Badrinath Ki Dulhania is an entertainer. Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan add the right amount of drama and comedy to it, but this film has a certain element of discomfort to it.
The story is very basic, ladke ko ladki se pyaar ho jaata hai, ladki ko nahi hota hai. Ladka ladki se shaadi karna chahta hai, lekin ladki aisa nahi chahti. So basically, ladka is obsessed. Now if Badri and Vaidehi get married or no, go watch the film and find it out for yourselves. I can tell you everything that went wrong and somethings that went right.
Feminism. Jab is term ka matlab nahi samajh aata hai, toh mat banao na movie. Director Shashank Khaitan has used the idea of feminism to show patriarchy, which is good, but there is too much of sexism and very little feminism to defy it. And woh jo thoda sa bhi tha, I think just one dialogue by Alia Bhatt ruined it ki Badri mei aaj jaha bhi hu, tumhari wajah se hu. No, Vaidehi is a self made woman and she has made her own choices.
The entire first half is full of sexism. There are talks and talks about dowry. Itna do, itna lo, kaise karna hai, aap bataiye. All the scenes and dialogues and no-dialogues – no dialogues because Badri’s mom doesn’t have a single dialogue throughout the film and his bhabhi has none in front of the father-in-law – are just plain offensive. In the last scene, Badri tries to undo all the wrong done to the women of his house and gets slapped. So he is then shouting “feminism, feminism, feminism” but the father just comes and slaps him, I think twice. In the same scene, Badri tells his father ki yeh 2017 hai. That’s what, yeh 2017 hai. People will get offended. I too have lived a large chunk of my life in a small town and it is not like this. Women do work, women do speak!
Now coming to the good part, that is the performances. I could bear all of this misogyny only because of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Dhawan’s comic timing is absolutely perfect. Alia Bhatt is a stunner. She’s probably one of the best things that has ever happened to the Hindi film industry. She adds the perfect amount of drama to her character Vaidehi. And together, these two make such an adorable pair. Their chemistry never fails to make you smile.
There even is Sahil Vaid, who plays Badri’s best friend and deserves equal mention. Supporting actors Shweta Basu Prasad and Aparshakti Khurrana are certainly a find.
The cinematography and direction are good, be it in Kota, Jhasi or even Singapore, and somewhere I even liked the story, though very cliche but good. What’s wrong is the stretched second half and, again the sexism.
And I was just dealing with the sexism, that this scene came. So Vaidehi and Badri are out in the night, in the streets of Singapore when Badri is mugged. Now, he is not only mugged but touched inappropriately by some 4 boys. The entire audience starts laughing, and I am looking around me, amazed. I ask this woman on my right “What if this happened with Vaidehi instead of Badri?” I think she got my point. But whats even more wrong here is that Khaitan made a joke out of this scene with the other supporting characters also laughing. When you have a platform, please use it wisely. Know what you are telling people.
All in all, Badrinath Ki Dulhania is like a buffet dinner, be careful of what you take of it.
If I had to rate the film, off the top of my head, 5 actresses I can name who Manish Malhotra has styled so beautifully in films – Sridevi, Kajol, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and now Alia Bhatt, aur bhi honge hi…