5 Weddings (2018) - full transcript

A soon to be 40-year-old, traditionally "over-the-hill" Indian-American journalist travels to India for what she thinks will be an easy magazine feature on Bollywood weddings, only to have the assignment interrupted by a traditionally "manly man" cop, who is convinced there is journalistic espionage behind the innocent magazine article. As the Bollywood weddings unfold, so does a colorful mosaic of lost loves, transgender tangles and culture clashes along the heartfelt journey of life, symbolized by the universal ups and downs of a wedding celebration.

[gong tolls loudly]

[man prays in foreign language]

[woman sings in
foreign language]

♪ Blue jeans, magazines,
low ridin' rockin' scenes ♪

♪ She's gonna have a good time

♪ Red bull body shots, show
the boys what you got ♪

♪ She's lookin' so fine

♪ She never dreamed she'd
dance in this crazy new world ♪

♪ Breakin' in, workin' out
in a Cinderella swirl ♪

♪ And now she's one
all-American girl ♪

♪ An all-American girl

♪ Big screen movie stars,
loud bars, racing cars ♪

♪ She's crossin' the line

♪ MySpace, pretty face,
red, white and blue lace ♪

♪ Show me yours,
I'll show you mine ♪

♪ She never dreamed she'd
dance in this crazy new world ♪

♪ Breakin' in, workin' out

- Mom, I told you you
shouldn't eat that.

Oh, come on, don't give me that.

You know you have
to start juicing.

I know but you have to do it.

It's really important.

- Bye
-You're late!

- The meeting started?

- Oh, when you're late, you're
usually late for something,

hence, you're late.

- Pretty sassy for an
intern talkin' to a boss.

[elevator dings]

Stop it!

[girls laughing]
[girls mumbling]

- Oh, my God!

Alright, alright.

Let's get on it.

Alexa, have you
finished that story

on winter trends on the city?

- Oh, I'm just waiting on
proofs and then it's a go.

- Okay.

Light a fire under that
photographer's ass,

please? [chuckles]

- Literally, because I
almost got arrested

last time I did that.

[girls laugh loudly]

- And who was boss last night?

When do I get to see you again?

- I got a three
times and out rule

and you used it
all up last night!

- Oh!
- Sorry.

- There she is!

Good morning or is
it good afternoon?

- Sorry.

I was held up in the hallway.

- Held up or bent over?

[Alexa laughs softly]

- Okay.

Claws in, ladies.

I have an announcement.

I'm retiring.

- Oh, my God!

- Who's gonna take your place?

- As you all know,
Sterling's app ranking

has slipped the last
two months in a row.

That has to change.

We need trend-worthy content.

And the person who
can get me this

will be named

Editor-In-Chief of
Sterling Online.

Shania, Alexa, you two
have been shortlisted.

Get Whitney and
Lydia to help you.

Alexa, I will see
you in my office

tomorrow morning, eight a.m.


only one person can win.

[upbeat Indian music]

[car horns beep]

[speaks in foreign language]

- No, I'm still
stuffed from my lunch.

[speaking in foreign language]

No, thank you.

[dispatcher mumbles on radio]

[speaking in foreign language]

Wish we could do some
real police work.

[speaks in foreign language]

- [sighs] Okay, well, Alexa
had some pretty great ideas.

You better be
bringing your A-game.

- Okay, I was thinking,
what about something to do

with the Amish,
like Amish fashion?

- [chuckles] What, like bonnets?

That's not fashion,
that's boring!


- Okay,

I've got animal prints, I've
got owners and their animals

and the power of blue!

- [Claudia] Mm-mm.

- Oh, yuck!

Don't like my chai cold.

Okay, wait a minute.

What about the way
the 60s designers--

- You know, I was
reading an article

about all the different
ceremonies they have

at Indian weddings, it
was quite fascinating.

Chai's from India, isn't it?

- No, Starbucks.

- You ought to do
a story on that.

- On chai.

- No, India.

- On India!

Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

Weddings in India?

I can't think of two
things I hate more!

- Yeah, but you'd
be perfect for it!

- Claudia, I haven't
been to India

since I was six years old.

And I have no desire
to ever go back!

- But you're from India!

- I am from Orange County!

- Listen, India
is hot right now!

Restaurants, movies, call
centers, it's everywhere!

And there are like a billion
Indians, also everywhere.

Think about the billion
people clicking, liking,

sharing, tweeting, trending!

Think about it!


Sterling Online,

Shania Dhaliwal!

- Well, you're good.

Sounds terrific, except,
it's not my cup of chai.

- Oh, come on, there's
like a dozen ceremonies.

So much to cover.

- A dozen.

That's twelve!
- I tell you what.

You can cover eight.

- Five?

- I can live with that.


Five weddings.

Use each wedding to showcase
a different ceremony.

Interview the brides,
do a photo shoot

in some gorgeous
Indian city, yes.

- There's no such thing.

I remember bugs,


and bugs.

[sighs] That trip to India

singlehandedly turned
me arachnophobic.

- Oh, come on.

- It's a disability!

- [Claudia] You're going.

[sighs loudly]

[loud knocking]

[speaking in foreign language]

- We really need
to get a promotion.

[old woman speaks
in foreign language]

- Pretending to research
eye covers again?

- Yeah, and you're
interrupting my REM!

- [Shania] Oh,
you gotta help me.

- What's wrong?

- No!

I might have to go to India!

- What?

- Claudia thinks that that's
gonna be the winning feature.

And you, you gotta help me
come up with another story.

But fast, because
Claudia's already making

all the arrangements.

- Whoa, whoa, whoa,
whoa, I'm sorry!

So Claudia Burrell, the
woman who's been running

one of the top fashion
magazines for over twenty years

has told you, Shania
Dhaliwal, that if you write

an Indian-themed story,

you may become Editor-In-Chief
of Sterling Online.

- It's about weddings!

But like lots of 'em!
- Right, yeah,

and that's a problem because...

- You know how I
feel about marriage

and you know how I
feel about India.

- And pursuing your dreams?

- I'm arachnophobic.

And India is filled with bugs.

- Are you freakin' kidding me?

You are turning this down

because of a
bug-infested country

that you have to be in for
like a week, two, tops?

