vocabulary nowadays but it seems the censor board is not ready for it just as yet. But the Veeres (veer means brother in Punjabi and veeres is a word that is slang for Bro) don’t give a flying f#$% to anything in the film and the F word is on every page in the script. Not just that; they discuss female sexuality at length, so even if the F word was beeped out, they’d be beeping out most of the script if they censored that alone. From “jump him, man” to “John ka John”, the script is heavily adult.
A happy and gay chacha:
Kareena’s chacha, played by Vivek Mashran, the ‘ILU ILU’ boy from the 90’s, is an openly gay character, who is happily living with his partner. Kudos to the directors who have shown this relationship just like any married couple and have not created any fuss around their story. But then again, it would have been a nightmare for Pakistan to absorb this. To ‘pretend’ to be gay – as was the case in Dostana– is acceptable but being gay on screen is still not acceptable in this part of the world.
Sex and sexually active girls
Forget the language, these girls make the original Sex & the City girls look like nuns. Swara Bhaskar is shown to be a reckless drunkard and a soon-to-be divorcee. There is a scene where she is discussing the reason behind her divorce with her parents and she shares that her husband had caught her indulging in self-pleasure using a vibrator. Um, perhaps that would be too explicit for the general awam; in fact perhaps most of the film would be. As you already know from the trailer, the girls also explain what the word ‘orgasm’ is called in Hindi.
Girls who make the first move, tauba
VDW is a progressive film in the way that in one of the scenes, Sonam is shown to be making the first move which makes the guy so uncomfortable and embarrassed that he leaves the party. It is probably the first time when such a move is shown in a Bollywood film, where a hot young girl’s advances are not reciprocated by the mant in fact he tells her, “I am looking for a wife, not a hooker”. But then in our culture, a girl will be judged for making the first move.
And the film will be judged for being ‘vulgar’.
– Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based entertainment journalist. He is also an Instep & Something Haute correspondent and can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso.