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‘The Great Weddings Of Munnes’ Review: Abhishek Banerjee’s Acting Is The Only Saving Grace Of This Outdated, Sexist, Stereotypical Show

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Indian weddings are fun, not just because of the music, food, colours and vibe but also because of the drama. I doubt any of us have witnessed an Indian wedding sans drama. But imagine an Indian wedding with comedy, romance, theatrics and horror? Well yes, there’s a recent OTT release that has all this put together. Produced and co-written by Raaj Shaandilyaa and directed by Sunil Subramani, The Great Weddings Of Munnes is a 10-episode series that premiered on Voot on August 4. Starring Abhishek Banerjee, Barkha Singh, Paresh Ganatra, Chetan Sharma, Sunita Rajwar and Sunil Chitkara, this series looks rather promising in terms of the content it has to offer us.

The Story Of The Great Weddings Of Munnes

Voot Select’s original series The Great Weddings Of Munnes follows the story of a middle-class man, Munnes who is out to get married but with no luck. After a series of rejections, Munnes (played by Abhishek Banerjee) crosses paths with Mahi (played by Barkha Singh) who falls for him due to his honesty but isn’t that too good to be true? Well, yes, there’s a catch. Munnes and Mahi’s kundali’s need to match. When Munnes’ kundali turns into an obstacle in his path to marrying the woman of his dreams, this turns chaotic as he is asked to marry another woman and divorce her before marrying Mahi. In order to have their happily ever after, Munnes and Mahi go on a hilarious journey to find him a bride. As the hunt for a one-day bride for Munnes begins, he also experiences a series of hilarious misfortunes.

 

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A post shared by Abhishek Banerjee (@nowitsabhi)

Cast And Characters

Abhishek Banerjee brings his acting A-game to the table. Despite the thin plot stretched over 10 episodes, Abhishek manages to ace his portrayal of Munnes. The easily slides into the role of an average-looking, simple man desperate to get married. He does so naturally and is unaffected by the half-baked and rather ambitious sub-plots. Abhishek makes his relatable character Munnes even more relatable and he nails the comic timing with his loveable charm. While Barkha Singh also does a great job at portraying the role of a relatable woman who picks a responsible, hardworking man to marry instead of a bad boy, she fails to convince us of her love for Munnes. But being the gifted actor that she is, the actress did her best to keep the viewers entertained and make them laugh.

The rest of the cast of The Great Weddings Of Munnes namely Sunita Chand Rajwar, Paresh Ganatra, Sunil Chitkara, Pankaj Dheer, Pankaj Berry, Aakash Dabhade and Chetan Sharma played rather stereotypical characters. While that may not seem interesting it goes well with the theme of the show which is a comedy of errors. The actors did not disappoint with their acting skills.

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Verdict: A Sexist Comedy Of Errors

Now before I begin, let me say this – The Great Weddings Of Munnes is a great show to break away and unwind provided you’re someone who doesn’t mind watching stereotypical characters and sheer sexism for the sake of a few laughs. While I can compartmentalise and do that, one needs to anaylise things and see both sides of the coin. So, here’s the thing. In 2022, this series seems extremely outdated, especially for OTT. We know OTT content has brought a wave of great change, quality content, and female representation and is inching towards content that has gender equality rather than conforming to social norms and stereotypes. Amid this change, The Great Weddings Of Munnes sticks out like a sore thumb.

The Great Weddings Of Munnes opens with Munnes meeting Maahi, a woman created to pander to the male fantasy of a beautiful, meek, subservient woman who is willing to settle for the bare minimum (or less). This show is proof that the industry has epically failed to understand the impact of patriarchy and continues to make fun of women and treat them like disposable items in a country like ours where women have suffered to no end. While this series does elicit laughter, it does so at the cost of a regressive outlook on punching women down. The horrors of sexism and patriarchy are used in this story to get a few laughs. Because Munnes’ kundali has a misfortune, he has to marry another woman and divorce her in order to marry the love of his life and hence Munnes and Mahi start looking for a one-day bride for the former. A one-day bride? Is this for real? Are they for real? In a country where divorces aren’t taken lightly, we have a man seeking a woman to marry for a day only so he can dispose her off and marry the one he wants due to his KUNDALI! I do understand that similar traditions are followed in our rather regressive society where people have to marry a tree or a dog but this is just crossing the line. If I may, I’d say the makers hit us below the belt with this plot.

 

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A post shared by Abhishek Banerjee (@nowitsabhi)

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The Great Weddings Of Munnes not only has a conservative outlook but it also makes fun of women’s lives and portrays them in a way to please patriarchy. It elicits laughs at the cost of women with not a single joke on the male dominance in the show or the patriarchy or the regressive outlook the plot has. It’s a comedy of errors that laughs at the fate of women in our society. And what’s worse is that this series had a great plot and scope to make jokes on all things regressive and lift women up. With all the orthodox views, regressive traditions, sexism and patriarchy in this show, it could have been a wedding comedy-drama that highlights social issues and evils which stresses the need for women empowerment and feminism. But here we have a man looking for a woman to marry and divorce in just 24 hours and it doesn’t matter what the law has to say about marriages and divorces.

Having said that the comic timing and punchlines in this comedy-drama are noteworthy. The makers seem to have nailed it with the help of all the gifted actors they had onboard. Despite being unimaginative and sexist, the show has some well-placed punchlines. But at the same time, it’s essential to note that while it starts on a promising note, it’s a tad bit too fast-paced with far too many plot twists and far too many characters overcrowding the story. And let’s not forget the predictable climax. We just saw it coming. But the shoddy writing is forgettable if you can digest the melodrama of Indian weddings and sexist comedy for the sake of a few laughs. The dialogue and dialogue delivery is impeccable. The great acting, dialogues, comic timing and dialogue delivery are the only saving grace of this show. It’s a pleasure to watch Abhishek Banerjee deliver a perfectly timed punchline onscreen with the most innocent expression.

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