[chuckles] Use repellent, woman!

I mean I guess we're taking
orders from Alexa now!

Hey, go where your dad is from.

Remember he used to tell you

about all the places
in his village?

[melancholy music]
- [sighs] Yeah.

- Look, Harbhajan.

I'm sensitive to your problem.

I really am!

Your father was my friend.

He was India's hero.

- Exactly the reason I shouldn't
be doing old folks patrol.

Sir, I know you give me all
these non-risk assignments

because of Mummy Ji.

But this is not the reason
why I joined the police.

It's a big problem for me.


She lost everything when
your dad was killed!

- I understand.

I know she's scared
she'll lose me, too.

But life is not risk-averse.

You know what, that old
biji, she's going to kill me

one of these days with
her stupid jiu jitsu!


Seriously, sir, I need
something more meaningful.

- [sighs] Harb.


How to make your mom
and you happy, eh?



A journalist from Sterling
Magazine in America

has filed visa application,

through the Ministry
of Information.

I know it's not
terrorist with guns

but these foreign journalists
can create enough problems

with their pens.

They all think they
are going to uncover

some big human rights drama,

when they have got plenty
of human rights drama

in their own backyard!

Ministry wants her monitored.

- Yeah, so what do
you want me to do?

- Escort her, be
her liaison officer!

She's coming here to
photograph weddings

and interview brides.

- How hard-hitting.

- One overzealous journalist,

and India's reputation
is at stake.

- These are weddings, sir.

Punjabi weddings.

The only reputation
which is at stake

are actually these
intoxicated baratis.

- [chuckles] Harb,
let's keep it that way!

Just make sure she's staying
within her approvals.

Keep me updated if she deviates
from her research, hmm?

- Does that also
include color patterns

and floral arrangements?

- Sarcasm aside,

Harb, this is an
important assignment.

Or you can go back to
checking on the seniors!

[soft knocking]

- Hi, Mom!
- Hey!

- How are you?

- It's been a long time
since you were in India.

- Oh, and that's
the way I'd like it!

- For sleeping on the plane.

[laughs] Oh, I couldn't help it!

Can't help it!



After the Sucker Punch!

- Okay.

- Hysterical Love.

- Alright, okay, thank you!

- What are you doing
with my old shirts?

- Oh!

I just wanted to look the part!


- Aww.

These were great times.

- What, you got me
a goodbye present?

I mean, I'm in and I'm out, Ma.

Look at the size of my suitcase.

- No, this is a present
for someone else in India.

- Who?

Corner of Rose Garden,
Old Chandigarh, India?

How the heck am I
supposed to find this?

- [Mom] I'm sure
there's an app for it.

- [laughs] Mom, I'm not FedEx!

- No, of course not,
you're much prettier.

This is for your father.

- What?

We haven't spoken to
Dad since I was six.

And now we're exchanging gifts?

- It's the picture you
snuck out of his suitcase

when he left for India.

And some other pictures of
you, I want him to have them.

- Mom,

no, why?

- Because he asked
for them many times

and I was too
angry to send them.

- Wait.

You've been in touch with him?

- Sort of.

He called, I hung up, he left
messages, I deleted them.

It took me a long time
to get over the fact

that he left just because--
- Mama.

We've been over this.

- And I know that now!

[Shania sighs]

But, Shania, he's a good man.

- A good man would not
leave his family for that.

- Look, he tried to make
it right in so many ways

but I didn't let him.

[sighs] But his last
message was different.

He sounded very sad.

I've forgiven him and I think
you should try, too, as well.

I didn't pack this one but I
think you should have it, too.

- [sighs] Oh, yay,
happily ever after.


[melancholy music]

[plane zooms]

- [Woman On PA] Ladies and
gentlemen, welcome to India.

We have landed at
Chandigarh Airport.

I hope you've enjoyed your
flight from New York to Delhi

and we look forward to
serving you in the future.

- [Man On PA] Ladies
and gentlemen,

the flight from Beijing has
landed at New Delhi Airport.

You may collect your
bags at Baggage Claim...

[upbeat Indian music]

[loud squeal]

- What the heck?

I knew I shouldn't have come

to this stupid, stupid country!

Excuse me, sir?



I was attacked by those people!

Unprovoked, attacked!

You should fine them!

You know fine?

Do you speak English?

- Fine them for what?

To make your clothes
more colorful?

- What?

It's Holi, ma'am.

Festival of Color.

It happens every year.

They're not going to stop
for your arrival, you know.

- Oh, hey!

Hi, are you my liaison officer?

- You are from
Sterling Magazine?

- Yes, yes!

- I'm your tip top
driver, Donald!

Follow me, Madamji, come!
- Okay.

- Come this side!

- Oh, you gotta be kidding me!

I was told you're here
to cover weddings.

And maybe to reconnect
with your Indian roots?

- [scoffs] Well,
you were told wrong.

Wait, why are you following me?

- Sad as it is for both of
us, I'm not following you,

I'm with you.

- What is that supposed to mean?

- I'm Officer Harbhajan
Singh, your liaison officer.

And I can protect you
from those vicious locals

while you're here in India.

- [scoffs] And doing such
a fabulous job of it!

Somebody give this man a raise!

[upbeat Indian music]

- No, thank you.

In India, we stick
to the basics.

You know, good
old-fashioned soap.

- Basics, huh?

How's that workin' out for ya?

I'm sorry, that was really mean.

I shouldn't have said that.

You know what?

The airport was
actually really nice!

- Oh, Ms. Dhaliwal.

I'm so glad we did not
disappoint you on all levels.

Thank you.


Over there, cow!

Beautiful, no?

- Yeah,
- 'cause

that's what you think
India's all about!


- No.

No one ever said that.

Actually, India's changed a
lot since I've been here last.

- India is not a
village anymore.

- Yeah, I've noticed!
- In case you were wondering.

- I see!

Look there, that's like
a family of five there!

- [Harb] What?


I don't see five.

- What's that one baby
doing on a scooter?


Oh, my God!
- Funny.

- [Shania] So, Donald, is it?

Sounds almost American.

- It is American, Madamji!

I like America!

Madamji, I'm going to
be American someday!

Do you know, Madamji, my
name is Tanweer Singh.

