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Movie review: Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana is a realistic take on modern day patriarchy and its defiance
Well, what's more powerful? Patriarchy or a high position job? Well, Kriti Kharbanda and Rajkummar Rao starrer Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana answers it all.

It might be a little late in the day to do a review of the film, as it had hit the theatres on November 10, 2017, but the subject that the film deals with is certainly not out of relevance.

The film is set in modern day Uttar Pradesh. A fine, realistic and light commentary on modern day patriarchy and gender bias which educated women with aspirations go through defines the first half of this film directed by Ratnaa Sinha. Girls in small towns or for that matter even in bigger cities will relate to the perplexity a woman goes through when she is compelled to choose between her career and family.

Women, whose dreams never saw light of the day, will find it cathartic as men of their lives take all decision for them. Some of the situations in the film are - a girl being readied to be 'parcelled' from one hand (father) to another hand (husband) as a piece of furniture with no voice / consent of hers. The authority to take decisions in a woman's life being transferred from father / brother to husband and in-laws. Deal being made and bargaining done to finalise the marriage. A would-be husband deciding on her career and life. A father after the life of his daughter to get married to the boy of his choice even if he has to pay huge dowry for it and is against his daughter's wish. A daughter who gets tongue-tied when it comes to asserting her decisions.

And that's how it begins. Father of Aarti Shukla (Kriti Kharbanda), a bright student, almost threatens her into meeting the boy he has chosen for her. She has hardly any choice. Aarti meets the boy and seeks permission from him to let her work after marriage, which Satyendra Mishra aka Sattu (Rajkummar Rao) agrees to and Aarti is elated.

Although she is equally qualified, a demand of 25 lakh is made from Aarti's father as dowry, who despite not being too financially sound, bows down. On the day of marriage, Aarti's sister Abha comes to know that Sattu's mother is totally against Aarti working after marriage and that Sattu had made the promise to Aarti without taking the consent of his mother.

While Sattu is a clerk, Aarti wants to become a Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officer. On their wedding night Aarti learns that she has cleared the PCS examination and could become an officer. Abha advises Aarti to run away from the marriage or else her life would be ruined. Aarti, choosing career over love, escapes from the marriage to pursue her dreams. The wrath (read domestic violence) of her father falls on Aarti's sister and mother.

After that there is no looking back for Aarti, who becomes an officer in state government. In her decision to choose career over marriage she pursues the goal that belongs not only to her but her sister and mother as well who did not have the opportunity and courage to defy the rules drawn for them by the deep-rooted patriarchal society. Aarti, by running away from her marriage to pursue her dream of becoming an officer, snatches the remote control of her life from her father, husband-to-be and in-laws. She carves her own path rather than treading the one laid out for her by society.

And, maybe sometimes, a high position and well-paid job succeeds in suppressing patriarchy as is the case in the film. Aarti's father now takes pride in his officer daughter. The film does not leave questions unanswered. It shows the way. Let women be the decision-makers of their own lives.

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