Should you watch it? – Yes Rating – 3.5/5
For all those who are thinking that Badrinath ki Dulhania is sequel or related to Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania, it is not. Badrinath ki Dulhania is romantic comedy that offers a family friendly, colorful and comedic experience with a strong feminist message. After the success of films like Dangal, Sultan, Jolly LLB2, Bollywood's fascination with India's inner cities, continues here with plot set in small towns of Jhansi & Kota. The film touches on the prevalent practice of dowry in conservative patriarchal families in the small towns in North India, but balances this touchy subject with some refreshing comedy peppered throughout the script.
Varun Dhavan is amazing as 'Badri' who reminds you of Govinda's Raja Babu, who lives off a rich father, is barely educated and spends most of his time roaming around town with his sidekick. Unfortunately, 'Badris' are far too common in India, they barely finish school, inherit their father's fortune, are raised to be entitled and simply 'take' what they want in a male dominated society. Badri falls for a talented and ambitious Vaidehi (Alia), who immediately rejects his advances, which creates a romantic to and fro. However, the script inadvertently tolerates behavior like eve teasing, stalking, kidnapping and harassment against women, something Bollywood has been doing for years, but one could argue that art is just a reflection of real society
so #feminists, let's not punish the art here!
Alia and Varun as usual are looking fabulous and enjoy an electric chemistry on screen. Sahil Vaid plays a loyal sidekick and demonstrates great comedic timing. The supporting cast of the film could definitely use an uplift, with no known names it leaves a void. Especially Rituraj Singh who plays Badri's father – the evil patriarch, is miscast and delivers a weak performance; a seasoned actor like Ashutosh Rana, Anupam Kher or Saurabh Shukla would have been a great fit.
Like any Dharma production movie, Badrinath ki Dulhania delights with cinematography – managing to bring out the beauty in local sights in Kota. You can tell Karan Johar didn't design the costumes as the Burberry & Gucci coats are traded in for authentic 'jhintak' shirts for Badri and chic tie-die kurtis for Vaidehi. The film's music has a couple of foot-thumping song revivals in Tamma-Tamma and the title song, rest of the tracks leave little impression.
Badrinath ki Dulhania interestingly highlights why orthodox practices like dowry, forceful arranged marriage, discouraging working women, and male gender preference are still being tolerated by India's supposedly modern youth?? Well, it's simple
Financial dependence – If Dad pays the bills, Dad makes the rules. This is the modern generation that prefers liberalism but 'chooses' to live by the rules set by their family, even if they disagree with them. A compromise for a rent-free, risk-free and comfortable living. A comfort that comes at the cost of prolonging ancient practices and tremendously slowing down social growth. Is it time to speak up against what you don't agree with, even in your own home? See the movie to find out if Badrinath does.