Pakistani films seldom make a choice of combining romance and social causes into one, but when they do, they are able to weave magic into the narrative. One such example is Nabeel Qureshi’s latest directorial, Load Wedding.
Exploring the issues of dowry and how the ‘load’ in a wedding manages to destroys families, the film, starring Mehwish Hayat as recently-widowed Meeru and Fahad Mustafa as the shy-in-love Raja, looks at the myriad problems faced by a common man in an unforgiving, greedy world. Set on a milieu of family problems and monetary constraints, the story is far from the perfect love story one might consider it to be.
In fact, it would be a disservice to call this magnum opus a love story at all.
Set under a garland of marigolds, Load Wedding is a ticking time-bomb against draconian traditions and never-ending dowry pressures, which have plagued the society. That said, it by no means is a film that chokes you with an influx of messages and social commentary.
Where the film manages to keep the narrative flowing throughout the runtime sans unnecessary dictation, it’s the sheer-acting skills of both Mehwish and Fahad as a couple – and Faiza Hasan (as Baby Baji), which makes Load Wedding shine. If there were any reservations against Nabeel for pulling off a film with Punjabi accents and a pure desi environment, the filmmaker has proven them all wrong, once again by directing these actors to perfection. This time, we can confidently say that this is beyond the Karachiwala tag that the director has long been attributed with.
That said, the film does suffer from a few hiccups – if not flaws.
In many places, Load Wedding suffers from the melodrama of epic proportions. On the other, it lacks proper depth in the characters’ arc. A huge example are both Meeru and Raja, who start and end as archetypal characters, who lack an emotional change in them.
However, none of these flaws are big enough to affect the narrative and that is Nabeel Qureshi’s victory.
All being said and done, it wouldn’t be wrong to call Load Wedding the true winner this Eid-Ul-Azha. While the other films have big budgets and star power, this one has the stars along with substance and soul.
Something Haute rating: 4 out of 5 stars.