Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a rucksack full of radioactive social issues handled cautiously with bedazzled Dharma gloves But ‘handled’ is the operative word here Set in small towns like Jhansi and Kota where patriarchy is as evident as daylight the movie focuses on Badrinath Varun Dhawan.
a sahukar’s son in pursuit of a bride He spots Vaidehi Alia Bhatt at a wedding and starts wooing her But Vaidehi refuses to bow down to social pressure and succumb to a marriage nurtured by an IV drip of dowry Turns out she’s that mutant small-town girl with actual opinions and ambitions and most importantly a spine And her character is the backbone of this story too.
She’s fierce and real; she’s pushed down but gets back up she protects her dreams and for once, doesn’t get emotionally manipulated Her father’s heart condition be damned Through Vaidehi the movie checks all the important boxes gender issues feminism consent etc But the story is treated so stylistically with elaborate song sequences and flashbacks and cinematic moments that it loses heat.
At times characters speak like public service announcements and seem a little contrived The runtime doesn’t help either This is a story with an obvious climax so sitting through two and a half hours to find out what you already know might get uncomfortable. But the breezy vibe of the movie and back-to-back hilarious lines should get you through it.
Together Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt are the best thing that could have happened to our screens. The beautiful effortlessness of their onscreen companionship plasters a grin on your face Dhawan as Badri is adorable you instantly take to him He even pulls off some high-drama scenes impressively Bhatt, unsurprisingly gives it her all, and her sincerity comes through But her accent casually swinging between Juhu and Jhansi is bothersome at times