Review: '14 Phere' Can Be Watched but It's Difficult to Care About

Review: '14 Phere' Can Be Watched but It's Difficult to Care About

14 Phere, starring Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda, would've done better if it had a spine.

Movie Reviews
3 min read

Review: '14 Phere' Can Be Watched but It's Difficult to Care About

It’s an old, often repeated, Hindi film trope where two consenting adults want to get married but can’t because someone bellows “Yeh shaadi nahi ho sakti!”

Parental consent, societal acceptance, an elaborate barati dance and ‘agni ke saath phere’ are then actively sought, and the denouement is a happy song and a ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ type family picture unless, of course, they are star-crossed lovers! That doesn’t end well for anyone.


Some would argue that given how cinema is a reflection of society, this theme will never be out of fashion. Be it Simran in DDLJ asking Bauji to let her live her life or Aditi here pleading with tauji to not ruin her shaadi it looks like even decades later, and with far greater agency and exposure, sanskari kids must still wait it out till parents get the memo that the world has changed!

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda play star-crossed lovers in&nbsp;<em>14 Phere</em></p></div>

Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda play star-crossed lovers in 14 Phere

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Caste, religion, class still matter to people and those seen as transgressing are threatened and pressurized to toe the line. For others a worst fate awaits in the form of honor killing and murder, all somehow justified in the name of ghar ki izzat and log kya kahenge.

Caste is at the center of 14 Phere too but writer Manoj Kalwani’s writing resolutely tiptoes around it throughout. Mostly meh, with some portions particularly frustrating, it’s the reason why the story never truly coalesces.

Aditi (Kriti Kharbanda) and Sanjay (Vikrant Massey) meet in college and soon become inseparable. We see them capering around each other as the opening credits flash on screen and in the next few mins from holding hands to moving in together we get the gist of this whirlwind romance. The two are now working together and want to get married.

However they know that a Rajput from Jahanabad marrying a Jat from Rajasthan will create a lot of drama. Sanjay who here is shown as a theatre enthusiast then has a brain wave. He draws up an elaborate plan that involves fake parents and 2 shaadis.

Devanshu Singh, who before this had directed the delightful Chintu Ka Birthday along with his brother Satyanshu (here in the capacity of creative producer), tries to engage us with visual sparkle but is let down by a weak script. The proceedings mostly work because of the charm of the lead pair.

Vikrant Massey is on home territory playing the guy next door you want to trust, with panache. Kriti Kharbanda has a very thinly written character sketch, but she manages to be charming throughout. Yamini Das plays Vikrant’s on-screen mother again after Haseen Dillruba. Kudos to her for playing it with a different nuance.

Vineet Kumar as the patriarch controlling his children and disapproving of their choices is the best. Office colleagues pitch in, there is some carefully created chaos and Gauahar Khan and Jameel khan are endearing enough to make us want to cut the makers some slack and go with the charade.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Gauahar Khan in a still from&nbsp;<em>14 Phere</em></p></div>

Gauahar Khan in a still from 14 Phere

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Jameel Khan in&nbsp;<em>14 Phere</em></p></div>

Jameel Khan in 14 Phere

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)


Then there are moments like the one when Sanjay’s father reveals the sinister plans he has for his runaway niece for marrying outside their caste. Or the big brother who will control his sister’s life with an iron grip and one wishes the film would tackle these issues head-on rather than pretending like there is nothing at stake.

Given that the humour is pretty flat, the narrative would have benefited with some intense emotional moments and by showing some spine and vision. It almost feels like the message is that as long as one can show off an ostentatious display of wealth and dowry, one can hush up about caste- a rather problematic resolution!

Even the predictable climax that ensures a ceasefire between warring parties seems more out of fatigue than anything more. 14 Phere is the kind of film one can still watch but will find very hard to truly care about.

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