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Review | '14 Phere': A candy floss shaadi caper; far-fetched but fun

'14 Phere' is on Zee5.

July 23, 2021 / 12:14 PM IST
Vikrant Massey looks rather earnest and Kriti Kharbanda is rather pretty in '14 Phere'. (Image: screen grab)

Vikrant Massey looks rather earnest and Kriti Kharbanda is rather pretty in '14 Phere'. (Image: screen grab)

The trailer was ghastly. I mean who needs to fake parents to get married these days? And why would I watch a two-hour double-shaadi thang? Thankfully, I watched it because Vikrant Massey looked rather earnest and Kriti Kharbanda is rather pretty.

The movie turned out to be a fun time-pass flick, with little jabs into our culture and traditions that simply do not change with the times. No matter how educated the new generation is on paper.

Sanjay Lal Singh is from a traditional Rajput family from Bihar, but has moved to a fancy college in Delhi to pursue his higher education. Aditi Karwasara belongs to a traditional Rajasthani family from Jaipur. Should the twain romance? Sure. They even begin to live with one another and work at the same office.

Also read: Vikrant Massey: 'We are capable of surprising ourselves ... when thrown into unpredictable situations'

Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda look cool together as Sanjay and Aditi, and you want their outlandish plan for getting married to succeed. Especially because you don’t like the fly in their ointment.

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What flies? Families. Both have families that are ready to draw guns to save and preserve the family honour: Sanjay’s dad is out to kill his runaway daughter and her ‘out of caste’ husband. He has cops and thugs ‘tracing’ them down. That’s why they want to get their son married off to someone who can offer a fat dowry. Sanjay does not know what to do because his mother (the rather lovable Yamini Das) will then be all alone if he too elopes.

On the other hand, Aditi has a hot-headed brother Vivek (nicely done, Sumit Suri!) who will not allow the younger sister to go to a faraway place called Calcutta, because it’s too far from his thuggish influence, and ‘Delhi is good enough (for girls) or she could sit at home’. And her father won’t accept the idea of a love marriage even in a movie…

With two such radical (yet similar) families, what do Sanjay and Aditi do? Find fake parents, of course! The fake parents pretend to be Sanjay’s parents and meet Aditi’s real family, and then become Aditi’s parents and meet Sanjay’s parents.

Sounds outlandish, doesn’t it? That’s where the fun happens. Gauhar Khan who has a jaw dropping dance talent (unforgettable, really) in a song called "Jhalla Wallah" from Ishaqzaade, plays Zubina, Delhi’s Meryl Streep! Forgive me if I have not followed Gauhar’s television soap and OTT career. But you know she’s something else when she slips into the role of a mother in real life for the film. She’s wonderful!

If the fake mother is wonderful, shouldn’t the fake dad be good too? Sanjay and Aditi find the super talented Amay (Jameel Khan, awesome!) to be ‘dad’. The scene where they persuade this retired actor to play the role of dad is really fun.

Sanjay’s brother Chhotu plays a cool role too. His first ominous appearance makes you believe that he’s going to be the next generation traditionalist and perhaps kill his brother too. But he simply grows on you. Well done, Priyanshu Singh!

The plot unfolds rather well, and even when petrol has been poured over the fake dad and Vivek is ready to kill everyone, the end arguments make you smile. Who but management students will think of ‘your business will be harmed’ in order to persuade traditionalists who are ready to kill for family honour?

You know this film is not going to bring about any social change nor is it trying to create awareness about social issues related to inter-caste marriages. This is a fluff film to be enjoyed as if it were candy floss. Watch it because there is something new on Zee 5 and you have a couple of hours before the episodic K-drama, or whatever it is you watch diligently, drops its new episode. I don’t think this is a movie you will watch again twenty years later, but if you watch it now, you’d have a smile on your face and be happy you did.
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.

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