Cast: Vikrant Massey, Kriti Kharbanda, Vinit Singh, Gauahar Khan, Jameel Khan, Yamini Das, Priyanshu Singh
Director: Devanshu Singh
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 patriarchy. This Zee5 film may appear to be criticising people who take pride in the caste status that their birth has bestowed upon them. In the end, it just makes fun of the mental processes that lead to social and gender stereotypes.
Talking about the story, a boy and a girl fall in love, but when it comes to marriage, they confront obstacles because they are from different castes, and their parents are unable to accept the relationship. Sounds unique? Not at all because this isn’t the first time we’ve heard or seen a story like this.
The basic premise of filmmaker Devanshu Singh’s 14 Phere is similar to the others; nevertheless, it is the presentation that sets it apart. The filmmaker has sought to send a message about India’s caste system, and the remarkable part is that it isn’t overt.
Humour has been employed extensively throughout the storyline, and while it works in certain instances, it also falls flat in others, particularly at the climax. Manan Sagar’s precise editing avoids the film from becoming overly long, while Vikrant Massey’s seamless performance keeps you engaged for the whole 1-hour 51-minute runtime.
Kriti Kharbanda also put forth a good performance. However, Vikrant’s performance overshadows hers in the moments with him. Furthermore, Gauahar Khan seems to be having a great time playing Zubina, aka “Delhi ki Meryl Streep.” She does go beyond at times, but the film’s comedic quotient is mostly maintained throughout.
If the movie hadn’t been so cavalier about the consequences of rancid paternalism, it may have gotten some laughs out of its less laboured moments, however, few and few between them are. 14 Phere isn’t hilarious because of its dubious messaging.