Directed by Devanshu Singh, ZEE5’s newest release, ’14 Phere’, serves topics like caste hierarchy, patriarchy, and misogyny in a rather light-hearted way.
’14 Phere’ is a comedy-drama that revolves around the lives of college sweethearts, Aditi Karwasra (Kriti Kharbanda), and Sanjay Lal Singh (Vikrant Massey), who have the perfect love lives set for themselves.
However, all is not rosy in their lover’s paradise. Both belong from different castes — Sanjay, a Rajput from Bihar and Aditi, a Jat from Rajasthan — with orthodox families living under their caste ideals.
When the topic of marriage gets into the picture, and Sanjay finds himself in a bad loop — he lies about Aditi’s caste to his family. Thereon begins the zig-zag game of two weddings, two fake ‘baraatis’ and a whole lot of real drama.
Does the couple survive the caste onslaught? Do they find their happily ever after, or do the orthodox belief of their families put a quick end to their love story?
The best thing about the movie is the star cast. Vikrant Massey, as usual, does a commendable job with the character, justifying the emotions and the comic timing alike.
Kriti Kharbanda, on the other hand, feels a bit dimmed, although solid points for her effort to provide a persuasive role.
Gauahar Khan (Zubina), an amateur actress who calls herself Delhi’s Meryl Streep, balanced her comic role without going over the top. Yamini Das (Sarla), the warm, mussy mother in the film, definitely serves the heart-warming aspect.
The plethora of cast manages to work perfectly around the story’s setting and is the highlight of the movie.
Alongside the good cast and the justified roles, the film does bring a lively approach to the other serious issue of inter-caste marriages.
The leading pair come together as an agreeable couple as well, not the best but passable. The duo of Kharbanda and Das as the daughter and mother-in-law appear to be a much-better pair, having a fulfilling, heart-touching and cosy chemistry.
The film offers a social comedy, a light-hearted clean family watch that provides a feel-good factor while highlighting some heavy topics, including a passing remark on honour killings.
Another notable factor is the name ’14 Phere’ owing to the two ‘real’ weddings and is indeed a good play of words with respect to the events of the movie.
The movie begins with a promising premise but ends in a casual, predictable tone.
While taking up poignant topics and displaying them on a lighter note is indeed appreciable, it doesn’t provide a strong message to the, obviously, severe social issues.
Towards the end, the toxic patriarchy and misogyny get a free escape as the “honour” is saved, and all is well, completely getting past the realistic nature of it all. It appears to be undermining the real issues.
Although a comedy, it does not provide the required humorous effect. The dramatic confusions serve entertainment but takes away the laughs.
There is barely any character building or any scope for further exploration; the dialogues, in most parts, fail to make an impact.
This is the sort of family movie that can be watched after a long day, without any complexity. Thanks to Vikrant Massey’s performance and the light-hearted factor, ’14 Phere’ is worth a try if you are not looking for anything serious.
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