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Movie Reviews & Ratings
Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya  : Mirth & Messages
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Friday, March 10, 2017
Shashank Khaitan
Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Gauhar Khan, Girish Karnad

The Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya team is back with freshness and effervescence. With robust Varun Dhawan as Badri from Jhansi and the radiant Alia Bhatt as Vaidehi from Kota, youthfulness flows easily and in abundance.  


Writer-director Shashank Khaitan harks back to small town India where dowry, dominating dads and docile women are still de rigueur. But Khaitan’s writing allows the gravity of these age-old issues to filter through layers of light-hearted humour, so the point is made without getting ponderous. Like a heart attack button and fathers bonding over oxygen cylinders when a marriage alliance is being fixed. Or a ‘Jai mata di’ sequence which is not a religious function but an irreverent setting to find a groom.


I also liked the fact that there aren’t too many characters cluttering the narration.There’s enough music and dance like ‘Aashiq Surrender’ to keep the frivolity and the fun going. Being a Dharma Production, rest assured that Manish Malhotra dresses up Alia in a lovely casual wardrobe and Aki Narula does it a little more colourfully for Varun.


So all’s well in the world of arranged matches and loans for dowry when Badri falls in love with Vaidehi at a familiar wedding scene and enlists his older brother’s help to bring the bride home. But is the bride willing?


Fortunately, when a smitten Badri meets Vaidehi, it’s not the nauseating stalking that Hindi cinema specialises in. In fact there’s another feisty scene in a bus where she makes it clear that she’s just not interested.Badri, the eligible catch of Jhansi, can’t fathom why.


But at half-time whenBadri has to turn from energetic to dramatic,Khaitan’sstory-telling loses its crispness.There’s still a bit of fun in store in Singapore where Vaidehi trains as an air-hostess. Like the reverse molestation scene.


But the whole message of spotlighting the respect a girl deserves is neither something we haven’t heard before nor does Khaitan take the short route to make his point. In fact, how Vaidehisteps out to prove her point is questionable and the timing she chooses to do it, sucks for its insensitivity. Also,Badri still needs Dutch courage from a bottle to confront his father’s mindset.  And most of all, Khaitan’s narration is unduly prolonged especially when the last scene is so predictable.


However, watch this for Varun and Alia Bhatt, they make an endearing couple. There are several smile-worthy moments and even if the social message isn’t oven-fresh, it’s still an important item on the Indian menu.


For a breezy entertainer that has something to convey, Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya gets a 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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