Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Gauahar Khan
The thing about having prejudices is that eventually the truth makes you look wee-too silly. Those who said the audience will wander into the theatres seeing HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA with a different name, more color and newer songs … be prepared to be eating your words. BADRINATH and his DULHANIA will charm your hearts off…
Badrinath (Varun Dhawan) is your affable hero who hasn’t really done anything exceptional in life. It is easy to see that he has effortlessly floated along the dikhats (difficulties) levied by his father the ‘sahukar’ (yes despite being a contemporary film on all accounts, often through the film we will find words from the Hindi text book we had long forgotten). Badri has been sailing through his life, but he is at a juncture now, where he wants to find his Dulhania and ‘settle’ down. The only true upheaval that follows is when he claps his eyes on Vaidehi, a pretty seemingly small town girl from Kota, who has no intention to ‘settle down’. It is the turmoil brought up from years of patriarchal upbringing and a heart that refuses to hear all logic that BADRINATH KI DULHANIA morphs from being a mere romcom into something more substantial, and essential given the times we live in.
It is obvious that both the protagonists have come a long way from the prequel of this franchise and the director Shashank Khaitan strives to keep up with the growth of their celebrity standing. What earns Khaitan brownie points is the way he has dabbled rather grave subjects in a light hearted, fun way. It is a tight rope that he walked and the fact that he delivered on most counts is really commendable. Of course, he had actors like Varun and Alia by his side, which is half the battle won.
Speaking of Varun, he has completely mastered the tact of being a complete woman’s man. He knows how to charm girls and he does it unapologetically. He is already where many actors like Govinda, Akshay Kumar and even Salman Khan got after many years of trial. He sets the mood for the film from the very beginning, making sure he has the audience’s heart even before they realize it. However, it is his co-star that outshines all in this film. Unlike in the prequel where she seemed more confused and easily distracted, Alia conquers Vaidehi so effortlessly that is difficult to appreciate her finer triumphs in the film. It is amazing to see how Alia wears Vaidehi like a glove, but makes sure there is a little bit of Alia in Vaidehi as well. There are scenes wherein it is evident that Alia can no longer be satisfied being a ‘Kavya’ in a film, as she did in 2014.
While there are many challenges met in the film, one cannot help but feel the scriptwriters were given a checklist of contemporary topics that challenge the society today. IT does look as if they had to incorporate ALL within the 2 hours 19 minutes duration of the film. The dialogues, though funny, could have been sharper and of course, the characters, especially the supporting cast, a little less superficial. A special mention to the comic relief, Sahil Vaid, who more than earns his keep in the film. With the music and the acting this film boasts of, Badrinath is a winner from the word go. As for the rest of it, there are no major complaints. With a ticket to BKD, you enjoy the love, bask in the fun… and yet, come out with your mind thinking, and heart singing.