Film Review: Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Sequels have their own quirky way of exacting interest from potential viewers, especially if the earlier film has been more than a moderate success. Three years after Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania starring Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan hit the screen, comes the second in the franchise, though not a sequel with the lead pair unchanged.
After a short prologue on gender discrimination, Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia), from a middle-class family of Kota meets affluent Badri Bansal (Varun) who is from Jhansi, at a wedding. It’s love at first sight but only for Badri. How he follows her, stalking may be the term, to woo and convince her of his ‘noble’ intentions forms the crux of this story. As in any love story, twists and turns abound, leaving director Shashank Khaitan to grapple with the screenplay of his two-hour plus film.

The dimpled Alia does well as the feisty, spunky and independent Vaidehi who has a mind of her own. Dowry and women’s empowerment are shown in ample measure in the film released a couple of days after International Women’s Day. Varun Dhawan’s innocent next-door boyish charm is in keeping with his character who tracks his lady love all the way to Mumbai and Singapore.

The first half rolls at a leisurely but watchable pace although the second half seems to limp along besides being more of a brand endorsement for scenic Singapore and its private airline SilkAir. Though Dhawan’s effort is sincere and Alia is nowhere near her Udta Punjab performance, the chemistry between the lead pair is palpable. Of the supporting cast, Sahil Vaid as Badri’s bosom pal Somdev, shines. Some of the scenes of their skirmishes in the blue waters of Singapore are impressive, while Yash Sinha as Badri’s brother and Shweta Basu Prasad as Badri’s sister-in-law Urmila lend good support. BKD is a family entertainer although the much hyped song ‘Tamma Tamma Again’ derived from the 1989 Thanedar hit song (which itself was inspired by an African number) has little intrinsic value though.

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