No segue. I think I got a trailer for this once, as it looks familiar, but oh so vaguely.
The story looks like it’s about a dude who is paid to crash a wedding… by kidnapping the bride. As it turns out, the kidnapping works out to everyone’s benefit as she didn’t want to get married to her fiancé anyway and the two… I guess conspire to disappear together while her fiancé searches for them.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Dev Patel (LION , and upcoming films HOTEL MUMBAI  and THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD ), Radhika Apte (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY ), and Jim Sarbh (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of).
Now for the crew. Writing and directing is Michael Winterbottom, known for TRIP/SPAIN (2017). Composing the score is Harry Escott, known for stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of. The cinematographer is Giles Nittgens, known for COLETTE (2018) and HIGH WATER (2016). Finally, the editor is Marc Richardson, known for TRIP/SPAIN.
I really don’t think this is going to be very good. I mean, the acting looks fine-ish, but it just sort of screams a forced and contrived plotting. Maybe I’m wrong and the final product will explain everything better, but as is… meh.
This is my honest opinion of: THE WEDDING GUEST
Jay (Dev Patel) is a British hired gun and his current job is to kidnap the soon-to-be bride, Samira (Radhika Apte), of a Pakistani man, but to make it look like she ran away, and reunite with her college flame (Jim Sarbh). Though Jay inadvertently kills a man in the process, the kidnapping is otherwise successful. However, because of the unintended murder, the college flame is spooked and overly cautious about meeting him and her, constantly pushing back meeting times.
DISCLAIMER: Because I suck at paying attention for names in movies these days, I do not, for the life of me, remember what Sarbh’s character’s name is. So… sowwy.
Mmph… well, it’s not going to be the worst movie of the year, but it’s definitely a heartbreaking watch on many levels.
The primary problem with the film is that it’s boring. Almost unrelentingly. I mean, on the surface, it sounds like this movie would be alright. A kidnapping to reunite former lovers, it should be pretty intriguing. But intrigue is only as powerful as the characters, and the characters are the very reason why this movie is boring. We learn nothing about Jay or Samira. Jay spends his entire screentime being gruff and professional, never allowing any level of personality to bubble over. Even Samira spends most of her time being either scared, or frustrated. It’s so sad because Patel is one of the most criminally underrated actors working today, insultingly typcast as Pakistani or Indian characters. Sure, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and LION worked out great, but that’s been the extent of it. He’s never been in a role that didn’t acknowledge his ethnicity, low-key or otherwise. I suppose I can appreciate that he plays a character who doesn’t understand Pakistani or Indian languages, despite having that heritage, similar to how I’m Hispanic, but don’t speak a lick of Spanish, but what good is any of this if Patel has nothing to chew on to make Jay a three-dimensional character?
The only character that comes close to being developed is Samira, who is arguably the best actor of the movie. From her, you get a variety of expressions. She shows hints of knowing what’s going on and being on top of shit, she smiles, she has a goofy-ish side, and even shows vulnerability. Basically, Apte has energy and it’s allowed to show on screen. Again, heartbreaking because Patel should have been the one who commanded the screen. He’s so good and yet, he’s probably the weakest actor. I’ll always hate Hollywood for not giving him his due diligence. Unless… that’s been his choice, in which case, go Patel! But if it’s been simple typecast, then fuck you, Hollywood. And now I’m probably going to have to put Apte on that list of stupidly unrecognized actors because God-damn is she trying to blast through this material. Someone give this chick an Oscar role, for God’s sake! I just… I’m tired of seeing the routine names on the ballads. Apte next. Thank you. For something. Anything. Patel too.
Beyond that… we never know what this groom-to-be is like, so we don’t know if Apte is understandably leaving him, or if she’s just being a bitch and leaving a good man to worry about her. All we know about Sarbh is that he’s a douche-bag who has no attractive qualities about him, so it’s a wonder why Samira was attracted to him at all. By this point, all you’re hoping for is that she will be attracted to Jay and fall for him, leaving Sarbh with his dick in his hands. <<<SPOILERS>>> [ Even when that happens, Jay continues to be blander than bread. In retrospect, the romance that blossoms between the two characters is completely random. There’s no reason for them to be attracted to each other other than he and she are hot, which is a horrendously shallow set of reasons. By the way, love how Apte’s tits are out on at least two separate occasions, but Patel’s dick is constantly covered. Sure, movie. Sure. ] <<<END SPOILERS>>>
So… is there anything that might be redeeming for the flick? Honestly… not really. I mean, yes, the actors are trying, and certainly Apte steals the show, but it’s just a dull, boring movie. It’s not insulting, as far as I can tell, I’ll leave it up to native Middle Easterners to tell me what’s wrong and not, but as far as a story is concerned, it’s way below average and not good. So as a recommendation, you’re not missing much. Even if you’re a fan of Patel, seeing this will only break your heart, seeing such a great actor reduced to an amateur status. The only redeeming quality is Apte, and she is really good, especially toward the end. Beyond that, you’re not missing much.
My honest rating for THE WEDDING GUEST: a weak 3/5
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