The Big Day Discussion Space: How Was It, Did You Believe in Love, Did You Believe in Expensive Weddings, Other Thoughts?

I have not seen it and I probably won’t see it. Life is too short! I like my happy dumb movies at my friends movie nights and our watchalongs, and then doing puzzles the rest of the time. However, just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it! In fact, it means I want you to talk more, tell me alllllllllllllll about it. And then tell each other about it and have conversations and stuff too!

Netflix Series! “The Big Day”, about massive Indian weddings. I have a couple of specific questions on this:

  1. Do they clarify who is paying, if it is the grooms’ family or brides’ family or the couple?
  2. Who were the couples? Was it set up for you to like them or for you to dislike them?
  3. Did it feel like “this is the greatest day of my life” or more like “social pressure is forcing me into this huge expensive party I don’t want”? Like, what was the message of the series?

And of course, any other thoughts you have to share! I don’t know, I haven’t seen it!

8 thoughts on “The Big Day Discussion Space: How Was It, Did You Believe in Love, Did You Believe in Expensive Weddings, Other Thoughts?

  1. I hated the series.Too much focus on upper caste North Indian family weddings.Its ok to make a show on it,but not to the point of glorification of archaic regressive ideas.
    The first episode was stooooopid.Decorations involved a ‘Buddha Bar’.One doesn’t have to be religious to be rolling on the floor laughing at this,as it makes as much sense as ‘Thunberg Air Conditioners’.
    The second episode was marginally better(if the first episode had set any margin in the first place)and raise the question of expenses.
    The third episode was the only one with an emotional connect-a gay couple and their problems in getting married according to the rituals.Sadly they went with the schmaltzy route without pointing out the horrible Supreme Court’s rulings on the legitimacy of non heteronormative relationship.

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    • One thing that I constantly run into is the sense that “Indian Wedding” translates to that North Indian excess. I know loads of people where their “Indian wedding” meant a priest and a family heirloom outfit and 2 days of religious ceremonies. None of the bling and parties and drinking and craziness. And yet if you say “Indian wedding”, that’s the only thing people picture. It feels as odd as if saying “American Wedding” made people immediately think of some insane thing like a movie star would do, instead of the whole range of ways people get married.

      Does this show address that, at all? Even a casual mention of “of course, not everyone in India gets married like this”?

      On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 11:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • To be honest,no.The second episode was the only one where they acknowledged the fact that unnecessary rituals of typically privileged North Indians added to the stress of the functions and decide to drop out some ceremonies which they found redundant.However it was less of ‘not everyone does it’ and more of ‘WE decide to tweak it a bit as we are running out of time’.The sheer tone deafness was irritating.The elephant in the room was not addressed-a Brahmin priest in all rituals,when most of the oppressed castes cannot afford a priest as they(the priests)treat them as untouchables.

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  2. I started watching it, and then decided it would be more fun to watch Band Baaja Baaraat again. It’s on Amazon WITHOUT subtitles! Thank you for existing einthusan. Basically fiction is more fun than reality. From what I saw it was set up for you to like the couples, but I only saw about 20 minutes… For quesiton #3, from the first 20 minutes, I would say the different individuals had different perspectives.

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    • Oh oh! Have you seen Made in Heaven yet??? That’s what I thought of with this series, “why should I watch this when I’ve already seen Made in Heaven?”

      On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 11:39 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. To get some basics out if the way, the structure is three episodes, two couples per episode. We get intro, setting the theme for the episode, some background about the people and families, wedding planning, then each of the events of that wedding – all interspersed, cutting back and forth between couples the whole time. There is no framing or explanation (why does Katrina Kaif show up at the gay wedding? we don’t know, she just is), the only people who speak are the people who are interviewed (this can get confusing occasionally when they show other images with voiceover because you don’t always know who’s speaking or even which wedding they belong to). Everything is very beautiful. The setting, the shots, the decorations, the clothes, the subjects, all lovely to look at. The experience is like paging through a glossy magazine you bought at the airport on your three hour flight.

    They do not talk about who is paying, unless I missed some subtle clues. The couples all feel like real couples who genuinely love each other. They’ve all been together for some time, in a few cases even for a decade or more. All the couples are active participants in their wedding, a big focus of the show is how the younger generation is reinventing the traditional wedding to suit themselves, their understanding of the world and their relationship. This focus combined with how gorgeous all of the weddings are made me wonder if they put the show together by finding fabulous wedding planners first, then casting their clients.

    Some of the most interesting moments, I thought, come from the professionals. The pandit and the photographer doing their first same sex wedding and looking at it as a chance to expand their experience. The comment about how big weddings create a lot of employment and opportunities for performers to “get appreciation for their art in a space of love and family”. They don’t get much screen time but it’s a perspective that’s different from the usual wedding bride/groom/family stuff.

    Ep. 1: over the top weddings
    Divya and Aman
    Nikhita and Mukund
    This is my least favorite. Both brides are very exacting and demanding about bringing their ostentatious visions to life. The focus I think is on how big and opulent some of these events have gotten – with a side helping of sustainability because one couple is very focused on sourcing locally and things like biodegradable cards with flower seeds embedded in the paper so you can plant them after. The clothes, though! Gorgeous.

    https://decider.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/the-big-day-2.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=1200

    Ep. 2: “Type A brides” aka the women’s equality episode
    Pallavi and Rajat
    Ami and Nitin
    Liked this one better, the discussion about the traditional ceremonies and the changes each bride wanted to make to represent an equal partnership. They’re set up as control freaks like the brides in the first episode, and Ami kind of is, but the things they’re demanding about are more interesting. (Even Ami got me when her boyfriend went down on one knee to propose and her reaction was to go down with him so they were eye to eye.) Pallavi was my favorite bride, she seemed down to earth but very firm about questioning and pushing back against the patriarchy.

    Ep. 3: non-traditional weddings
    Daniel and Tyrone
    Gayeti and Aditya
    One couple is gay, the other is a bride whose parents are Hindu and Muslim and a groom who is Sindhi but grew up partly in Europe. A lot of time is spent on the gay couple and their relationship to each other and their families and how they create a wedding that’s meaningful for them. But as Shazznahs says, they gloss over why the original wedding is in Germany and the Goa wedding was spun up after the fact when Tyrone’s mother couldn’t get a visa to come to Germany. Gayeti and Aditya do a traditional Hindu ceremony, but their questioning of what marriage means and the place of religion vs. legal or personal union parallels Daniel and Tyrone.

    Anyway, anything anyone who understands more about locations or how the people come across if you have more context, I’d be curious! I feel like I missed all the undercurrents.

    P.S. thank you for the discussion post!

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