Director: Puneet Khanna
Writers: Navjot Gulati, Sumit Arora
Cast: Vikrant Massey, Yami Gautam, Suhail Nayyar, Ayesha Raza
Streaming On: Netflix
Debutant director Puneet Khanna is not a fan of nuance. So his film has the straightforward title – Ginny Weds Sunny. And shaadi looms large over the story. Boy and girl meet-cute at a big, fat Punjabi wedding and their relationship culminates at a big, fat destination wedding. In between, Puneet tosses in all the Punjabi clichés that Bollywood specializes in – from paneer pakoras to middle-aged moms knocking back whiskey to the item song in a club with Badshah and Mika Singh. But there are a few surprises.
Like the casting of Vikrant Massey as Sunny. So far, Vikrant has excelled at bringing a quiet intensity to films that would classify as left-of-mainstream. Think of his brilliant turn as Shutu in A Death in the Gunj or the cunning charm with which he played Kitty’s lying lover in Dolly, Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. But here, he is a full-blown leading man, with hair sprayed to standing, sparkling red jacket and killer dance moves.
Then there are the supporting characters – Ginny’s mother Shobha, played with aimable verve by Ayesha Raza, is a mix of affection, exasperation and manipulation. She encourages Sunny to woo her daughter, advising him on how exactly to win her over. Sunny’s father, played by Rajiv Gupta, is also fun. His droll expression adds comedy even when he says nothing. At one point, him, his wife and Shobha are sitting, fully clothed, in a swimming pool, sipping their whiskeys, discussing how incredibly messy their children’s love life is. It’s a hilarious visual.
There’s also Suhail Nayyar playing Nishant, Ginny’s ex-boyfriend. Ginny and him are confused about whether they still like each other or not. Again, Puneet spells it out – Ginny has him saved as ‘Confused’ on her phone. Nishant is a rich Jat from Rohtak who drives a BMW gifted to him by his mother but as it turns out, he isn’t the lout you think he is.
These unexpected moments keep Ginny Weds Sunny moving but sadly, the film never makes the leap from serviceable to sparkling. Writers Sumit Arora and Navjot Gulati create the interesting premise of a mother masterminding her daughter’s romance but the screenplay and dialogue are too banal to juice the set up.
On Shobha’s instructions, Sunny starts to stalk her daughter, showing up at the metro or at the local Haldiram shop or offering her auto rides. As Shobha tells him, ‘Pyaar ki hai? Ek habit hoti hai bas.’ So Sunny does his best to become a habit with Ginny. But these sequences are poorly written and problematic – why doesn’t Ginny think there is an issue with Sunny popping up everywhere? Who knows! The uninspired music doesn’t further the narrative either.
The film picks up pace once Ginny starts to get interested in Sunny. But even then, the screenplay is unnecessarily stretched. One of the big holes is the character of Ginny. Yami Gautam is a talented actor who can dial up the charm – as we saw in her portrayal of the TikTok queen Pari in Bala. But here her character doesn’t have definition – Ginny is a spitfire who wants to live life large. So she smokes weed and is openly rude to a prospective groom but underneath the surface, there isn’t much meat. Ginny feels more like an idea than a person.
Vikrant does better with Sunny. He looks decidedly awkward in the club number and his accent is all over the place. But there are scenes in which his emotions connect. There is an angsty earnestness in Sunny that comes through. I just wish the film had given him more to play with – like what Rajkummar Rao got with Pritam Vidrohi in Bareilly ki Barfi.
Puneet tries to add scale and atmosphere to the film with sweeping aerial shots of Delhi. Like most films based in the city, we also get scenes set in the metro and one in front of India Gate.
And that’s essentially the problem with Ginny Weds Sunny – it’s too familiar.
You can see the film on Netflix India.