Binod Pradhan is one of the most revered cinematographers in the Hindi film industry and has shot some of the most iconic Hindi films. After director Rahul Rawail opted out of the project, Binod, who was the DOP of the film, stepped in as the director of ‘Wedding Pullav’. The film, which features debutante Anushka Ranjan along with television actor Karan V Grover and Sandalwood star Diganth, has been presented as a glossy affair with drama, romance, music, and comedy. Do all these elements come together to form a dishy pullav?
Aditya/Adi (Diganth) is about to get engaged to Rhea (Sonalli Seygall). Rhea happens to be the daughter of Kumar (Parmeet Sethi) who has given Adi the opportunity to work for his company as a bike designer and unleash his dream bike in front of the world. Adi is distressed about the fact his best friend Anushka (Anushka Ranjan) has not turned up for his engagement. Anushka surprises everyone with a grand entry and tells Adi that she would not leave without attending his wedding. Adi seems elated at Anushka’s arrival but gets a little disoriented when he comes to know that Anushka has a boyfriend called J (Karan V Grover). As suggested by the elderly of the household, Anushka and Adi decide to get married to their partners in one go. In the meantime, the two friends realize that they might have feelings for each other that go beyond the realm of platonic.
Two close friends have romantic partners in their lives, finally, they realize that they are actually in love with each other. There have been numerous films (‘Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’, ‘Jaane Tu Ya…Jaane Na’ come to mind instantly) that have revolved around a similar subject. So what does ‘Wedding Pullav’ offer which these films did not? Nothing. The theme of a destination wedding which was supposed to be the highpoint of the film does not make a huge impact as the storyline it is wrapped around, is ordinary at best. Even one had an inkling that the plot would be predictable, one hoped that the treatment would make a difference. There are a few heartwarming moments, mostly featuring Diganth and Anushka, that engage you but the film, as a whole, is blande with done-to-death sequences. The way they finally realize that they have feelings for each other is devoid of any dramatic build up. The film is filled with stereotypical characters and the conflict between some of the key characters is unremarkable. The sub plot involving Rhea’s parents (Parmeet Sethi and Kitu Gidwani) is something one has seen in several films and just adds to the length here.
Diganth, who has featured in several Kannada films in the past, makes a confident debut in Hindi films. Though his faint South Indian accent does not make you believe that he is the Punjabi, he is shown to be in the film, his performance and screen presence makes up for it. Anushka Ranjan performs like a seasoned artist and does not make you feel as if it is her first film. She looks gorgeous and pulls off a confident act. Karan V Grover’s character could have been more developed but the actor does not disappoint at all. Sonalli Seygall is just about average. Rishi Kapoor lights up the few scenes he appears in, with his charm. Satish Kaushik and Upasana Singh play characters that they have portrayed in several films. Parmeet Sethi and Kitu Gidwani play important characters and each of them delivers an effective performance. Himani Shivpuri gets some good scenes and performs well. The actors playing Adi and Anushka’s friends (Ali Khan, Aru Verma and Neha Tomar) are decent.
Binod Pradhan’s direction leaves a lot to be desired. Even though he was saddled with an ordinary script, he could have brought some life to it. He has proved himself to be one of the best cinematographers in the country but his skills as a director are questionable. The story (Pooja Verma) and the screenplay (Shashi Ranjan, Pooja Verma and Rahul Patel) hold no weight and are devoid of novelty. The camerawork (Gopal Shah) is ordinary. The music (Salim-Sulaiman) is good but the placement of songs is terrible. ‘Oh Jaaniya’ is well picturised but fails to make an impact as it is forced in the narrative. The background score (Rohit Kulkarni) is effective at several places. The editing (Sayyed Sameer) does not work.
The destination wedding theme, coupled with all the ingredients that one puts in a commercial Hindi film, does not really make for a ‘pullav’ that can be savoured. There is no issue in following a blueprint but ‘Wedding Pullav’ treads a beaten track without offering anything new to the audience.