Sunny (Vikrant Massey) is man in a desperate, exasperating hurry to get married. This is the first thing we are told about him. In the opening scene, when the girl to whom he just proposed marriage tells him they should get to know each other better and see how things go, Sunny is visibly upset. "How can I invest time in a relationship that doesn’t guarantee any returns?", he asks the woman, to which she rightfully tells him to deal in mutual funds instead.
But mutual funds are subject to risks too, and so the fixed deposit that most Indians seem to be comfortable with and the philosophy Puneet Khanna’s film Ginny Weds Sunny (streaming on Netflix) endorses is too close to Indian Matchmaking. Invoking the powers of Sima Taparia is Mrs Juneja (Ayesha Raza). A 'renowned' matchmaker in her neighbourhood, she is now desperate to get her only daughter settled. Ginny (Yami Gautam) is a girl who knows what she wants (or so she thinks) until the emotional blackmail and manipulation turn her into a little cuckoo in the head. However the film calls this a legitimate farz (duty) of the family.
As the title suggests the road, however bumpy, would inevitably lead to the mandap. And the writers Navjot Gulati and Sumit Arora pull in every Punjabi stereotype (from paneer to pushy emotional persuasion) to get Ginny and Sunny bungled together. Mummy Juneja orchestrates the whole thing and the Sethis are in it willingly, because kudi will sambhalo (take care) both the groom and his business. A restaurant that Daddy Sethi will open for the son to help him become independent, but only when he gets married.
Indian families refuse to acknowledge the concept of privacy and this is a fact the film makes peace with happily.
From following Ginny to the metro station to accosting her during an auto ride to the office and even inviting himself to a trip she planned with her friends, Sunny pulls back no punches. And throughout the families are relishing these. It’s more creepy than comic really.
The problem is that it would have been easy to dismiss this unlikeable film if not for the supremely likeable actors. Yami Gautam is the sassy, ready-with-repartees Ginny. Vikrant Massey, on the other hand, gets a raw deal. He seems far too intelligent and sensible for the silly Sunny. It’s to Massey’s credit that we stay with him for so long. Ayesha Raza channels her inner Taparia-ness as she hovers over her daughter’s personal life. The Sethi’s, played by Rajeev Gupta and Meneka Kurup, are pitch-perfect. And Suhail Nayyar pulls off a brilliant Rathee. However, actors can do so much in a film that has twisted notions about everything.
God knows we deserve a good love story… an exhilarating, however unreal romance that makes our heart delirious with joy. Ginny Weds Sunny is nothing close to that. In fact, it has nothing to do with love or romance. It’s just a placid manual to quickly get one's shaadi cards printed. In one scene the mother and chief matchmaker Mrs Juneja goes at length to explain that love is nothing but a habit. “Toh tu use apni adat dalwa de aur uski aadat daal le”, she proclaims. So the emotional manipulation and playing up latent fear was just for the daughter to say “mummy knows best” and mummy ji to reply “I told you so “.
Ginny weds Sunny has too many songs and product placements, inconsequential and inappropriately placed, that bring the narrative to a grinding halt. Truth be told, they would have reached the mandap faster if not for the songs. It also doesn’t help that the film opts for the most underwhelming, oldest trick in the book denouement. It threatens to lull us to sleep 15 mins before the end credits roll.
If an honest sequel was ever made, it should be called Ginny Divorces Sunny because Sunny isn’t the suitable boy for her.
Or, as the ultimate matchmaker, said “the stars are not aligned.” Watch it if you must but remember we’ll have to make the compromise and be flexible with our expectations. And dear Bollywood please stop with the stereotyping. Punjabi’s aren’t just all about paneer. Get real!
Our rating: 2 Quints out of 5