Veere Di Wedding is the fourth film in the last two years wherein the bride runs away from her wedding and the ensuing developments led to diversely entertaining movies that won the box-office day. In fact, the earliest film in this unique “franchise” of sorts is now set to get a sequel!
Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016)
Director-writer Mudassar Aziz struck gold with this film about a carefree girl named Happy (Diana Penty), who runs away from an arranged marriage to elope with her boyfriend. However, as luck would have it, the plan to steal away in a truck supplying flowers for the wedding misfires as she lands in a truck that is instead taking gifts from the Indian government (via her father, who is an Indian official) to Pakistan. Finally, she gets involved with a total of three men, one of them a Pakistani, all of whom are besotted with her for specific reasons!
Box-Office: Strong word-of-mouth made this star-less wonder a sleeper hit. In fact, HBJ, as the film came to be known, actually got more shows and screens in week two. Ali Fazal, Jimmy Sheirgill and Abhay Deol as the Pakistani were the three men in her life.
Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)
In this romantic comedy, the reason for the girl (Alia Bhatt) running away was serious: she wants to be a career girl and she knows she will never get the chance after she is wedded to the hero (Varun Dhawan), who is not even a graduate. As it is, she has agreed to their wedding only because of a huge favour he has done to her family. She finally convinces him that what she has done for her own independence is the right thing and they have a long-distance marriage until she can start her own training institute in India.
Box-Office: The film was a huge hit and crossed 100 crore domestic nett business. Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt got one more feather in their caps and the film also gave a pro-gender equality and woman’s independence message along with the entertainment.
Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana (2017)
In an arranged match in a small-town, the educated heroine (Kriti Khatbanda) comes to know that she will not be able to work after her wedding. When her civil examination results come out on the wedding day, she has no option but to run away, though her fiancé (Rakummar Rao) and she have begun to intensely love each other. This creates misunderstandings and friction and even inspires the boy to study and reach a position superior to her in government service. Soon the girl is framed in a 3 crore scam and her furious and betrayed ex-fiancé is in charge of her case.
Box-Office: The romantic dramedy saw Kriti Kharbanda put in a stunning performance as the girl. Ethics, equality and education for women were all discussed sans preaching and, like HBJ, the star-less film won the day and scored both in the theatres (a unique marketing strategy on Facebook helped) and now on repeat television runs, to be one of the small wonders of the last decade.
Veere Di Wedding (2018)
The story actually takes off when after extravagant preparations for her multi-crore wedding; an unfortunate remark by the bridegroom-to-be (Sumeet Vyas) convinces his bride that marriage was never the right culmination to her long and live-in friendship with him! What happens next and how it affects her three bosom (no pun intended) friends (led by Sonam Kapoor) forms the rest of the story.
Box-Office: The film has flummoxed pundits by becoming the third highst opener of the year and is going strong despite a largely multiplex appeal.
And now, get set for the sequel of Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi on Aug. 24. This time round, Diana Penty is joined by Sonakshi Sinha. And another runaway bride will in all likelihood score a runaway hit, with the audiences laughing and the makers chortling all the way to the bank.
So, do we see a new success formula in the offing?