Sci-fi meets family values — well, this in a nutshell is the new &TV show, Shaadi Ke Siyape. The makers (Full House Media) have liberally borrowed from a host of extra- terrestrial being films; nothing original here.
A group of aliens from the 5th moon of Jupiter land on earth. Five weird characters (Third Rock From The Sun) come out, taking human forms. But their real features are seen under red light (Could they have not made it blue? Remember Mr India?) Their body mannerisms are fun, but again, the makers did not really bring out anything unseen.
Interestingly, seeing them land, a group of wedding planners crash their car in fear. So the aliens use hand powers (PK) to download their language skills. Their line – why do humans have so many lingos – is a question which surely needs an answer.
As a quirk of fate, the above wedding planners were also going to the same place where the aliens want to go, which is a wedding hall that is owned by Fancy Aunty (Alka Kaushal), wife of the scientist who alone can protect their prince from enemies back home (more about them later).
Each of the aliens have different quirks. While Gujarati-speaking Bhavya Gandhi (former Tappu of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah) says things wrongly, Pandit speaks in ornamental Hindi. Straight speaking Sheen Das is a Bhojpuri beauty, and last but not the least, Mishkat Verma is a DJ.
Bhavya is good but still needs to spruce up his acting a tad. He also needs to work on his body language. Sheen and Mishkat are cute. But to be honest, none of the initial episodes really require them to test their histrionic skills.
While this light-hearted show might be kind of a newer option for Sheen, having done other work of late (Piya Albela), it might not be just what the doctor ordered for Mishkat who has been in the wilderness for long (last big show was Nisha Aur Uske Cousins). So a better return launch vehicle would have been good, but again, you take what is offered.
The prince, played by a little boy, lands at the correct coordinates; but his arrival which was also marked by an explosion is not heard by any of the wedding guests. He touches the bridegroom’s horse, so speaks in horse lingo, till the others help out.
As the title suggests, every Indian wedding has its own set of issues. So here, the first episode has a story of a young girl who has a black mark on her face, stymieing her marriage chances. Getting frustrated that due to her, the wedding of younger siblings is also getting held up, her mother makes her hide the mark under makeup.
All the subsequent episodes (groom kidnapping, dowry, bad western groom ) too have societal issues, which the aliens solve in their own weird ways, like the young prince makes the groom in the first episode accept the girl since he loves her. The scene where the bride’s side girls run after the boy for the groom’s shoes was fun and common Indian wedding banter. Fancy Aunty sees them in their real form in the first episode, but they pull the wool over eyes, saying she was high. They have to work for her to stay there. Also, the little prince softens Fancy Aunty’s heart.
Alka Kaushal is very good as the Punjabi owner of the marriage hall who knows how to get around. Her biggest crisis is that her hall is indebted to the local goon. Had the first wedding been called off, it was curtains there and then for her. Her jokes about saying if you lie, something wrong will happen to you are real funny.
The aliens are more like robots, i.e. they require charging; and a software update allows them to know how to behave like humans, e.g. Pandit giving happy wedding sermons.
Personally, we feel the social messages take centrestage over the sci-fi, so those who wanted to see a comic fantasy will surely feel short-changed. The CG also leaves much to be desired, but that will always be the case with limited budget shows.
The social emphasis is further strengthened when the aliens decide to eschew using their powers so as to keep a low profile.
Every story needs a linear villain; so here there is Nikita, who also lands on earth, wanting to kidnap the prince. She loves cats which can sense the aliens.
Having said that, where this show scores, much as in PK, are the human emotions. They can’t get why humans are so hung up on marriage. Also, they show us the mirror about myriad wrongs in society.
All in all, it is a good watch if you got nothing better to do on a lazy Saturday and Sunday.
We, at IWMBuzz, rate Shaadi Ke Siyape 2.5.