REVISION: Sanjay, a simpleton enthusiast of the Jahanabad theater in Bihar, falls in love with his senior student Aditi, a sassy Khthni from Jaipur. Like fairy tales, they live and love a happy life with successful careers. However, the pressure from their conservative families to marry within their caste continues to hang like a dark cloud over their heads. When it seems that the families are not going to give up the relentless persecution, Sanjay and Aditi plan an elaborate drama around their fellow actors Amay (Jameel Khan) and Zubina (Gauhar Khan), as well as their office colleagues. While it looks like the group could pull off the charade of two weddings (hence title 14), life has other plans.
A comedy of errors, 14 Phere starts off strong with a plot reminiscent of the Priyadarshan movie. But as the movie progresses, the story becomes quite predictable and confusing, which seems more like a mix of similar movies. Director Devanshu Singh tries to weave together many poignant themes such as castes, honor killings, and dowry through this social comedy, which raises viewer expectations. Maybe he could have done justice to that, if the script had been tweaked. When they call it a social comedy, viewers expect memorable lines, which the movie doesn’t pull off. However, it is a clean family comedy that can be entertaining for all age groups who enjoy a good shaadi movie.
The film runs on the shoulders of the talented Vikrant Massey, who does his best to keep the show going with his rendition of the single Bihari Rajput, a role he achieves with ease. While Kriti’s on-screen presence is impressive, especially in bridal and ethnic outfits, it fails to match Vikrant’s skillful acting. Although she struggles to portray a fearless and fearless Jatni, in most cases she is stuck with a poker expression. The banter between Jameel and Gauhar as stage actors, as well as their individual performances, are a joy to watch. His humor is timely depending on the character. Yamini Das as Sarla exudes a warmth as soft as Sanjay’s mother that the viewer would like to give her a hug for being so sweet. Some of the film’s most precious moments are between her and Kriti as mother and daughter-in-law, a moment enhanced by the poignant performance ‘Ram-Sita’ sung beautifully by Rekha Bharadwaj.
In general, the film will certainly appeal to lovers of family sagas and shaadi dramas. Due to its simplistic portrayal of the characters and clean comedy, it may very well be a weekend pick for a family movie. However, better writing and some good dialogue could have led to some noteworthy performances, given the relevance of the topic.