But I call myself Donald!

Like I am in America already!

[chuckles] I have applied

for the green card
lottery nine times!

As my mother used to say,

if you think positive,
it will happen!

One day, I will be in New
York, the Giant Apple!

- Oh no, it's Big Apple.

- The size does not
matter, Madamji!

But first, I must meet
American woman of my dreams!

[loud screaming]

What, what, Madamji?
- Bug, bug!

There, there, there, bug,
bug, bug, please, kill it!

Kill it, kill it, kill
it, bug, bug, bug!

- This one?
- Bug, bug, bug.

- Seriously?
- Bug, bug!

- Okay, okay, okay, okay!

- No, no, no, no, no!

I'm arachnophobic, please,
get that outta here!

Just kill it, kill it,
kill it, kill it, kill it!

- Donald?

[speaking in foreign language]

Pull over.

[groans] Just go,
you little fella!

Fly, fly away!


Five minutes.

- [Shania] Where you going?

[speaking in foreign language]

Sirji wanted to take you in
gurdwara as a welcome to India!

- You can't be so afraid
of a bitty spider!

- I told you, I'm arachnophobic!

- Arachna-what?

- Afraid of spiders, Daddy!

- Where do you learn such
silly American words?

- Stop, that tickles!

- But I'm a tiny spider
biting your neck!

- [laughs] Mom, Dad's
making fun of my disability!

- What disability?

You're a Sikh!

A warrior!


- [laughs] I'm not a warrior!

I'm a princess!
[Dad laughs]

- Madamji, so are you
interested, Madamji?

- What?


In what?

- Arranging my marriage
to an American lady!

- Oh!

We don't do that in America.

We don't have
arranged marriages.

- Yes, Madamji, they do!

JDate, Christian
Mingle, eHarmony,

- Okay, okay, those are...

It doesn't matter.

I don't know much
about those sites.

I don't ever wanna get married.

- I would be a good husband!

I am funny and I heard
American women like funny!

[upbeat Indian music]

- [Shania] Nice!

- See you can pretend
you're not even in India.


I'll see you tomorrow morning?

- Oh, thank you!
- Yeah?

- Yes.

And listen now, here,
before I forget.

Sleep tight,

and don't let the bed bugs bite!

- Wait, there are bugs?

Hey, so I just got to the hotel.

It's lovely!

Outside, a little
bit of everything.

Dirt poor, filthy rich.

I got a list of weddings here.

Quick question, who do
you want me to cover?

- [Claudia Voiceover]
Well, thanks to Hollywood,

we've seen slumdogs
and millionaires.

Why don't you cover
the real India?

The one in between?

You know, middle India.

[upbeat Indian music on TV]

- Mummy Ji!

- [Mummy] Mm!

Stuck on work again?

Just like your father.

- [Harb] Starving.

- He never got home on time.


what kept you?

- An American girl.
- Mm!

I saw on the news an
American attacked a Sikh,

thinking he was a Muslim!

No concept of other
culture, these Americans!

- I'm sure not all of
them are like that, hmm?

- Americans see a
turban and they think

there is a bomb in it!

- And how do you know
so much about Americans?

You've never even
been to America.

- I have seen Hollywood movies.

- You and your
Hollywood and Bollywood.

Why do you watch such drivel?

- It makes me feel!
- Nauseous.

- [sighs] Anything fun
makes you nauseous.

No girlfriend, no wife, no love.

[speaks in foreign language]

- The American girl is cute.

[Mummy sighs]

[mobile phone rings]

- [Whitney] It's me!

- My God, I'm so
glad you called!

- Yeah, what's goin' on?

Hey, how was the flight?

- Flight was good.

The ride to the hotel?

Not so good.

How's work?

- Well, talk about not so
good. Entertaining clients.

You know how much I hate that!

- Oh, yeah, I know.

- Okay, okay, so wait a second.

What's happening with your dad?

- [Shania] [sighs]
I don't know, Whit.

Honestly, I should
just mail it to him.

But a part of me, I really
wanna see him again.

[upbeat Indian music]
[horns beep]

- Good morning, Madamji!

You look so lovely this morning!

- Aww, you're so sweet!

Good morning!

- Good morning.

- So you like the decorations?

I did put the flags to
make you feel at home!

It's very American, no?

I tried to find American
flags made in America

but the closest I
could get was China.

- I like it, Donald.

I give you an A for effort.

- I don't mean to correct you.

But A is for alpha.

You see, effort start with E!
[mobile phone rings]

- Hey, Mark!
- Hehehey, beautiful!

I sure miss that face.

- What's up?

- You're never
gonna believe this.

Your photographer is sick.

He's stuck in Delhi and
can't get on his flight.

- This can't be happening!

I need another photographer!

- Well, I can look
in the database.

- Madamji!

Madamji, Madamji!
- Would they be under F

for photographer?
- Madamji, Madamji!

- Hold on, Donald,
what is it, what?

- I know a tiptop photographer
who lives in Chandigarh!

- Oh, my gosh,
you know somebody?

- Yes, Madamji!

First class photographer!

- Okay, Mark.

The driver could give me
a photographer for today

but you have to get me another
one for the next wedding.

[Mark mumbles]

Gotta go, bye.

- Love it when you
boss me around!

[clears throat]

- He seems to be a real keeper.

- Well, at least the phone
reception was working.

- Oh, yeah.

We all share one
broken down satellite

to serve the 1.3 billion
people of the entire country.

- Oh, my God.

All of you share one satellite?

- Can I tell you one secret?

Actually they are just
pretending to talk on the phone.

Nobody's talking to anyone.

- What?


[soft laughing]

[uplifting Indian music]

[people cheer]

Ugh, a puddle.

- [Donald] Oh,
Parveen, my friend!

- Hello, hello, hello!

- [Shania] [squeals
softly] What are you doing?

- [Harbhajan] [groans] You
were going to have a problem

with the puddle,

I was going to have a problem
with you having a problem,

so I'm just avoiding
myriad of problems.

You got a problem with that?

- [Shania] No! [laughs]

Ok, thank you!

- Here you are
photographer, Madamji!

Parveen, my friend!

- Hello, I'm Shania
from Sterling Magazine!

