A wedding planner reluctantly takes on the job of organizing her Indian ex-boyfriend’s big-fat destination wedding in Thailand, but her lingering feelings threaten to complicate the event. Directed by Prueksa Amaruji, “Congrats My Ex!” is a colorful and vibrant Thai romantic-comedy starring Bella Ranee Campen as protagonist Risa, who is still not over her ex, Arun (Mahir Pandhi), yet agrees to plan his wedding for the fat paycheck it offers. In a twist, she is forced to hire another ex-boyfriend, Tim (Bright Vachirawit Chivaaree), as the wedding photographer, and he seems to still have feelings for Risa.
The bright color palette of “Congrats My Ex!” captures the theme and mood of an Indian wedding perfectly, with lots of yellow and red hues dominating the scenes of haldi, mehendi, and all the other ceremonies. The first few minutes are hilariously engaging. It begins with a spooky prank staged by Risa and her wedding-planner colleagues for a man looking to propose to his girlfriend. However, the prank goes horribly wrong, and Risa’s firm ends up spending more than what they make out of the gig. Fern Passakorn Ponlaboon and Pingpong Thongchai Thongkanthom play Jan and Offy respectively, Risa’s closest friends and colleagues. Both the actors are comically cute in their supporting roles, too bad they don’t get much space as the plot progresses.
To incorporate some Bollywood-style singing and dancing, the first half of “Congrats My Ex!” features a song sequence where Jan and Offy sing about Risa and Arun’s past. While the track is mildly comical and largely forgettable, the second half boasts a foot-tapping song, “Hai Shava,” that everyone dances to during the sangeet. It’s well-choreographed, enjoyable with most of the primary cast decked in gorgeous Indian outfits.
Bella Ranee Campen delivers an entertaining performance as Risa, but she struggles with the English dialogues, which are abundant in the film due to her interactions with Arun, his fiancée Monica (Anahita Bhooshan), and other Indian guests. Given the script’s reliance on English dialogues and Risa’s supposed college experience in England, casting a Thai actor more proficient in English would’ve have enhanced the overall communication. Some emotional scenes between Arun and Risa lack impact due to Bella’s choppy English. While Bright Vachirawit Chivaaree’s English as Tim proficiency is also limited, yet it aligns with his character’s local background, unlike the UK-educated Risa. Bright is adorable as the jack-of-all-trades Tim, while Mahir Pandhi too is amusing as the smooth-talking Arun.
While the kaleidoscopic cinematography and the initial comedic scenes keep you entertained, the film becomes all show and no tale by the end. Well, not no tale, but a stale tale. Wrapped in the glamorous grandness of a wealthy family event. With Risa harboring feelings for Arun, a predictable climactic conflict unfolds, causing heartache for Monica. She is essentially gaslighted by everyone around her, leading her to believe she is wrong in her perception of events, and that everything is hunky-dory. For most of her role, Anahita Bhooshan is just expected to be a blushing happy bride, but she gets the most emotionally charged scene in the climax and delivers it with a punch. Regrettably, “Congrats My Ex!” concludes with a deceptively “happy ending,” leaving everyone except the bride with a more than satisfactory outcome.
Watch “Congrats My Ex!” if you are looking for light romantic-comedy featuring shiny pretty places and people.
Rating: 6 on 10. You can stream the film on Prime Video.
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