Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Band Baaja Baarat: This match works!
Anyone who has lived in New Delhi or been to a wedding in the city will immediately identify with the characters and milieu in Maneesh Sharma’s “Band Baaja Baarat”.
The chaos, the confusion and excitement that forms a part of every wedding in India is all part of this film, and if you revel in that atmosphere, then the film will suck you in from the beginning.
First-time director Maneesh Sharma shows a sure hand and confidence in his craft, as his camera winds through the lanes of West Delhi and into the lives of Shruti and Bittu, two college students who set up a fledgling wedding planning business in the marriage capital of the country.
Shruti (Anuskha Sharma), the more practical of the two, makes it clear to Bittu (debutante Ranveer Singh) that she just wants a business partnership and isn’t interested in love.
Bittu, who at first tries to flirt with her, soon gives up and they both negotiate the rather high-pressure world of Delhi’s weddings, graduating from Janakpuri (a middle-class suburb) to Sainik Farms (one of Delhi’s most sought-after wedding venues).
All this is taken care of in the first half, but in the second half, good old love pops up in the story.
Shruti, for all her practicality, falls hard for Bittu, and when he doesn’t seem interested in her, decides she can’t work with him any more, breaking up their “biness” as Bittu calls it.
Fortunately, even though you can see the climax a mile away, Sharma keeps it interesting, the dialogue is sparkling with typical Delhi wit and slang and both the leading lady and man share a crackling chemistry, which helps the film considerably.
There is no melodrama, and even the most emotional scenes (like the passionate one between the two and the one where they part ways) are in keeping with their characters. Sharma and co-writer Habib Faisal (who also directed another good “Delhi film”, “Do Dooni Chaar’) keep it simple and short.
With this film, Yash Raj Films returns to its core competency, romance and the great Indian wedding, and truly, no one does them better. If you are a fan of either of the two, then this film is worth your while.