Starring: Fardeen Khan, Esha Deol, Kirron Kher, Satish Shah, Bikram Saluja, Perizaad Zorabian, Mukul Dev, Sadia Siddique, Raj Zutshi, Tareena Patel
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Marriages, honeymoons and couples seem to be subjects that are quite popular in Indian cinema lately. Late last year we had Vivah, then Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. And now Just Married. Decades have gone by, but both cine-goers and filmmakers will agree that marriage remains a very interesting subject that can be forever explored to various lengths.
Just Married does exactly this. Director Meghna Gulzar (of Filhaal fame) transports us into a whole new dimension of marriage, particularly the Great Indian Arranged Marriage.
Abhay (Fardeen) and Ritika (Esha), two complete strangers, are bound in this holy ceremony due to family pressure and failure to come up with excuses not to get married. As the obedient children that they are, they happily consent to an arranged marriage with complete strangers.
Right away, it’s off to their honeymoon in Ooty. Just when you think things will get all sugary and nice—they don’t. It turns out that marrying a stranger and being shoved into married life is not easy at all. Abhay constantly tries to make their situation as comfortable as possible whilst Ritika has to come to terms with trusting a complete stranger. Thus forms the crux of the story of Just married, which explores the various hardships that new couples face and how they overcome the awkwardness.
However, Just Married is not only the story of Abhay and Ritika but also includes various other couples from all walks of life that join them on this honeymoon trip. Satish Shah and Kirron Kher are an elderly couple departing on a holiday, Bikram Saluja and Perizaad Zorabian are another happy couple that everyone seems to be jealous of, Raj Zutshi and Tareena Patel are the new-age couple yet to put the label of “married” on their relationship and Sadia Sidduqe and Mukul Dev are the last couple that Abhay and Ritika encounter.
Meghna Gulzar had the right thought and message in mind, but she fails in her execution. The screenplay is poor and all over the place, sometimes making you wonder where exactly the story is heading. The narrative is also extremely slow paced.
However, one thing does clearly come across which is the variation of couples and marriages. The movie introduces you to the happy friends turned wife and husband couple, the elderly bickering but madly in love couple, the Gen-X couple that doesn’t believe in the tag of marriage, the seemingly perfect couple with a hidden agenda, and of course the couple that is only beginning to get to know each other. One leaves this movie with an extensive range of knowledge on how relationships and situations can vary. Meghna pulls this aspect off brilliantly.
The performances are a high point of the film. Both Fardeen Khan and Esha Deol provide some of their best work yet. They both play their respective characters with maturity and natural ease which is completely convincing. Although Esha is meant to look like a simple newlywed, one wishes that even a hint of glamour was added to help her improve in the looks department.
The supporting cast is also likeable and they perform very well. Mukul Dev, seen after a long time, doesn’t get much scope but still doesn’t go unnoticed. Perizaad Zorabian and Bikram Saluja get the most footage and live up to what is expected of their roles. Satish Shah and Kirron Kher are loveable as usual. The rest of the supporting cast is adequate.
Pritam’s music is above average and the wide range of tracks are picturised well. The lyrics are what makes them so special, especially Sonu Nigam’s track titled ‘Jaagte Raho’ which in a nutshell sums up the events of the first night of the honeymoon. Choreography is not much of an issue as the numbers are situational and storyline-based.
On the whole, Just Married is movie with a brilliant soul and mind but lacks body. Unfortunately, it was a great idea but failed to come across as well as it could have. Perhaps those who look for deep meanings in their movies will enjoy it, but it isn’t your typical mass-pleasing film which will have everyone flocking to the cinema. Not much can be done to save Just Married from its inevitable flop status.