- Hello, Ji, hello! [speaks
in foreign language]

- [Shania] Thank you!

- That is my work.

[people singing faintly]

- [Shania] What exactly
am I looking at?

- That is my, how you say
in America, my portfolio!

My portfolio!

- What did I tell you, Madamji?

Best photographer in
all of Chandigarh!

Not Chandigarh, all
of India! [chuckles]

- Oh! [chuckles weakly]

- So you like this?
- Yeah, sure, sure.

- [Donald] Ok! [speaks
in foreign language]

[rhythmic drum music]
[women clapping]

[women singing]

- Oh, hi, Shania!

How are you?
- Hello!

- Oh, sorry, I have
Mehndi all over!

Please, please come!

Have a seat!

- [Shania] Hello!
[women greet loudly]

Hi, hello, hello!

Hi, hello!

- So how are you?
- Good, how are you?

- I am enjoying my day!

- Yes, thank you for
having me, Devika!

- You're welcome!
- Ok, one second.

Wedding number one,
Mehndi ceremony,

better known as the
henna tattoo in the west.

- This is the bridal shower
like you have in the US.

- Ok.

- And we are doing the Mehndi
ceremony like tattoo for you

but tradition for us, so
make the bride look beautiful

on her special day
so how's it looking?

- Beautiful!

- [Devika] Would you
like to have some Mehndi?

- Oh, maybe later!

Devika, can you tell us a
little bit more about this?

- Yeah, there are
ceremonies like Mehndi

and then Ladies Sangeet and...

[woman shouts in
foreign language]

Ooh, ooh, hijras,
hijras are here!

[hijras chant in
foreign language]

Let me tell you about hijras.

Hijras, they come, they find
out where the wedding is

and show up and bless the bride.

- [Shania] Oh, wow!

[hijras chant in
foreign language]

Who are they?

- Hijras.

- [Shania] Hija-what?

- Transvestite, transgenders.


- [Shania] Oh, right.

[hijra speaks in
foreign language]

- They just find out
where the wedding is

and they just show up.
- Oh.

Where the heck's Parveen?

Hey, Parveen!

- Oh, sorry, sorry!

Stupid people. Side please.

- [Hijras] Media!

- No media!

I'm from Sterling
Magazine from America!

- Oh, okay!
- Smile, please, smile!

- Can we ask you

some questions?
- Yes, of course.

- Okay, okay, no questions,
please, thank you.

Okay, we're done here.

Thank you, you guys can go out.

Thank you, go on.

- You can see, people
want our blessings

but they treat us like a curse.

This is very bad.
- Alright, thank you,

move out!
- Very bad!

Ma'am, this is
how they treat us.

- Out!

- Very, very bad!
- Out, out, thank you.

Thank you, out, out, out, out.

Sorry, guys, sorry, sorry.

I mean girls.

I'm just doing my job.

I'm really sorry!

- What do they mean by that?

Why didn't you let
me talk to them?

[women chant in
foreign language]

[sighs] I really need
a new photographer!

His angles are all wrong!

- Claudia loves the shots!

- [Shania] What?

- [Whitney] Yeah, she says
the style has an authenticity.

She's keepin' 'em.

- Okay, she's the boss.

Oh, hey!

I got something to tell you.

- [Whitney] You had sex with
the guy in picture twenty-four?

- You are such a tramp!

Now, listen, I think I found
a sidebar story I wanna do.

Scroll down to picture 33.

They're called hijras.

You know, like transgenders?

I wanna do an editorial on them.

- Why is that a big deal?

- I'm not really sure, but
I think I'm onto something.

I'm sure they don't want me
to know about this story.

- Now you're thinkin'
like an Editor-In-Chief!

[chuckles] But you
still need to get laid.

- [Shania] Whit,
[chuckles] get your mind

out of the gutter, girl!

I gotta go to work.

Bye! [chuckles]

[relaxing Indian music]

[ peak in
foreign language]

- So boys and girls,
dudes and divas,

are you all ready to rock?

[emcee speaks in
foreign language]

[romantic Indian music]

- [Shania] Hello!

- Hello, hello!
- Namaste!

- Namaste.

[girl giggles]

- So, since there's a break,
I'll ask you some questions.

[man speaks in foreign language]

So, can you tell me
about this ceremony?

And what is it called?

- You just relax, Ji.

You don't worry!

I'm [mumbles], I will help you!

Myself, Bhavna, but you
can call me Cookie, Ji.

And this is, Ji, Cream.

So we are Cookies and Cream!

And yourself?

- I'm Shania from
Sterling Magazine.

- Oh, hanji!


I do knew you were coming!

You know, I even gave them
a thousand rupees discount

because I knew you were coming!

I'm perfect for your interview!

I'm big, big rockstar over here.

People in Punjab, my Shaniaji,
they really love me a lot!

My dream is to take Cookies
and Cream to Bollywood.

We sing and dance
to traditional music

to celebrate the wedding!

Traditional music can get
so boring, so we re-mix it!

And it becomes fresh again!

[speaks in foreign language]

[upbeat Indian music]
[camera clicks]

[speaking in foreign language]

- She will be if
she would have me.

[speaks in foreign language]

-Stupid person.

Will you marry me?

- [laughs] Yes!

[couple laughs]

[Cream speaks in
foreign language]

- What just happened?

[speaking in foreign language]

[upbeat Indian music]

[children speak
in foreign accent]

Aww, that's so cute, they
think I'm their aunt!

- No,

in India, they call
everyone auntie or uncle.

[Shania laughs]

Nice weather!

- What?

- Nice weather!

- Yeah.

[upbeat Indian music]

You know, I brought
all my mom's clothes

and now I just
feel like an idiot!

- No, you're not an idiot!

You're just stuck
in a hippie era!

India has moved on!

- I can see that.

- Sorry, sorry.

Are you okay?

[birds chirping]

[light romantic music]

- Hi, everybody!

- Hello, good morn...ning.

- Good morning.

You okay?

- [clears throat] Yeah, yeah,
of course, I'm, I'm fine.

[clears throat] Donald.

Next wedding, huh?

Let's go, let's go.

[upbeat Indian music]

[speaks in foreign language]

- Hello, so nice to see you!

What are you doing here?

