Ayushmann Khurana, Kriti Sanon, Rajkummar Rao
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
You cannot go too wrong with Rajkummar Rao in your film. While he spruces up the film, the real Bareilly ki Barfi is Bitti (she is sweet and addictive – Kriti Sanon). She has her parents wrapped around her slim finger and it is clear that they think she is their sunshine and rainbow too. However, there are too many things about her that don’t gel in the arranged marriage mart that she is pushed into. The boys don't want a girl who head bangs to music with a drink in her hand. In the world where sunder, susheel and gooni are still the key sale pitches in the arranged marriage world, Bitti finds herself in a space where she has already had two failed relationships and no suitors. Dejected, she walks out on her parents and finds herself in a book named BAREILLY KI BARFI. The book speaks to her on so many levels that she takes it upon herself to actually find the author. The only person she does find is the publisher – Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurana)
Psst. Chirag has ghost authored the book, in the guise of his gullible friend,Pritam Virodhi (Rajkummar Rao). Chirag is in no position to admit that he has written the book but it is obvious that seeing Bitti, he starts thanking divinity for finding his perfect mate for him. However, he soon realises that Bitti won't settle for anyone other than the author of 'Bareilly Ki Barfi'. With no other recourse in hand, Chirag starts the journey of turning his gullible pal, Pritam, into a rogue - hoping that Bitti will hate everything there is about Pritam and eventually fall in love with Chirag. The moment this sari salesman (Pritam) turns into a mawali, you start relishing this barfi a lot more. The way RajKummar Rao fills up the frame is admirable for the audience and a real challenge for his co-actors who are threatened he will swallow them raw.
Given Kriti has an author backed role in the film, she has many moments wherein she can perform to her heart’s content. Thankfully she does! If she appears too stiff in a few moments, it is not as glaring as her full-hearted gratefulness to be considered actor enough to be a part of a film like Bareilly Ki Barfi. It is obvious that she is liking rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rao and her commitment to the film translates into a decent, yet fun performance. Ayushmann on the other hand is delightful and comes with his signature style calmness which we saw in movies like MERI PYAARI BINDU, NAUTANKI SALA... etc. Unfortunately his character keeps leaving you with a feeling of deja vu, distracting you to recollect when have you seen Ayushmann do exactly the same thing. Given the fact that he has SHUBH MANGAL SAVDHAAN coming up, Khuranna is bound to go unharmed and even Kriti seems to have redeemed herself from the RAABTA fiasco, and all thanks goes to Rajkummar Rao because he really uplifts the film by simply being there.
Ashwiny Iyer’s films are known to leave a smile on your faces and BAREILLY .... is no different. Though there is plenty in the film which makes you restless - hoping it had a little zing to it, rather than the sugary sweetness.