More articles by

Priyanka Bhadani
Priyanka Bhadani


Badrinath Ki Dulhania review: Fresh entertainer


As we celebrated Women’s Day, we read many articles on feminists and feminism. People have different perceptions about feminists— some think feminists are bra-burning individuals, others think they hate men. But objectively, isn't it someone who is aspirational enough to look for equal rights for everyone? To live in a small town of the country and still look beyond marriage, which is deemed the ultimate goal of a woman’s life?

Very early in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Badrinath Bansal (Varun Dhawan), a rich brat introduces the audience to his family, his city Jhansi and common perceptions—ladka (boy) = asset; ladki (girl) = liability. Soon, he meets Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) at a wedding. A girl from a conventional set-up in Kota, who doesn't give a damn whether the guy’s family has had dinner. “Ladke waale bhagwan hain? Agar unko pehle bhog na chadhaye toh pet nahi bharega?” He takes a liking to her.

A lot of drama unfolds in the film henceforth. At one point when Vaidehi agrees to marry Badri, you think the film, like many other films made in the garb of being progressive, has succumbed to commercial pressure. But no, it hasn't completely, there's a lot more to unfold in the second half.


At one point, Vaidehi tells Badri, “Bachpan se na hum apne ghar ka beta banne ki koshish kar rahe hain, par ban hi nahi paa rahe hain. Papa jaise aadmi nahi badlenge.” (Since childhood, I have been trying to become the son of my house, but haven't been able to. Men like my father won't change.) The reply to it could have been many, but Badri says, “Tum beta kyun banna chahti ho, tum beti hi kamaal ki ho!” (Why do you want to become a son when you're an awesome daughter?) Maybe very predictable, but making a strong point nonetheless. At times, you wonder if the film is really trying to give out a message, because it is also keeping options open for a commercial viability with popular (also chartbusters now) but unnecessary songs, or a comic sequence which could have been easily avoided. But for most part, it remains true to the story.

So does Bhatt and Dhawan to their characters. Dhawan struggles at times to be a guy from a Hindi hinterland, but manages fine with a strong performance and partnership from Bhatt. Sahil Ved, who plays Badri’s friend, needs a mention here for being that typical and convincing small-town friend who would stay by the side of his besotted friend no matter what. 

The female protagonist of Shashank Khaitan’s sequel to Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is more aspirational than just wanting a designer lehenga for her marriage. She wants a life, a career, and more than anything else, she wants to be respected for who she is. In a country overpowered by patriarchy, where not just the girls, even boys remain consumed in its clutches, the movie tries to break the mould. But since major chunk of the film also reflects the mood of boys who think a girl will fall for love and affection, even if you don't fit in her larger scheme of things, may deviate the message.

Film: Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Director: Shashank Khaitan

Actors: Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Sahil Vaid, Girish Karnad

Rating: 3.5/5

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