A surprise gem in the TIFF selection was Michael Winterbottom’s under-the-radar thriller The Wedding Guest, in which Hotel Mumbai star Dev Patel plays a mysterious man who travels to Pakistan, where a woman named Samira (Radhika Apte) is about to be married. More than that, the director and his cast refused to say when they came to the Deadline studio.
Instead, Patel enthused about working with Winterbottom, who films with a documentarian’s eye for detail. “The shoot was a real process of submission,” said Patel. “Michael plops us in these environments, and you’re kind of interacting with the [location] in its raw state. It is very guerrilla. And the real beauty of it was that me and Radhika didn’t really know each other beforehand, and [we were] figuring each other out as human beings and as characters while the camera was documenting our journey across the country. You kind of, as an audience, experience [everything] as we do when we’re traveling from one location to the other, and when we’re traveling on a coach or a train. We’re actually being filmed in character, making that journey, so it feels really alive.”
Asked to sum up the film, Patel said, “I think it’s a constant guessing game. When you think you’ve finally gotten the character pinned, all of a sudden everything’s turned on its head and you don’t know who to trust or where the story’s going to take it. And it can be a bold move that happens, or the smallest of looks, that can completely shift the attention of the film, the focus and the intention. So, in its subtlety, it’s very, very powerful.”
Find out more about The Wedding Guest by clicking on the video above.