Wedding Season is a romantic comedy about two second-generation Indian American individuals, Asha and Ravi, who pretend to date each other during the entirety of the wedding season in their community. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.
Wedding Season borrows from and follows through on a myriad of romance tropes, as well as quite stereotypical depictions of Indian culture.
The story revolves around the life of the Indian diaspora community in New Jersey, and has more than a dozen weddings as the cultural backdrop for a large part of the movie.
Asha and Ravi are two individuals intent on focusing on their work, with parents that hope for nothing but a decent match and marriage plans for their children.
The two are hounded not only by parents, but also by aunts in their community in a bid to set up a match for them. In such a situation, they agree to fake date each other in order to get all of them off their backs.
Their relationship starts off as one of convenience and mutual disregard, but develops into something more, but not without its own set of complications.
The storyline follows a simple, linear and engaging narrative for the genre, but it is a few caricatured elements of cultures, and a distinct lack of nuance that turns bothersome.
At certain points, instead of mostly celebrating and writing about Indian culture, the plot seems engineered from a diversity and representation standpoint, catering to a predominantly white audience.
Keeping this aside, the storyline presents an enjoyable watch for lovers of romantic comedies, with an easy balance of cliches and cultural diversity.
Pallavi Sharda and Suraj Sharma have great on-screen chemistry which manages to keep the plot interesting even during duller scenes. The two provide an authentic portrayal of the young Indian diaspora and the challenges they face.
Rizwan Manji and Arianna Afsar in their roles as Asha’s father and sister, respectively, also provide great performances and take over the screen with their presence.
With great portrayals mixed with a few lukewarm performances, the acting balances out the polarities in true rom-com fashion.
The soundtrack for the film is a balance between the tonality of Bollywood music and lyricism in English. It creates the ideal music to accompany the visuals on screen.
With over a dozen weddings that Asha and Ravi attend together over the course of the movie, the emphasis on costume design is commendable. Each of the scenes presents a diverse wardrobe for all the characters and allows for cultural diversity even in their individual fashion.
The movie is also commendable for cultural authenticity in terms of the fact that the movie accurately showcases family dynamics as seen in a lot of Indian-American households.
The storyline is predictable and plays along with many standard cliches in the genre of romantic comedies. It seems to be based more on popular tropes, instead of actually vying for a genuine romantic progression for the lead couple.
As with a lot of other Netflix originals, cultural diversity is appreciated but also seen to be idealised in very American terms. More than a celebration of the culture, the movie at times simply works as a checklist for showcasing diversity.
Wedding Season can be seen as a compilation of experiences of the Indian diaspora and big fat Indian weddings, but not without its own set of issues. However, it still suffices as a decent watch if you are in the mood for a predictable but culturally diverse romantic comedy.