Badrinath Ki Dulhania Review: Varun and Alia's crackling chemistry works wonders for this desi love story! – Read the DNA review of Badrinath Ki Dulhania
Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan in Badrinath Ki Dulhania
Film: Badrinath Ki Dulhania
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sahil Vaid
Director: Shashank Khaitan
What's it about:
Badrinath Ki Dulhania is no sequel to Humpty Sharma, neither does it try to pick the plot from the first film. Where it does follow up though is by casting Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt as the lead pair of the film. That isn't a brave or novel choice. But with a film like BKD, both Alia and Varun get to showcase their natural charm and unmatchable chemistry. Badrinath (Varun) belongs to a family in Jhansi who believes that men make the decision while women merely nod in approval. When he falls in love with an unlikely girl like Vaidehi (Alia), belief system and values clash. She seeks independence and self respect, while Badri is conditioned to believe that he can marry any girl he sets his eyes on. The interval revolves around a dramatic scene involving two weddings and a break up! BKD has a very valid and strong message about equal rights and even touches upon the subject of dowry in a progressive manner. However, the vibe of the film isn't preachy or serious thanks to Shashank Khaitan's vibrant direction and the lead pair who manages to keep you invested in most of the film.
Despite being light and breezy, BKD has some heavy duty scenes that allow Varun and Alia to showcase their acting chops. Both have already established their versatility in different genres, which makes their performances in BKD even more endearing. As the naive, bumbling village buffoon in the first half Varun engages you with his goofiness. It doesn't take him too long to change gear and show his serious side in the second half as the narrative takes a dramatic turn. Badri is a likeable guy and Varun goes all out to ensure we are by his side. His comic timing with his sidekick (Sahil Vaid) is as good as his chemistry with Alia in the romantic scenes. Varun's restraint in the climax scene is worth a applause, when he could have easily succumbed to the temptation of going all out and making it caricaturish. Alia is her usual self, which means she's damn good! Be it her accent or scenes with Varun, she proves yet again why she can take on any role and make it her own. Sahil Vaid as the accomplice in his love story deserves a special mention. Tamma Tamma looks good on the big screen and the soundtrack lends the right melody to the story.
Mid way through the film, you get a sense of been there seen that. Varun-Alia's pairing is terrific, but the novelty is missing. Scenes of auditioning a bridegroom for a bride seem dated. Also the second half gets a bit lazy before leading to a very predictable climax. There are moments when you wish the screenplay had something more to offer. Varun and Alia's hinterland accents take some time to get used to. Vaidehi and Badri are from Kota and Jhansi, which aren't necessarily small towns, yet their characters seem too urban in terms of their look and styling.
What to do:
Badrinath Ki Dulhania is light, entertaining and likeable. Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt prove that on screen chemistry can be enough sometimes to keep you engaged in an average plot with a predictable narrative.
Rating: *** (3 stars)