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Director: Raj Singh Chaudhary

Starring: Kirti Kulhari, Kay Kay Menon, Nivedita Bhattacharya

Written by: Raj Singh Chaudhary, Kartik Chaudhry & Nishank Verma

Streaming on: Disney+ HotStar

Shaadistan tells the story  which is about an orthodox middle class couple (Rajan Modi and Nivedita Bhattacharya) who want to get their 17 year old daughter Arshi (Medha Shankar) married against her wishes. For the same reason, they have to travel to Rajasthan on a short notice, and since no other option is available, they decide to go by road. They tag along with a group of musicians on their tour bus who are exactly the opposite of them, obviously. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The film tries to be a social commentary on how our society operates but fails in doing it successfully. It rather preaches sermons and that’s the best it could do. The thought was nice but the way the film has been written and executed doesn’t make it appealing. On top the makers completely miss the point of subtlety. Besides the film is marred with the typical stereotypes which have obviously been over exaggerated for desired effects. The film could have dealt with such complex issue(s) with some grace and a little more sensitivity. Rather it came out like WOKE 101; how to become woke. (Hyperbole for those who didn’t get it, but you catch the drift, I’m sure) The characters are typical and the way they act is predictable. The end and the climax of the story as well. Anyone can make an easy guess as to how it ends. SHAADISTAN does two things: with the kind of story it has, it takes the road less travelled and secondly it tells us why the road less traveled should be avoided if you’re not fully prepared, otherwise you’re bound to fall in the valley. Although, the film has its moments and they are rare.

Technically, the film is good. Cinematography by Sushil Rajpal is appropriate for the film. Editing by Aarti Bajaj is fine but could have been better. Maybe she could have cut out some of the cringe parts of the film (trust me, there were a few). Writing is terrible. They should have worked on it more. The music isn’t of the chartbuster variety. The production design and the costume design are decent enough.

Performances are what make this film somewhat bearable. Kirti Kulhari gives a strong and measured performance. She takes her character and makes it even better. She would have really nailed the role if the writing had been better. Rajan Modi is believable as the middle class father. Nivedita Bhattacharya gives a composed performance. Medha Shankar does her best. The rest of the cast offer abled performance.

Director Raj Singh Chaudhary neither executes the film well nor does he do anything to lift the film up. Disappointing, to say the least.

The film comes off as a lecture that you really do not want to hear.

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