Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt
Director: Shashank Khaitan
Producers: Hiroo Johar, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta
Writer: Shashank Khaitan
What's Yay: Varun Dhawan, Concept, Songs
What's Nay: The screenplay falls flat in the second half which is a tad disappointing
Popcorn Refill: Strictly Interval
Iconic Moment: A couple of them involving Varun. But the best one is where Varun mutters the lfe's tragic reality- 'Sab apne passport mei bhondu lagte hai' and I found myself nodding my head in agreement! *LOL*
The film opens with a montage of Jhansi where in the voiceover of Badrinath Bansal urf Badri (Varun Dhawan), we are introduced to his family- a feudal father (who uses chest pains and threats of a heart attack to control the family when he sees that his orders don't work), a meek mother and brother who had to sacrifice his love and marry the girl of their father's choice.
Next marks the entry of Badri as we see him posing for a photo to be shared for matrimonial matchmaking. (Oh, I could hear some loud cheers from the audience). Our hero works as a recovery agent for his father and prides himself as 'someone who only a lucky girl could get hitched to'. Amidst all this, he bumps into a fiesty girl, Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) at a wedding. Badri is instantly smitten by her and decides that only she can become his 'dulhania'.
With the help of his buddy Somnath (Sahil Vaid), he begins wooing Vaidehi by sending off a marriage proposal to her which she instantly turns down as she isn't interested in getting hitched any time soon. Instead she is aiming to fly high in the sky and fulfil her ambitious dreams of being an independent woman. But Badri is not the one to lose his heart. He continues pursuing Vaidehi to change her decision by helping her family in finding a bridegroom for their elder daughter Kritika. (Thankfully, the makers don't glorify his stalking and instead present it in a light-hearted manner keeping in sync with the tonality of the film)
Somehow Badri manages to convince Vaidehi into marriage only to be dumped by her at the altar. Will the angry, heartbroken boy ever realize the reason for Vaidehi's drastic step?
For Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Shashank Khaitan has weaved a plot around the social evils of dowry, patriarchy and male chauvism which holds a mirror to our rigid old-age customs that still prevails in the Indian society. What works in his favour is that he is cleverly able to disguise an important message and present it as a breezy entertaining watch without being too preachy about it. Unfortunately, it's his writing in the second half of the film that prevents it from soaring high.
The film begins with a hilarous take on assets and liabilities before it plunges into the plot which is sprinkled with crisp narrative and witty lines. However, things take a slow turn post interval as the screenplay begins to meander here and there with a lack of focus. You know how the film is going to end but it's some flavoursome romance, terrific performances and a story with its heart at the right place that manages to leave you with a smile as you walk out of the theatre hall.
Varun Dhawan as the Jhansi boy is the heart and soul of Badrinath Ki Dulhania. His infectious charm coupled with a striking vulnerability and impeccable comic timing sweeps you completely off the feet. He is no Mr Goody and has his own inner conflicts to solve. But that's exactly what draws you more towards him. You feel and fall for his Badri. To sum it up, one of his lines from the film says it the best- 'Humse koi chidd jaaye, aisa toh ho nahi sakta'
Alia Bhatt is at her effervescent self as Vaidehi, a girl with a mind and will of her own. Her performance is easy on the eyes but there isn't any new dimension that you get to witness when it comes to her acting prowess in this film. Nevertheless, she is quite a charm and holds your attention.
Sahil Vaid as Badri's best friend leaves you in splits with his funny antics. The rest of the cast (Rituraj Singh, Yash Sinha, Shweta Prasad Basu, Aakansha Singh) too put up a good show and add layers to the film.
The dialogues laced with a desi tadka work magic for the film as even the grave conversations get a sprinkle of chuckles. Neha Parti Matiyani's cinematography gels well with the film as you get a peek at the rusticness of Jhansi and its vivid colors. At the same time, she manages to capture the flavour of Singapore with elan.
When it comes to editing, the film could have been snipped a few minutes shorter to keep it more crisp and engaging.
'Aashiqui Surrender Hua' is a crazy track that gets you groovy ala desi isstyle. The foot-tapping Tamma Tamma is for times when you want to let your hair down and hit the dance floors to show off your crazy, wacky dance moves. 'Humsafar' and 'Roke Na Ruke Naina' is for some lovey-dovey moments whereas the title track is already topping our playlist for this Holi.
Badrinath Ki Dulhania has its own set of flaws. But, it's the Dhawan boy (a brownie point for him) who wins over your hearts with his beguiling performance and makes you forgive the makers for it. Go for it if you are looking for some laughs, breeze and a story with its heart at the right place!