What can I say about “The Wedding Guest?” If I’m being honest, I would have RSVP’d “No” on that invite.
“The Wedding Guest” is written and directed by Michael Winterbottom (“Wonderland” and “24 Hour Party People”) and stars Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”), Radhika Apte (“Lust Stories”, “Sacred Games”, and “Ghoul”), and Jim Sarbh.
The film tells the story of a mysterious man (Patel) and his journey across Pakistan and India with a bride-to-be that he has kidnapped.
At first glance, you might be tricked into thinking you’re about to watch “The Equalizer” meets classic noir. All of the elements are there. The darkness, the shoot ’em up, the mysterious man, and his woman.
This looks like it could be really cool and just a little on the edge of a very tired, predictable film formula.
Y’all are in for some disappointment because “The Wedding Guest” is so damn dull. The end.
This film is just flat. Flat and yet somehow completely gauche. “The Wedding Guest” plays the location card HARD and makes me think I would have been better off watching whatever travel show offerings are on Netflix.
There is no soul and no heart to “The Wedding Guest.” What’s worse? It barely has any flesh to it.
I’m talking about writing.
There is a lot in “The Wedding Guest” that just gets glossed over. Our hero and his background? Meh. The loveless marriage our leading lady is saved from? Meh.
All of the potential and intrigue of “The Wedding Guest” is drowned at birth when you realize that the writing in this film lacks direction, body, and the completion of a single thought or thread.
It’s funny. “The Wedding Guest” walks like a movie and it talks like a movie but it feels like a total drag.
I wag my finger most disapprovingly at Patel, who I know to be a dynamic force. He’s always so interesting to watch, so what the hell happened? His delivery is wooden. He plays the mysterious and vaguely sexy lead without any of the appeal and charisma.
The entire cast is guilty of this sin but I hold Dev Patel to a higher standard and therefore he takes the brunt of my disappointment.
I wish there was more to say, but really there just isn’t.
“The Wedding Guest” provides the perfect backdrop for a story and flirts with intrigue but falls painfully short. Would it be harsh to call it boring? Because I just did.
I can’t say that I recommend “The Wedding Guest” and it’s a real shame because I honestly expected better from this cast.
“The Wedding Guest” hits theaters on March 1 in New York and Los Angeles.
Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. Bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.