- I come to give
blessings this wedding!

- Okay!

So ca--
- Move.

- Don't worry, Madamji.

I'm in every wedding!

I will meet you in next wedding!

- Okay!
- Move.

[woman speaks in
foreign language]

- Welcome, welcome, hanji!

We are waiting, waiting for you!

Penji, very big house!

But Punjabi people big heart,

so big houses.

Oh, you very, very pretty, ji.

I was very waiting
outside on the gate!

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

- Congratulations.

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

- Namaste, hello, namaste!

Thank you.

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

- Hey, Cream, you
look beautiful!

- Not Cream, Shania Ji, Cookie.

Actually now, call
me Bhavna only.

I'm a solo act from now.

- What happened to Cream?

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

So this is a shuni?

- No, no, no!

Ch for Chudail [witch], Madamji!

- Ah!

So this is the Chunni ceremony.

- Yes, yes, Chunni!
- Right.

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

- Madamji, this is the
scarf groom give bride

to wear in wedding.

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

Very excited, Ji!

Doctor from America!

Make sure you write
in article, please!

- Right.

Okay, I heard a little
bit of American in there.

Whereabouts are you from?

- Tuscaloosa, Alabama!

Roll tide!

- Right, yeah!

College football team thing.

I know that. [chuckles]
- That's right.

- So, how long do you
guys know each other for!

- [Groom] We've only
met once before.

- Oh, only once?


- Excuse me.

What are you doing here, Salman?

You have to go!

In the first place, you
shouldn't have come to me!

- I'm not leaving without you!

- It's my Chunni ceremony, yeah?

The whole family is
waiting for me inside!

You have to go! [speaks
in foreign language]

- Let your dad
just meet me once.

I may be a Muslim

but we all are Indian, see.

[speaks in foreign language]!

- You crazy or what?


I just can't do
this to him, yeah?

[speaks in foreign language]

- How are you so sure
they will be unhappy?

- You're a Muslim, I'm a Hindu!

What are the odds?

- I'm not leaving without you.

Bhavna, I love you
and you love me.

- Hey, Cream?

- Hello, Madamji, please?

Can you please help me?

Can you please tell Bhavna's
father to come outside?

[speaks in foreign language]

- Please, if you love me,
you have to leave now!

If you don't leave I will do
something horrible to myself!

I love you but you
have to leave now!


[engine revs]

Most of my family was killed
in Pakistan during Partition

by Muslims.

And my stupid, stupid
heart fell for a Muslim!

I could not have made Papaji
make this choice for me.

So I did.

[hostess speaks in
foreign language]

- Madamji, let's
continue the interview.

- Right, okay.

I'm gonna go off
record with this.

What can you tell
me about Salman?

- Eh, Salman?
- Who's Salman?

- Who's this bloody Salman?
- Salman?

- What's goin' on here?

- Who's Salman?

- Papaji, remember
my singing partner

with whom I do all the shows?

He's fine, Shaniaji, but
he couldn't come today.

He's gonna come for the wedding.

- Do you love him?

[mother gasps]
- Shania!

- Love! [speaks in
foreign language]

- Wait a second, is there
something we need to know here?

[woman speaks in
foreign language]

[sighs heavily]
[car horns beep faintly]

- Came to cover five weddings,

you have covered
two and ruined one.


- Wait a minute, that
was not because of me!

I just asked a
couple of questions!

- Yeah.

And the questions were enough
to destroy an entire family,

you know that?

What happened in there was
because of the words

that came out of your mouth!

- Look, I feel terrible!

But I'd rather save that
girl a lifetime of misery!

- Well, you're exactly what
everyone was hoping for, right?

The Americans would show
up and save the day!

- [Shania] You act like
that's a bad thing!

- What I do know
is a bad thing is,

presuming to know a culture
you know so little about!

- A culture that
places a higher premium

on what other people think
versus what the heart feels?

What kind of culture
is that? [sighs]

- Mommy, Mommy, can you
tell me a story about India?

- India's so beautiful.

And when your dad and I
first met and fell in love,

it was magical and then
we just grew apart.

India wasn't for me and
America wasn't for him.

[melancholy music]

- What's wrong with teaching
her some of the Indian culture?

You drum all this
American into her,

she doesn't even know
where she's from!

- She's from America like me!

- Yes, and also India.

- Really?

It's not like we don't
have Indian culture here.

We do our Sikh
prayers every morning,

I cover my head with a scarf.

- Chunni!

- Look around you, Rajinder,
we live India in America!

[melancholy music]

- Okay, so here's the problem.

Apparently Indian
weddings are beholden

to these astrologers
who tell them

when they can and can't
schedule weddings.

- So you're telling
me they can't schedule

a wedding while I'm in town.

- There's an eclipse
in five days.

Apparently, that's a can't.

It's not auspicious.

- India, you never disappoint.

- Miss you!

- [Mom] Shania, hey, it's Mom.

I miss you, baby!

Just checking in to
see how you're doing.

Did you reach out
to your dad yet?

I really hope you can see
him while you're there.

Okay, I'll call you later.

Love you, bye.

[Rajinder prays in
foreign language]

[Young Shania mumbles]

- [Mom] What are you doin'?

- I'm praying so
Daddy comes back.

- [Mom] Where did you get that?

- From the box in the garage.

- I thought Daddy
took that with him.

- Why did he leave, Mommy?

[melancholy music]

- [Mom] It took me a
long time to get over

the fact that he left.

- [Shania] Mom,
we've been over this.

Your breasts, your ovaries...
- Yeah, yeah, I know, I know!

I know!

None of that defines
your womanhood.

I love the Indian culture.

That's why I traveled there,

that's why I fell
in love with you!

But everything's changed!

You can't bear to look
at me, at my scars.

You think I'm some kind
of monster, don't you?

- I don't think
you're a monster.

[melancholy music]

- [Little Shania]
Does he still love us?

- Well, of course he does!

He loves you very much.

- Are you super, super sure?

- I'm super duper sure.

[melancholy music]

He's a good man, Shania.

- [Homeless man] Shut up
- You shut up, I'm praying!

- [Homeless Man] Then
go pray in America!

- I will not!

I'll in fact, I'm gonna like,

bring a piece of America
over here to you right now!

