A breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by the same look for the past hundred years, Veere di Wedding offers something a little different to what we are used to when we position ourselves in front of the big screen, popcorns and nachos in hand. There was something unique about experiencing a movie based on women, led by women and viewed from a female perspective. Particularly as a male, there was a something subtly different about this film that you just could not put your finger on. It was a story that stood out from the droves of output that Bollywood produces. A narrative that embraced the sexuality of its characters and depicted an empowered version of the sub-continental woman.
It was little surprise then that the film was greeted with the mass outcry that can be expected given the ultra-conservative nature of its audiences. It was denounced as sexually promiscuous, shameless and, on some forums, even as a justification for the atrocities that are committed against women in our communities. In particular, it was the latter that was most hurtful, both on a personal as well as a social level. There are enough excuses made for the horrific actions of perpetrators without liberating films such as this being seen as contributing to their crimes. Until recently, there was a legal loophole in Pakistan that allowed the male members of the family to murder their female counterparts for perceived transgressions of ‘honor’.
Perhaps then, films like Veere di Wedding are necessary if just to remind our nation that an alternative way of life does exist, even if for the moment that substitute is deemed unacceptable. Changes in a country’s ethos are not generated overnight. Maybe it will be the influence of popular media such as this that slowly brings about an evolution in the mentality of our nation.