When it comes to road movies, one of the films that really worked for me was Karwaan. Other than this, there aren’t too many movies that have worked or being made which means that the road movie genre is untapped. The thing with the genre is that although the story should be about experiences, it should also give an insight into the characters that are on a road trip together. And with that I have just finished watching Shaadisthan on Hotstar which is a film that falls under this genre. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Shaadisthan, a spin off of a Shaadi or a Wedding In Rajasthan, is the story of a road trip between Mumbai and Ajmer between unlikely people together. The story is breezy yet it silently taps the subject of women empowerment. The screenplay is water tight and does well to compliment it. After a quick setup on the backgrounds of the two parties involved, the road trip gives the audience an insight of why one of the characters is depressed and doesn’t speak much. It also throws light on some of the other characters and the backgrounds that they were brought up in. And along the way it does give its two cents on the issue of women empowerment with a comparison made quite evident through dialogues. A couple of drawbacks in the screenplay is that at times it tries a little too hard to get the message across, and in doing so comes out a little preachy(though not enough to derail it completely). And the end which seemed a little too convenient and half baked. Had there been around 15-20 minutes of additional screentime on how the things were sorted out, it would have left a lasting impact. But the screenplay is good nevertheless.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well penned although a little preachy in the middle. The music is excellent and it plays a vital role in the film. Also the BGM is outstanding and definitely leaves a mark. Director Raj Singh Chaudhary has done a good job here. Although a little rough around the edges, he manages to get the point across very well. Probably in a road film, a little more of the road journey could have been explored, but this is still a good attempt.
The performances range from decent to good. Kay Kay Menon is his usual best in a cameo. Shenpenn Khymer as Jigme, Ajay Jayanthi as Imaad and Apurv Dogra as Freddie are all decent. Rajan Modi as Arshi’s ever-cribbing father has done a good job. Medha Shankar as Arshi has very few dialogues to play with yet she leaves a lasting impact in her role. Kirti Kulhari as Sasha is excellent playing an edgy character with distinct ideologies. But my pick of the lot is Nivedita Bhattacharya as Arshi’s mother. There is a lot of poise and restraint in her character that quietly tells us about her journey. A highly conflicted character, although a silent one, she delivers a magnificent performance.
Shaadisthan is a relevant road trip that is well worth your time. Available on Hotstar.