♪ Oh say, can you see

♪ By the dawn's early light
- Oh, shut up!

We try to sleep!

[speaks in foreign language]

♪ So proudly we hail at the
twi-- ♪

- Hey!

- Hey, you are drunk.

- Why are you arresting...
- 510 penal code.

- [Hijra] Reporter Madam ji!


- [Shania] Oh!

Oh, my God, you're
one of the hijras!

- Yeah, Sharmila.

- Oh, what brings you here?

- Section 294 penal code.

- You're obsessed
with your penal codes.

- He means indecent
explosure in public.

- I think you're decent.

- I went in a wedding and
they refused to give me money.

I got angry so I decided
to take my clothes off.

- That's a bit
extreme, isn't it?

- Well, if it's, it is the
only way to get paid...

- You can get another job.

- [chuckles] Who's
gonna hire me, Madamji?

- Give me the bottle.

- Sharmila?
- Yeah?

- At the wedding you said
that you give blessings

but you're a curse.

What did you mean?

- We are a dirty little secret.

- Move!

Sit over there!

- Dirty little...

What do you mean?

- The soul of a woman
trapped in the body of a man.

- [Policeman] Silence!

Go in cell!


- In India, sometimes
people get born with no...

- Go, go!
- Move.


[loud creaking]

[police siren wails faintly]

- Sharmila?
- Here.

- So did you mean born
with no sexual organs?

- Yes.

- Well, why is that
a dirty secret?

If you feel your soul
is a woman's soul,

then you're a woman.

- You lose your soul

because our parents gives
you up to the hijra community

because you are not normal

and they cut all
ties after that.

- Oh, so that's how
you become a hijra?

- That,

and forced castration.

[police shouts in
foreign language]

[loud rattling]

- I made a friend last night.

And you're never
gonna believe who.

- You have no friends in India.

- Good morning, Madamji.

[car horns beep faintly]

- You're my friend,
right, Donald?

- Yes, Madamji.

Very much so!
- See?

I do have a friend in India.

Look, I'm really sorry.

Thank you for getting me out.

If you would've left me there,

I don't know what
I would've done.

[melancholy music]

[keyboard clacking]

- Whew, okay!

How about this.

"Dear Mr. Commissioner, my
name is Whitney Simmons."

- "I am a colleague
of Shania Dhaliwal

"from Sterling Magazine."

- "Who's in India
writing a story.

"And I wanted to get your
comment on the sidebar

"she is writing on the hijras."

I don't even know if
that's how you say it.

[faint Indian music]

- Sidebar on hijras?

- Are you sure we
should be doing this?

- Oh, come on, don't be lame.

[phone beeps softly]

[subdued Indian music]

- Good morning.

- Good morning, Madamji.
- Good morning, Donald!

- You look so nice
in Indian dress!

- Thank you, let's see what
the other officer has to say!

Good mo--

You are?

- I'm Officer Chahel.

[subdued Indian music]

- Not that it matters, but
what happened to Harbhajan?

- I don't know, Madamji.

Sirji said he's taking
himself off the assignment.

Are you okay, Madamji?

- Of course.

Why wouldn't I be?

I mean, he's a grown man, he
could do what he wants, right?

Besides, Shahel
seems way more fun.

Right, Shahel?

- Chahel.

Cha, Cha, Chahel.

- [chuckles] Oh,
like the dance, cha-cha!

[horn beeps loudly]

Ooh-kay, then. [sighs]

Oh, that's where I got
arrested the other night!

Hey, are you married?

- No.

- What a surprise.

[upbeat band music]

[camera clicks]

[men chant in foreign language]

[tranquil Indian music]

[priest chants in
foreign language]

[hijras speak in
foreign language]

- Hello!

Is Sharmila, where's Sharmila?


[speaking in foreign language]

- Go, go!

- Google, google!

- Google!

- [speaks in foreign
language] Thank you very much

for coming!
- Thank you.

Could you tell me
about the Anand?

- Anand Karaj.
- Mm.

- And Doli.
- Yes.

- Anand Karaj is our
version of your church.

And the Doli,

goodbye to her.

It was only

yesterday when I was cradling

my little daughter

in my arm.


she has grown up. [sniffs]

It goes so fast! [sobs]

She is going away from us!

- Oh, how far away?

- Just down the street.

[melancholy music]
Father and daughter

always a special bond.

She's always
father's little girl.

[melancholy music]

[speaking in foreign language]

[upbeat Indian music]
[children shout]

- Hello, Madamji!
- Hello, Madamji!

- Hi!
- Sharmila house?

- Yes!

- This one, Sharmila house.
- Thank you!

- Sharmila house!

- Oh, my God!

Are you okay?

- By the grace of God,

just some bruises.

- What happened?

- Well, I took your advice.

I went to a local store

for a job.

They laughed at me.

I got angry.

- Did you threaten to
take your clothes off?

- [chuckles] No.

I threatened to beat him.
- No.

- Except he beat me first.

Do people beat reporters?

- Are you kidding?

We're universally loved.

- Thanks for trying
to help me, Madamji.

- Did you report
this to the police?

- What's the point, Madamji?

It is the way our world works.

- Sharmila, we have
to tell your story.

- I'm a simple girl, Madamji.

No one wants to know my story.

- That's exactly why people
do wanna know your story.

[soft knocking]

- Sir?

I thought she was doing
an article on weddings.

- Precisely.



Ministry approved her to
do a feature on weddings.

This was not part
of her application.

She has to respect our rules!

If she continues,

I have an order to confiscate
Ms. Dhaliwal's computer.

- But those are the
personal possessions

of an undetained individual.

- And that undetained
individual thinks

she can break the rules
or do whatever she wants?


if you are not
morally up for it,

my only choice is to assign
another officer to it.

[phone clicks]

Who are you texting?

- I'm just telling Mom that
I'll be late for dinner

and that I'm still
on the assignment.

- Mm, good.

- I'll make sure.

- Better.

- [Shania Voiceover]
Hijras, blessings for some,

curse for all.

As I left my new friend
still freshly bruised...

[phone beeps]

I couldn't help but
wonder how a community

that has references in the
Mahabharata for their good luck

now can't even get
a job as basic help.

