Director: Shashank Khaitan
Paisa Vasooli: 2.5 / 5
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania was an out an out romantic comedy (with more romance and less comedy) but Badrinath Ki Dulhania is not the same. Badrinath Ki Dulhania is hardly any romance, loads of drama, with subtle humour (unless Varun Dhawan gets into tapori mode and becomes Govinda) with a social message. Yes, social message in a Varun Dhawan film; we have come to that.
The film begins with explaining how in India, a boy being born is an asset to the family and a girl is considered a liability. Which is very well described and kudos for bringing that up for people who demand dowry in 2017!
Cut to Badrinath. A spoilt brat of an affluent family in Jhansi lands up in Kota for a wedding and meets the girl he wants to get married to, Vaidehi. But Vaidehi’s story is something of a spoiler so we won’t discuss that. Let’s just say she doesn’t want to get married to Badri (which is also true anyway). Vaidehi’s parents can’t afford the dowry the Bansals are demanding. Also, Vaidehi tells Badri that she will only get married if her elder sister, Kritika, gets married FIRST. That, our charming Badri arranges both (the dowry, the dulha) and all is well till the interval, where there is a big twist and India beat Australia in Ranchi and Dharamshala.
Varun Dhawan could have easily been Salman Junior in life had he handled himself better. But with each passing film, he is proving more to be a Govinda replacement. Not that it’s less to be a Govinda in life but when you had the potential to be Salman, then why not? Daddy Dhawan is trying his best with giving him Judwaa 2, though.
As Badrinath, Varun does fairly well. He can play a spoilt brat soooo well! The only thing is, playing a spoilt brat from Jhansi. The only place he goes haywire is his UP accent. His accent is a mixture of Western UP and Tapori (Dharavi?).
The real hero of the film is Alia! She hardly fumbles in accent, her expression is uptight (for her character) and she tames Varun’s character in each scene. Not saying Varun is a lesser actor but it easier to act in a scene where someone else is the aggressor. 5 / 5 for Alia.
The supporting cast is a big-big plus with Yash Sinha, Rituraj Singh, Sahil Vaid giving powerful performances.
We have already mentioned the wonderful opening scene of the film. Other scenes that stand apart are how both fathers have a ‘heart attack button’ taking a jibe on how Indian parents can blackmail children. Another scene is when Alia saves Varun from being molested, THAT is funny. Also, on a whole, though the concept can be compared (a li’l bit) with Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Kareeb) but it is very different in detail. We have seen women being empowered in a lot of films but here, a man seeks strength from a woman.
So why a 2.5 you’d be wondering? Well, because first, the script isn’t THAT great and it is just a Varun and Alia Show. Secondly, the film suffers from the typical Bollywood condition called ‘After Second Half Syndrome‘. The film, which is running at 3.5 / 5 in the first half collapses to a dead corpse in the second with the end bringing some relief and in between we have Tamma Tamma Again to wake up to. Whatever goes wrong in the first half is corrected in the second. Quite boring. It brings up the question of why do we even need an interval!
Overall, Shashank Khaitan delivers an average product which is definitely watchable. Being a festive weekend, it is a film the whole family can watch with over priced popcorn and nachos! Cheers to that.
Humpty was a different character from Badrinath. His Dulhania had a different film. Badri’s Dulhania and his film are totally on a different platform. From our side, it JUST makes the cut. Not at all a bad film but nothing more than that.
Dalip Singh Grewal
He loves fantasy, the kind where he's in a situation and pretends to be the third person watching the situation from outside. He flies helicopters for a living. He takes long breaths because he's heard 'Life is the number of breaths you take'.