Movie Review: Badrinath Ki Dulhania

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By Bhumika Rawat

Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a typical Bollywood ‘Masala Chaat’ which tries to be different but ends up like hundred other movies churned out by the industry year after year. Based out of Uttar Pradesh this film is a story of a Jhansi boy Badri (Varun Dhawan) who stalks Vaidehi (Alia Bhatt) on the streets of Kota as if it is his favourite passtime. When she says “no”, he takes it as  “better luck next time, try harder”

In the modern times when women security and stalking are serious issues Badri Ki Dulhania gives a licence of sorts to stalkers of all age groups, specially those who are in their teens.  Even more horrifying is depiction of Badri abducting Vaidehi from the streets against her will. He literally assaults her and throws her in his car and drives off to some undisclosed location.

If it were a real life incident this would have been registered as a crime and also followed by serious penal action. But the movie features no such consequences and Vaidehi is mad only for a brief moment and then becomes sympathetic to her own abductor. Movies like Badrinath Ki Dulhania promote stalking as a bold and ballsy thing which is a cause of serious concern.

The movie has some good points as well. The movie is open and candid in its discussion over dowry and the turns and twists in life after marriage. It is not often you will see a masala film talking about such serious issues.  The only mainstream film which talked about serious issues was Rajinikanth’s recent release ‘Kabali’. But Badrinath and Kabali are poles apart.

Director Shashank Khaitan has narrated a story revolving around the issues of dowry, patriarchy and male chauvism.  He has tried to disguise his social message in a light hearted manner without sounding preachy. The first half certainly makes an impact but the second half is a complete let down.  In the second half movie takes the audiences from Jhansi to Singapore with a brief stopover at Mumbai.

Hero of the film Badri continues stalking his heroine even on the foreign soil. The director loses his grip on the film in the second half. The only high point of the film is fabulous screen presence of the lead pair and their scintillating chemistry. Varun Dhawan as Badri has tried to ape Govinda and Amitabh Bachchan but he fails to impress the viewers with his performance.

Alia as Vaidehi looks refreshing in her role as Vaidehi. Badrinath ki Dulhania is her third outing with Varun Dhawan and this is the weakest film of the three they have done together. Humpty Sharma was a better crafted and well written film in comparison to this latest release.

For right minded audiences Badrinath Ki Dulhania offers nothing new or interesting but those who are willing to kill their time on a Bollywood Masala film can watch it this weekend.

My Ratings: **

 

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