Ultimate goal for all hijras:

The world doesn't have to accept
us but they can respect us.

[relaxing music]

[speaks in foreign language]

- You look very
pretty, very pretty!

- Oh, thank you! [chuckles]

Where have you been?

- I was off grid.

- And what did you mean
by that text you sent?

- Just a reminder
to stay focused.

Try and get approval
for the hijra story,

I got you an application form.

- [Shania] Oh, yeah?

And what if they reject it?

- Listen, Shania--
- Oh, my God,

there is no article on hijras!

So I'm kind of lost!

- You seem to lose
your way a lot.

- Do I really?

- Oh, yes!

And you're quite a handful.

- So why'd you come back?

- Sometimes I like
my hands full!

[upbeat Indian music]

- Hello, Ms.
Dhaliwal, I presume?

- Hello!
- Hi, I'm Harleen,

the bride of the wedding
and this is Mr. Gurinder,

my husband.
- Nice to meet you.

Thank you so much

for having us!
- Thank you so much!

I suppose you're here
to cover the wedding?

- Yes, yes.
- That's great!

- May I ask you some questions?

- Yeah, why not, go ahead.

- Okay, so can you tell
me about this ceremony?

- Yes, well, this
is the reception.

- Is there another
word in Punjabi?

- [chuckles] Reception is the
Punjabi word for reception.

- Well, your English
is really great.

- [Bhavna] Hi, Shaniaji!

- Oh, Bhavna, what
are you doing here?

- Shaniaji, Harleen and
me are very good friends.

- And you know what, she
is getting married soon!

- You're getting
married to the American!

- No!

No, I'm not going to
Alabama, my Shania ji.

Actually, my Papaji
made the choice for me.

And he chose my
happiness over history.

I have a surprise for you!


- Oh, wow, Cookies and Cream!
- [giggles] Yes!

- That's wonderful!
- This all happened

only because of you, Shaniaji.

- Cookies and Cream
is back, baby!

- Yeah! [laughs]

Shaniaji, you know what,
when we both get married,

you have to be the
bride's friend, hmm?

- Bride's friend?

Oh, the bridesmaid, yes.
- See you!

- She's funny, come!

- Very funny.
- Let's enjoy.

- Testing, testing.

Hanji, hanji!

[loud thuds]
Hello, hello.

[upbeat Indian music]

- [Harbhajan] Cookies and
Cream getting married.

[chuckles] Amazing.

Well, there's your fifth

- [Shania] Yeah.

- Come on, you should
be over the moon now.

- I have to get this
package to my dad

but I have no idea how to
find this crazy address.

- Your dad's in Chandigarh?

- Yeah.

It's a long story.

But it's time to write
the next chapter.

Will you help me?

[car horn beeps]

- [chuckles] We're
not even dating

and I get to meet your father.


Are we ready for that?

[relaxing Indian music]

- [Shania] Oh, my God.

I wonder if he'll
even recognize me.

Harb, I can't do this!

- Oh, come on.
- Oh, my gosh!

[relaxing Indian music]

[soft knocking]

[speaking in foreign language]

[bell tolls faintly]

[speaking in foreign language]

[melancholy music]

- Hey, I'm...

I'm sorry.

I know how it feels.

I've been there.


[wistful Indian music]

- [Little Shania] Daddy,
what happens when you die?

- Mm!

Well, we reincarnate!

The soul comes back
as something different

to be with who we love.

- How do you know
the soul's back?

- If you look really
hard, you'll see it.

- When you die will
your soul come back?

- [laughs] Only for you!

- What if I don't
look hard enough,

then I won't know it's you.

- Hmm.

Tell you what.

I'll come back as

a pigeon!

- [Little Shania] A pigeon?

- [Rajinder] Mm-hm.

- Here?

- Mm-hm.

[wistful Indian music]


Can't believe I'll
never see him again.

Anyway, thank you
for bringing me.

The priest said he
was cremated here.

[birds squawking]
[Shania sighs]

So this is where
it happens, huh?

- Yes.

This is where the town
brings their dead.

Last rites.

They bring the dead bodies here

and then just

turn them into flames.

[melancholy music]

- You know, I always wonder

how people lose their
identities once they're dead.

For everyone, you're,
you're just a body.

You know, I,

I was sitting right there,

I didn't leave my dad alone.

Everybody else left.

I was right there.

I'm sure he's always with me.

- Dad said we'd come back
as an animal or as a human

to catch up with who we love.

[chuckles] He said he'd return
as a pigeon just to see me.

Look at all those birds.

I wonder if one of
them is a pigeon.

- It's not yours to find.

It'll will find you.

[sighs] Come on now.

I'm sure your dad wouldn't
wanna see you like this.

- Yeah, you're right.

- Come.

[melancholy music]

[car horn beeps loudly]

[chuckles] You want
me to carry you again?

- I think I got this. [laughs]

[car horn beeps]

[upbeat Indian music]

So pretty.

- It's Indian.

- Wow.

- Indian.


Very much Indian.

[speaks in foreign language]

- I can't believe
how much it hurts.

- Yeah, I know.

- Does it ever get better?

- I still see his face

I'm not sure if it
ever gets better.

But I guess you accept it.

Learn to live with the pain.

You know anything about physics?

- [Shania] Yeah, why?

- Energy never dies.

Merely changes forms.

And soul is energy,

hence, it never dies.

[rhythmic drumming]

[speaks in foreign language]

- [chuckles] What's their
health rating, a D minus?

- Come on, stop
being so American.

[speaks in foreign language]

[mobile phone rings]

Sorry, I have to take this.

- Okay.

- Yes, sir.

- Listen Harbhajan.

You insisted on
taking care of this.

Is the mission complete?

- Sir, I don't think she's
the problem

you think she is

- [Avtar On Phone] Don't argue.

You're there to get
her laptop, that's it!

- Okay.

But you'll have to
promise me one thing.

- [Avtar On Phone] Yeah.

- If I get you all the stuff,

she'll be able to go back home.

- I promise I will let her go.

[siren wails]
[car horn beeps]

- I felt his spirit
at the gurdwara.

They said he came everyday.

I just wish he could have
seen me all grown up.

- Oh, honey, I'm so sorry.

- It's okay.

