Produced by Conde Nast India and released on Valentine's Day, the Netflix documentary has attempted to create nuance and emotions but has ended up being a fluffed-up series that showcased more on the opulence of the wedding industry in India.
Here is our review of 'The Big Day'
An opulent bag of glitter and glamour of the weddings in India
The three-episodic Netflix documentary showcases the wedding story of six couples, two in each episode, and how these couples navigate the wedding scenario as being part of the Indian community.
The first episode, led by couples Aman-Divya and Nikita-Mukund focuses on the opulent details that take place to make the wedding grandeur and larger than life. Nikita and Mukund head down to India from California to celebrate their union in their homeland, but with Bollywood Nights and Alice In Wonderland-themed parties.
Whereas, Aman and Divya want the hullabaloo, complimenting Divya's wish to employ local artisans and make the event sustainable in a fort in a traditional Indian village of Rajasthan. What is common between the two is that the wedding should have all the t's crossed and dotted by the brides.
Episode two leans on trying to showcase brides who take full control of their weddings and breaking the concept of the typical 'bridezilla'. The brides in this episode, Ami and Pallavi, plan a wedding with their respective partners that have unique traditions that celebrate equality and are still true to the traditions.
The finale episode showcases how weddings go beyond the norms of religious and sexual identities and just be a celebration of love by showcasing couples- Aditya-Gayeti and Tyron-Daniel Bauer (celebrity hair-makeup stylist). These two pairs are the modern couple who personalize the weddings and make it a private affair.
Americanised and exotic
The show is extremely laced with how the Indian couples from abroad want grandeur in their weddings. Although Nikita and Mukund want their wedding to be in their roots, ceremonies are hardly close to that but just smeared with American traditions and exoticness inspired by Bollywood.
A show design for the rich, by the rich, and of the rich
"The Big Day '' is an opulence of Indian weddings running on steroids which caters only to the 1 percent of the Indian population and far away from reality. The show claims to be portraying couples of "India 2.0" who overcome the religious and societal barriers. But does it show the real India and the challenges faced by the common couples who do not belong to the privileged society?
Coming out to parents and fighting for love amongst couples of religious differences is still a hard choice amongst desi couples today. It misses out on these realities
Lastly, it does not portray weddings of other cultural and religious communities which makes up the demographic thread of India and its wedding culture.
Celebrates weddings, not marriages
"The Big Day" attempts to create nuances on what couples feel on their big day but it turns out to be a superficial web with sprinkles of emotions.
The show only revolves around wedding rituals and ceremonies and not about the complexities of a marriage that take place amongst couples today. Although the exception is only with Daniel and Tyron's story that had the meat to talk about marriages and how it works beyond the wedding day.
The show also has dozens of cameos of the starry appearance of celebrities and we'll know the faces of Bollywood to be it actors, celebrity choreographers, wedding photographers. It promises and delivers on the quotient of glitter and glamour.
There is a silver lining
The large chunk of the show delivers superficially and is meant for the bubbles of the rich, but it also has silver linings.
It was a bit refreshing to see how women decide to do away with regressive patriarchal rituals of Hindu weddings and unapologetically demanding equality in the power dynamics of their relationship.
Finally, we see a wedding that is attempting to be sustainable and also claiming the wedding industry lacks eco-consciousness.
But even with these brownie points, the good parts lacked authenticity. The presence of a same-sex couple looked forced and represented just for the sake of it. Even when the women try to break the image of 'bridezilla', it is reinforced in their actions and the narrative of the show.
To stream or not to stream
The show is fluffed up and hollowed with extravagance without creating any emotional journey, but you can binge it if you want to see some great cinematography and exotic wedding ideas, the only place the show scores well.