Condé Nast India’s first Netflix show shines a spotlight on how India’s one percent redefines big, fat Indian weddings. The thing is, weddings or wedding-related things can be fun. Sima ‘I’m from Mumbai’ Taparia proved that with her unintentionally funny act on Indian Matchmaking and we, and the rest of the world, laughed. The Big Day, unfortunately, takes itself too seriously and provides no such opportunities. All you’re left with is a case of buyer’s remorse for ordering the pretentiously pretty cocktail you spotted at the neighbouring table.
Size does matter – that of your bank account
Anyone can have the wedding of their dreams – exotic destination, 5000 guests, sustainable and biodegradable materials used for décor, Katrina Kaif dancing, an eight-foot effigy of Buddha so that people get that it’s a Buddha Bar theme, Faberge eggs at a Victorian-themed opera house (don’t even ask) – as long as you can pay for it. And the six couples profiled in this wedding series can definitely make it rain.
New age vs old school
Millennials know what they want, and they have the means to make it happen. For them, it’s more about creating visual and fun experiences at the wedding in favour of rituals favoured by the elders. So traditional rituals such as kanyadaan, to name a few, are in a few cases, not carried out. But as the most sensible bride on the show, Pallavi put it, “Kanyadaan is essentially a shift of power; the girl was ours, now she’s yours. Nobody expects the boy’s family to do it and it would be treated as a joke. I was not okay with this shift of power. I’m okay with rituals as long as they’re reciprocated. And so we (her fiancée Rajat and her) decided to not have it.” The surprising thing is, parents are rather understanding about this. At least on camera.
This is our show
When it comes to weddings, the couples are the ones in charge. Gone are the days of parents choosing everything, right from the bride and groom (we’re looking at you, Indian Matchmaking). The pairs in question, though mostly it’s the brides, take over. From the food and drink to the destination, the outfits to the luxury wedding designer (this is a real title), the number of events to the décor; the power to give the green light is in their hands. Most of the husbands on the show expressed support in the form of “Hey, how’re things going?”
Love comes in all forms
This show ticks all archetypes of romance – childhood sweethearts who’ve been together since school? Check. The gay couple with slightly homophobic parents? Check. The opposite in every way but still so perfect for each other lovers? Check. The NRI couple seeking to solidify their Indian roots with a destination wedding in Chennai? Check. The Type A bride with a groom who’s more than happy to let her do everything so he can just chill? Check. Also, love can be found anywhere. Like a Pitbull concert. It’s all about timing, people.
The Bridezilla is not a myth
Sure, they’ve tried to be nice and call Ami a Type A bride, but make no mistake, this one’s a Bridezilla. A self-professed perfectionist, we’re not only repeatedly told by Ami and her family, friends, and wedding planners that she expects things a certain way, but also shown instances of it. And while there’s nothing wrong in wanting what many may consider the most important day of their life to go without a hitch and the way you envision it, cancelling a surprise dance performance your siblings had planned because you didn’t like the songs might be a tad extreme. Or choreographing your husband’s proposal. Or the outfits your family should wear. Or having your wedding planner call your OCD and anal behaviour difficult. On camera.
Love is love is love
However, our heart isn’t completely made of iron. At the end of the day, love is love. And parents’ love is stronger than homophobia. We loved how Tyrone and Daniel’s parents overcame the prejudices they had against their respective sons’ sexual orientation and rallied around them. And it doesn’t matter how grand the wedding is, how massive the guest list is or how many entrees make their way across the venue – when the couples look at each other after their union is solemnized, that’s a beautiful and magical moment unlike any.
WATCH OR NOT
If you enjoy the vicarious pleasure of watching upper class privilege, go for it.
Director: Ashish Sawhny
Streaming on: Netflix