Anyway, how's your
manhunt goin'?

- [chuckles] My manhunt's
fine, how's your man hunk?

- [chuckles] He's
not a man hunk!

- He is in picture 63!

- What?

What are you talking about?

- Well, I think you guys
do make the cutest couple.

- Oh, my goodness.

Let me see.

It's that one where you've got
that really gorgeous smile,

and he's kinda slightly flexing.

Oh, my God, it's just so hot.

- Oh, my God, it's gone!

- What?

- [Shania] My laptop!

[melancholy music]

- Not hungry?



- Yeah, delicious, Mamaji.

- But you have to eat
it to know that.

[mobile phone rings]

[phone beeps]

Maybe it's important.

- I doubt it.

- I'll be back in one second.

[melancholy music]

- [Shania On Voicemail]
Hey, Harb, by any chance,

have you seen my laptop?

- [Avtar On Voicemail]
Harbhajan, I need that laptop.

Where the hell are you?

- [Shania On Voicemail]
Harb, please,

please call me back right away.

I think my laptop's been stolen!

- [Avtar On Voicemail]
Hello, Harbhajan,

get me that reporter laptop--

[melancholy music]

[loud thud]

- [gasps] Oh, my God,
you found it, oh, my God!

Thank you so much.

- But listen.

You can't publish this
article on the hijras.

- What, why?

- No.

- Oh!

Oh, I get it.

So you're the one
who took my computer

because you don't want
me to write this article.

So, what, everything...

You, me?

It was all because
of the article,

wasn't it?
- No, of course not!

What you're saying...

Listen, everything I said or...

Or I didn't say.

Everything I did, I...

It was absolutely true.

- You were spying on me!

- I was spying on you because
you were spying on the hijras!

You started this!

- Oh, my God!

I fell in love with
a six-year old!

- What do you mean by
you fell in love with--

Wait, wait, one second.


- [sighs] I can't believe
I actually thought

you really understood me.

[scoffs] Shania, I get you.

I've been there.

I wouldn't be surprised if
your dad wasn't even dead.

- Don't say that.
- Oh!

Maybe that's your
dad over there!

Hey, excuse me!

Are you his dad?

- Shania.
- Or maybe, maybe,

maybe he's your dad.
- Listen.

- What about that guy there?

Hey, are one of you his dad?

- What are you doing?

What are you doing?

I won't lie about
something like that.

- Why should I believe you?

- Because I care about you, too.

- Yeah.
- And it's the only way

to convince them to not
bring up charges against you.

So you need to understand!


- [sighs]

I will miss her.

- I'm sure.

- Maybe, I will see her
when I move to America.

What about you, Sirji?

[mobile phone rings]

- Hey, Whit.
- Hey!

So I just finished
reading your article.

Well, that's not true,
I finished my champs

but I did read your
article and I love it!

Sweetie, I think you
really pulled this one off!

- [Shania] No, I didn't!

- [Whitney] Honey,
sweetie, what's wrong?

Are you okay?

- I rebooked my flight,
I'm coming home!

- Why, what happened?

- He screwed me over!

And not the way you're thinking!

I'm gonna rename this
article Four Weddings

and a Screw-Over! [sobs]

- Oh,



You're in love!

[mobile phone rings]


- Yes, sir.

[Avtar speaks in
foreign language]

Yes, sir, I have it.

Yeah, we'll be right there, sir.

Actually, we're stuck
in traffic, sir.

Move your car, move!

- Hello, Harbhajan?
- Yes, sir?

[Avtar speaks in
foreign language]

Yeah, we'll be right there.

- [Avtar On Phone]
I am waiting, okay?

- That'll hold him off

hopefully long enough for
her to get on that plane

and head home.

- [sighs] Sirji, you know you
could go to jail for this.

You are willing to
go that far for her?

[chuckles] Yet, you
won't send her back

with the one thing
she really wants.

- What would that be?

- She told you.

She loves you.

And she's leaving without
you telling her you love her.

- It's not a movie.

- Of course not
because those are fake.

But love is real.

And you're really
wasting time, Sirji.

You still have an
hour to fix it.

And if I have your
permission to speed

I can get you there
in 45 minutes.

[playful music]

[police siren wails]

[car horn beeps]

Urgency, Urgency!

[speaking in foreign language]

- Flight to New York, please.

- Sorry, sir, our
counter has closed.

- Listen, there's this
passenger named Shania Dhaliwal.

I really have to talk to her.

It's very urgent.
- Sorry, sir,

I can't do anything, sorry.
- Please, I'm sure

you can do something!

It's very urgent!
- Sorry, sir!

Our counter's closed.
- I have to talk to her!

Please try and understand!
- Sorry, sir.

I can't do anything!
- Excuse me, yes.

What happened?

- No, listen, there's
a flight to New York

and there's a passenger
named Shania Dhaliwal.

I really have to talk to her.

- Which flight, this flight?
- To New York, to New York.

- No, the flight has departed.

- Listen, please, please
try and do something.

If you would just...

[mobile phone rings]

Yes, sir?

- [Avtar On Phone] Harbhajan?

- Sir, I'm on my way
and the laptop is here

right in my hand.

- [Avtar On Phone] No, it's not.

Because it's right
here in my hand.

- Okay, sir.

[soft knocking]

Sir, I can totally exp--


What, what happened?

- Ms. Dhaliwal
decided to turn in

all of her materials voluntarily

in order to keep you
from getting in trouble.

Why don't you take
her to the airport

to catch the next
flight back to the US?

- What are you gonna
do with my computer?

- As discussed, we will make
an exception this one time.

But you do need new permissions.


This is a new application.

You have to fill it out
and hopefully they approve.

- Thank you, sir!

- You're welcome.

- I will take that.
- Yeah, sure.

- One more thing, Ms. Dhaliwal.

Being a journalist, you
have some responsibilities

to be fair.

there are some new
rules in this country

and hijras are considered
as third gender.

But for things to change,
laws are not enough.

People have to change.


- Thank you.

- [Avtar] Have a nice flight.

[both sigh]

- Hey.

Are you really leaving?

[upbeat Indian music]


[woman sings in
foreign language]

[pigeon coos softly]

["U U Yeah" by Daler Mehndi]