by Nuha Hassan
The latest summer romance, Wedding Season is directed by Tom Dey, follows an unlikely duo who team up together to be in a pretend relationship and get through the upcoming wedding season. The screenplay is written by Shiwani Srivastava, who captures the culture of arranged marriages within Indian families and the complicated mess that transpires when Asha (Pallavi Sharda) and Ravi (Suraj Sharma) figure out a plan to appease their parents. An unlikely romance between the two characters is filled with countless invitations to weddings, dancing, fun festivities, and a romance that blossoms from a plan that was born to fail.
After Asha breaks off her engagement and quits her successful banking job, she moves to a new city for a fresh start and works at a start-up. Everything is great, except for the long hours of work and less pay, which worries her mother Suneeta (Veena Sood). She is desperately trying to set Asha up with a date and find her a husband and so, she creates a fake dating profile for her daughter to find her the perfect match. When Suneeta tells Asha that a date has been set with Ravi, she initially refuses to go but she gives in and meets him to let her parents off the hook. Ravi’s parents had made the same idea as Suneeta, and his first date with Asha didn’t go well when they realised they had nothing in common. But Suneeta will not give up and gets completely relentless to find a husband for Asha. She proposes a plan to Ravi that would be great for both of them. They enter a fake relationship to be each other’s date during the wedding season, which means that both of their parents will not set up dates for them. But once Asha and Ravi’s plan starts, they spend time with each other and realise they have a lot in common, and a romance between an unlikely duo ensues.
Wedding Season is filled with warmth, the importance of laughter, and fun all around. This movie presents a great family dynamic that will ring true with many South Asian viewers. It dabbles into the familiar trope of fake dating and brings fresh faces into the romantic comedy genre. While these elements are important to the story, Srivastava’s script brings another perspective to this trope of what would possibly happen if a woman isn’t married in her twenties. Asha seems set in her ways to be independent on her own and not rely on anyone, whereas Ravi subverts the kind of expectations that his family had of him, which is being a graduate of MIT. A child genius turned DJ is an unusual path for Ravi’s parents and as for Asha, her mother is distraught at her for choosing a different career path. The gossiping aunties would have a lot of say in these affairs that are not theirs, but Asha and Ravi are content in their lives. Sharda and Suraj’s performances are great, and it’s amazing to see this narrative being written for a more contemporary audience.
For a lot of migrant kids, Wedding Season will be like a mirror. The expectations from their family, their professional jobs not treating them with respect, and being labelled as the “difficult person,” are all parts of a journey. Asha’s life has been quite similar in that regard because she chose to make decisions based on her happiness rather than her parents. She’s equally as passionate about her job and her family, facets of a South Asian family that are important in every community. Wedding Season chronicles the challenges of family, love, and societal pressure, and balances everything out perfectly right towards the end.