‘Godday, Godday Chaa’: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

By Sukhpreet Kahlon

It’s hard to imagine weddings today without the participation of women. Yet, sadly, in the not-so-distant past, there was a time when traditionally in Punjab, women (especially in the villages) did not accompany the baraat (groom’s wedding procession). The latest Punjabi release, Godday Godday Chaa examines this commonly observed practice, wherein women would stay behind and be denied a part in the merriment.

Directed by Vijay Kumar Arora, whose last release Kali Jotta (2023) took a hard look at patriarchy and gender violence, Godday Godday Chaa delves into the myriad ways in which societal norms and toxic masculinity shrivels the lives of women, suffocating them and denying them the ability to just be themselves. However, unlike the former, this is a more light-hearted, entertaining take on the issue.

Sonam Bajwa (Rani) is an educated woman who wishes to pursue her studies and get a job but she is married off instead to Bagga (Gitaj Bindrakhia). When she reaches her in-laws’ home, she realises that the women long to be included in wedding festivities but society (basically men) does not permit them to do so. So, they are relegated to their homes, making do with leftovers, unable to partake in the lavish feast, dance and ribaldry and are expected to be content watching videos of the festivities.

The issue touches Rani’s heart and she decides to take up the cudgels for women and bring about a significant change in their lives. However, it is no mean feat and despite the women in the village getting together to accomplish their mission, they face fierce resistance from the men.

Written by Jagdeep Sidhu of Qismat (2018) and Sufna (2020) fame, the film transports us to yesteryears, to the era of the radio, VCR and landline telephones wherein a wire could be simply cut to disrupt communication! Channeling nostalgia through popular Hindi films, especially those of Madhuri Dixit, makes for some hilarious dialogues and scenes. While the comedy makes for many rib-tickling moments and the dialogues are witty and punchy, the film poignantly brings forth the plight of women as silent sufferers, and criticises the society that condones patriarchal violence. Although the film is over-dramatised in parts, the issue is one that deserves attention.

Sidhu’s writing beautifully captures the lives of women, their simple desires and their ability to innovatively turn the patriarchy on its head by playing the victim to the hilt. One particular scene where Nirmal Rishi and Rupinder Rupi talk about the helplessness of women who are simply cattle to be led by their husbands, is simply ingenious! Sidhu also balances scenes of toxic masculinity by presenting the possibility of a different kind of marriage in the union between Rani and Bagga.

Sonam Bajwa and Tania shine in the film and Arora directs their performances perfectly. This is the second time that the two leading ladies have come together in a film after Guddiyan Patole (2019). Bajwa has wonderful screen presence and Tania is hilarious with her over-the-top histrionics. Gitaj Bindrakhia, who was seen in an intense role in Moh (2022), too is effective in his role. The supporting cast deserves a special shout out as they play a huge role in creating the perfect atmosphere for the film.

The music of the film is memorable with the fun wedding celebration song “Nazaare”, the romantic track “Vekho Vekho Chand Nu” and the peppy “Sakhiye Saheliye”.

This fun entertainer with a social message is sure to draw big crowds at the box-office.

Cast: Sonam Bajwa, Tania, Gitaj Bindrakhia, Gurjazz, Nirmal Rishi
Director: Vijay Kumar Arora
Rating: 4 stars

— Indian Express