BADRINATH KI DULHANIA
- the second franchise of Bollywood's first rom com continues the infectious chemistry between Varun and Alia and they both are cracking to the core. Writer director Shashank Khaitan who happily and proudly was seen wearing the obsession with DDLJ in his previous HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA, this time aims for something more in this film by re-opening the gate of 'dahej'
(dowry) in this romantic musical that also tries to wink at women independency and choice to work after marriage.
Let's see how much Shashank Khaitan succeeds in giving us an entertainer to the core that says something more on the relevant issue of dowry and women independence.BADRINATH KI( DULHANIA STILLS
Writer director Shashank Khaitan shifts the focus from Delhi to Jhansi historically famous for Rani Lakshmi bai
's bravery against the British ( a planned location to convey the message) but surprisingly the 'bundelkhandi'
accent is not at all thought upon and the movie opens with Jhansi and an affluent household of the Bansal's. Badrinath's father played by Rituraj Singh believes in dowry system and is of the opinion that women after marriage no matter how well-educated they are, should be home makers and nothing else. SSC pass Badrinath (Varun Dhawan
) does the collection work for his father.
A chance encounter between the lovingly goofy Badri and the strong-willed Vaidehi (Alia Bhatt
) in Kota - town in Rajasthan (again the accent is ignored) makes Badri falling head over heels for Vaidehi. Badri doesn't want a repeat of the tragedy that happened with his elder brother played by Dev (Yash Sinha) who was forced to sacrifice his love of life for his father and marry Urmila (Shweta Prasad) the girl of his father's choice.
Badri with the help of his BFF Somdev (Sahil Vaid) makes an arrangement and a proposal to Vaidehi's father played by Swanand Kirkire is made. Vaidehi, who wants to make a mark on her own and not get restricted to be a house wife is against the practice of dowry and is not interested in tying the knot. She rejects Badri's proposal. The kind-hearted and lovable goofy Badri follows Vaidehi from Jhansi to Kota and stalks her in an entertaining, endearing and lively manner and convincingly impresses Vaidehi with an offer she cannot refuse. Badri agrees to find a suitable groom for Vaidehi's elder sister. After a couple of funny incident the right groom in Aparshakti Khurrana is found. Vaidehi and her elder sister are set to marry Badri and Aparshakti on the same date and venue.
On her wedding day, Vaidehi, who is having an unfortunate past flees, leaving Badri in a state of shock, remorse and frustration. The rest is how Badri wins his Dulhania and comes to terms with his and Vaidehi's individuality finds the crux of the story.
Writer director Shashank Khaitan succeeds in making BADRINATH KI DULHANIA breezy, colorful and entertaining right through the first half if we ignore the accent/dialect used in Jhansi and Kota.
The chemistry between Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt is infectious throughout. Varun's impeccable timing and Alia's pitch perfect spontaneity run this show by covering most of the flaws by their scintillating presence and performance.
However, the movie is cursed by the overlong second half that turns boring, desperately looking for some oxygen of fresh air as Badri enters Singapore (should have gone with one of those oxygen cylinders used by Badri and Vaidehi's father). We keep on seeing Alia's training schedules and suddenly a bad gay joke starts giving warning signals.
Anyhow the character of Alia which is stronger than Varun manages to give the film the deserved end in the end. Ironically, A line by Badri says just before the final credits 'Mein Toh Lukhe Ka Lukha Hi Raha'
, explains many things.
The word 'lukha'
is used in Mumbai lingo and apart from the stretched second half, the dialect used over here that ranges from Mumbai to Bihar is another major drawback. The way Varun opens up against his father could have been done in a better way. It may be entertaining to a considerable section but it seemed juvenile and hurried attempt.
Production values are strong and technicalities are fine. Cinematography by Neha Parti Matiyani is eye pleasing. Editing by Manan Sagar is okay. It's a venture by Dharma production so costumes cannot go wrong. Natascha Charak, Manish Malhotra, Nikita Mohanty and Aki Narula do a very good job.
Of the supporting cast, Sahil Vaid as Varun's BFF is just superb. After the sparkling chemistry between Varun and Alia the camaraderie between Varun and Sahil Vaid in this film is another pleasant episode in Bollywood's brotherhood.
Swanand Kirke as Alia's father is good. Ritu Raj is fine. Varun's bhaiya nd bhabi
- Yash Sinha and Shweta Prasad leave their mark. Alia's buddy in Singapore Aakanksha Singh is fair. Gauahar Khan as Laxmi Shankar is decent. Aparshakti Khurrana is fantastic.
Music by Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Akhil Sachdeva is passable and the much publicized 'TAMMA TAMMA'
looks good while watching the film but it seems to be forced. Background score by John Stewart Eduri is effective.
All said and done, in spite of its flaws, BADRINATH KI DULHANIA is a sweet and enjoyable rom com that has an undercurrent of dowry for a change. Previously Bollywood has handle dowry in its social melodramas like DULHA BIKTA HAI, GHAR HO TOH AISA, RAJA KI AAYEGI BAARAT, DAWAAT-E-ISHQ. Shashank Kahitan could have made a better film on the issue and given it a quirky, funny thought provoking turn but he allows this film to get happily surrender to the formulae of a rom com. It's more crowd pleasing then soul stirring.
Watch it for the impeccably infectious chemistry between Varun and Alia they both nail it to the core and certainly are the most endearing young pair of Bollywood.