Badrinath Bansal aka Badri (Varun Dhawan) is the son of a wealthy money-lender (Rituraj Singh) who lives in Jhansi. Being less educated, he helps his father as a debt collector while his elder brother (Yash Sinha) handles his father’s business. He meets Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) in a marriage ceremony and falls in love with her fearless and outspoken nature. His best friend Somdev (Sahil Vaid), who has a marriage bureau of his own, talks to Vaidehi’s father (Swanand Kirkire) and convinces him to lend his daughter’s hand to Badri. Vaidehi, who however has a different plan with her life, rejects the proposal.
How will Badri convince Vaidehi to marry him? Will Vaidehi give up her dreams to have a secured life with a rich Badri or will she choose a different path?
Positive points: –
- Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a typical Bollywood masala entertainer which appeals well to the masses as well as the classes and especially the youth.
- The bromance of Badri and Somdev is so adorable that it outshines the chemistry of Badri and Vaidehi.
- The movie’s take on patriarchy and the dowry system is spot on.
Negative points: –
- The filmmakers were confused themselves whether to make a statement on the dowry system or to make a rom-com. The disengaging moments in the second half clearly proves this fact.
- I will light a deepak in Budhi Thakurain’s Mandir in Angul when I realise that Bollywood has given up the sordid idea that stalking is anyway related to romance.
- Again comes the confusion of the filmmakers! They probably didn’t come to a conclusion whether to show Vaidehi as a strong woman or an arrogant self-centred one or show Badri as a good guy or a bad guy or I don’t know what. The character development of the leads is a disappointment.
- The most important thing that many would have ignored is the trivialisation of rape of men in the movie. In one montage, a group of gay Singaporean goons try to rape Badri and when Vaidehi and gang save him (they didn’t know they were trying to violate him) and find out that he was actually being raped, everyone laughs at him as if it is a matter of shame or a joke! Trying to show men’s rape in such a lighter note isn’t new to Indian cinema. We have seen it in Kismat Love Paisa Dilli (2012) and even in the Tollywood movie Guntur Talkies (2016) and now again in this movie. It’s nothing but a matter of shame!
Direction, Script and Other Technicalities: –
Shashank Khaitan as the director cum writer of the movie does a fine job. The comic punches of the movie are superb and he handles the actors pretty well. He however mixes up the script with romance and social elements which kind of backfires for him. It isn’t so that both things couldn’t have been done well together but maybe the lack of experience showed up for him. He picks up hackneyed points to show in the movie such as Badri being shown as a typical anpadh UP guy who has no civic sense and is half a goon himself, a stereotypical idea that a Hindi medium 10th grad doesn’t know how to read English at all (infact most of them can read English pretty well though they may not understand tough words), etc. The poor characterisation of Badri and Vaidehi is disturbing and so is the trivialisation of rape and homosexuality.
There are a few moments in the movie which will be loved by the audience and with the help of Neha Matiyani, Khaitan has ensured that the movie had some cool camera-work. The music of the film is fine but forgetful.
Varun Dhawan is delightful as Badri and his comic timing is unerring. His outburst in the movie is superb and evinces that he is developing as an actor.
Alia Bhatt performs with flair and it’s not surprising given that an actor of her calibre could have easily done it.
Sahil Vaid is the best thing in the movie and even with a smaller screen space, he outperforms the leads. His chemistry with Dhawan is the most beautiful thing in the movie.
Rituraj Singh, Swanand Kirkire, Yash Sinha and Shweta Basu too are great in their brief appearances.
Final Verdict: –
Overall Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a breezy entertainer with superb comic punches, some really likeable moments and fine performances. It will be liked by the audience and will be a big hit. However, it’s poor take on men’s rape (I’m mentioning this for the third time) as well as homosexuality is appalling and unforgivable and costs it 0.5 stars of what it deserves.