Marriage is more often a representation of caste, class, and related privileges. So if the film is about two marriages rather than one, there is a lot of trouble on screen. 14 Phere is about a boy from Rajput Sanjay (Vikrant Masi) and a girl from Jet Aditi (Kriti Harbanda).
They try to live “happily ever after” despite overcoming the problems of their two families. But that doesn’t mean these proverbial romance stars exist in Sairat’s world.
They don’t want to run away because they love their parents.
They also want to get married because their parents wanted it. What follows is a spectacular comedy about mistakes and mistaken identities that never really takes off.
When they first met Sanjay and Aditi, they fell in love with each other and with just one montage, we know the story of how Sanjay met and fell in love with Aditi’s high school student.
Both have cushy jobs that allow them to rent very luxurious homes and transfer prospects to the United States. This comfortable life, apart from reality, collapses when Sveta, Sanjay’s sister, runs away with a boy from another caste.
While Sanjay’s family’s decision to marry him immediately seems like an expected consequence, the uncertainty surrounding the head of the family’s decision to remove the sister is surprising. Immediately following this insensitivity to the world’s impending assassination of honour. Aditi tells her parents the same lie, and the couple then enlists the help of the fake parents (Gauahar Khan and Jamil Khan) to enter into two marriages.
Making lighthearted films about murder and caste honour is walking a tightrope. Not that Sanjay and Aditi, who are on the edge of caste cruelty, completely liberate caste thinking. They just wanted to get up and move to better pastures in the west. This premise treatment is not good. The difference in pitch change is staggering.
Even if we see Aditi wanting to run away from the caste family:
We see Sanjay wants to stay behind because of… well, his mom’s mood. Again, it seems decent enough to have a conflict, but the final solution almost denies its seriousness. The same is true for central conflicts, as the long-awaited climate confrontation doesn’t strike all the way. Yes, it reflects the futility of the idea of honour and caste. Still, without any real change in the mind of any of the characters, it becomes an exercise in some shallow exploration of ingrained issues.
While the looks and dialect skills of the central and minor characters are captivating, their lofty and comical characters, reminiscent of scenes from a film cast by artist-like Priyadarshan, don’t work the way the makers envisioned it. This dismisses the consequences of 14 Phere’s hilarious odds.
While the film doesn’t free caste families from their violent nature, it doesn’t recognize them. When the wedding was over, the climax was over, and they all returned home. I was more worried about what would happen to this couple. For a moment, I couldn’t believe he abandoned them.
Not even a tiny nod to a change of heart.
Family is still caste. Both Sanjay-Aditi, Shveta and her husband are still in danger. What if these families do the unthinkable a year or more after marriage? The unfortunate thing about 14 Phere is that it handled the situation quickly, but we are shown what a family is capable of. Even when the curtain closes with smiles on all the characters, I can’t help but make up a lot of stuff. I hope all goes well with what looks like it ends well.