The film 14 Phere, directed by Devanshu Singh and written by Manoj Kalwani, makes the fatal mistake of trivializing the threat of upper-caste privilege and the brutality of chauvinism.
Mostly on the surface, this Zee5 video appears to be criticizing those who take pleasure in the position of class structure that their birth has bestowed upon them. In the end, it just makes fun of the thinking processes that lead to social and gender biases.
14 Phere, without a doubt, has a unique plot. A Bihar-based Rajput guy and a Rajasthan-based Jat girl have fallen in love. They know, on the other hand, that it will not be tolerated by their families. They had no choice but to seek the aid of a couple of Delhi stage performers. Both the girl’s and boy’s parents are represented by the duet. The payoff from this unusual concept is small.
Despite the acceptable chemistry between Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda, plus a few standout performances from the supporting cast, the film spins in circles, making all the wrong noises in the process.
Serious concerns like caste prejudice, gender discrimination, and honor killing – yes, even honor killing – are used to create laughter rather than moral anxiety. To be sure, the last-mentioned act is merely being considered, not being carried out.
Are there any little mercies? There’s no way. As part of the film’s ostensibly humorous structure, references to a patriarch’s plan to kill a daughter who has eloped with her boyfriend are made with unsettling nonchalance.
The fact that the lovebirds (who are live-in partners in Delhi NCR and coworkers at an MNC that is considering transferring one of them to Boston on a long-term assignment) resort to subterfuge does not earn them the scorn they deserve is extremely problematic.
Except for murder, the errant parents – particularly the two paterfamiliases – get away with everything. You want the arrogant, entitled males, including the girl’s brother, to pay for their sins of thought and deed. They don’t, at least not to the level that the retaliation would be exceptional.
14 Phere sees their crimes not just as transitory lapses in judgment, but also as evidence of the men’s affection for their daughters and their assumption that their girls lack their own brains and so require protection. They aren’t brought to their knees even when the tables are turned on them.
Sanjay (Vikrant Massey) was born in the city of Jehanabad. Aditi (Kriti Kharbanda) is a Jaipur-based actress. Given the distance between them and their separate families, they may very well be living on a planet their parents have never known of.
Sanjay’s father (Vineet Kumar) is dealing with yet another dilemma. His elder sister, the hero’s daughter, has eloped. The old man is on a mission to track down the girl he used to adore. He now intends to murder her. Nobody bats an eyelid.
Sanjay is driven to Jehanabad on short notice and immediately realizes that now is not the greatest moment to discuss his marriage with Aditi. He understands that his mother (Yamini Das), who is as meek as a lamb but considerably more open-minded than her husband, is powerless to stand up to the family patriarch.
Aditi, who is without a mother, is in a similar situation. Dharampal (Govind Pandey) and Vivek (Sumit Suri), her father, are both open misogynists. They’re hell-bent on making sure Aditi and her baby sister Sneha (Sonakshi Batra) don’t stray from the path. The idea that the two daughters in the family should be able to choose what they want to do with their life is unthinkable to them. Aditi and Sanjay seek assistance from Zubina (Gauahar Khan), an untrained theatrical actress who refers to herself as “Delhi’s Meryl Streep.” She’s already been cast as the mother of Sanjay’s major role in the troupe’s forthcoming production.
The prospect of a proper royal comedic frolic from here on out is shattered since the escapade never really gets underway. The situational comedy saunters along without ever quite hitting its stride. Aditi and Sanjay must stage two actual weddings with their fictitious parents present. There’s no stopping the ball once it’s started rolling. 14 Phere hurtles along a zigzagging road littered with ridiculous, impossible concepts.
One wedding is just as crazy as the other: brothers, sisters, a maternal uncle, a travel agent, and a slew of wedding guests, some genuine, some not, are tossed into the infantile mix in the hopes of causing some laughter.