If one chooses to go by the soaps on Indian television, getting married on time is the solution to almost every single problem out there. After all, we are a nation — unlike those in the West — that allots utmost significance to marital domesticity. Live-in might be in but its members are nowhere close to those who tie the knot as per their parents’ wish. And naturally, our films still reflect the high-voltage drama — with a song and dance thrown in — during a wedding sequence. But what about those conjugal ceremonies that take place up in the hilly regions? How often do we get to witness them? Well, seldom.
Similarly, 'When Hari Got Married' is a film that happens seldom.
Following a taxi driver named Hari near Dharamsala, the documentary spares some light on the changes that are taking place in the country. He’s 30 and is in a cellphone-enabled relationship with his fiancée. Although they are all set to be together soon enough, they haven’t met. Not even once. No wonder both parties are thrilled as well as scared of the wedding day when they’ll finally come face-to-face. It’s just another event in a small-town neighbourhood where arranged marriages are the norm. What sets this visual threat apart is it allows you a peek into the circus that goes into the making of a noisy non-Bollywoodish wedding.
Although the focus is on the protagonist’s impending marriage, that’s not it. The narration cleverly enters the sacred space of opinion and action. While Hari’s folks, especially his father, are down-to-earth, there is a hint of hope for a better future, as they understand the need to keep up with the world that’s closer to the sea level. Almost everyone featured is invariably interesting thanks to the honesty in their voice. However, Hari is the ultimate gem in the whole picture. His accented Hindi and broken English effortlessly tickle you.
The patience invested in the project shows. There is no out-of-the-book experimentation with camera as some footage is indeed yawn-friendly. However, except the parts where tourists are highlighted, the film is quite seamless.
Like it or leave it, this particular wedding merits gatecrashing.