‘Wedding Guest’ gives us female hostage with power
“No, it isn’t,” Samira shoots back. “That’s the point.”
Writer-director Michael Winterbottom (“The Trip to Spain”) is a shape-shifting filmmaker, and he continues that mutable pattern here, giving Patel the kind of role we’re not used to seeing him in. Jay is not exactly a hero, although he has a kind of honor and perverse honesty.
Nor is he the film’s antihero. For one thing, he’s a coldblooded killer. For another, the film belongs just as much to Apte, whose complex, contradictory character makes a great case for the argument that the film is misnamed for another reason. It’s her story, not his. In truth, it’s both of theirs, but not in the way you might think.
A lesser storyteller would have brought Jay and Samira together, pursuing the loveon-the-lam narrative. And for a while, “The Wedding Guest” looks as though that’s where it’s going. Saying more would spoil the pleasure of the film, which surprises at every turn. Samira, like Jay, is no saint. Deepesh calls her a “snake” at one point, but he misses the point. She’s not treacherous because she defies his – and our – expectations. She’s simply human.