‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ USA Review


First things first, I FINALLY understand why there are so many fan clubs dedicated to the pairing of Varun Dhawan & Alia Bhatt… their onscreen chemistry is unreal! It’s hard to believe that post SOTY (Student of the Year) Alia fell for Sidharth and not Varun. They complement each other so well you’d think something was brewing between the two off-screen.

Though I’ve always liked the Varun-Alia jodi, this film didn’t really do it for me. And I thought for sure I’d be raving about it. It was clear from the first look of BKD that this wasn’t going to be some huge magnum opus, and I was fully prepared for that. It’s a leave-your-brain-at-home, lighthearted, romantic comedy. As a whole, the film was an entertaining one-time watch, but I do have my issues with it.

For starters, the film was way too long. The message was good, but the runtime was far too stretched out to drive home a pretty basic point: the girl child is just as valid/important as a boy child.

Varun (Badrinath) falls in love with Alia (Vaidehi) when he sees her at a wedding. He is hell-bent on marrying her even before enquiring whether or not she likes him. She is extremely opposed to the idea of marrying him at first, but later she strikes a deal with him. She wants her elder sister (Kritika) to settle down before she does. Badri agrees to this condition and finds Kritika a suitable groom. Vaidehi agrees to marry Badri on the same day as her sister’s marriage but problems arise. The rest of the film follows the relationship of Vaidehi & Badri.

Now I’ll get right into my critique of the film as a whole. The message is an important one, but it was beaten to death in this movie.

Shashank knows what he’s doing in terms of direction. He got it right with ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’, and ‘Valia’ fans will surely love this film as well. He manages to keep extracting great performances from Varun & Alia. And how he gets that amazing chemistry from the two is beyond me.

Varun & Alia have both performed exceptionally well in this film. Alia has stolen the show (no shocker there). Her portrayal of Vaidehi was so convincing. The role was made for her. Varun’s comic timing was outstanding, although I felt his performance was good, not great. I can picture a few other actors who could have done what he did in this film. For some reason, I liked him better as Humpty.

One thing I will say about this film, is that it’s larger than life. I expect nothing less from a Dharma production. It’s a little too larger than life in certain parts of the film, but when Karan Johar’s name is attached to a film, you know you’ll be getting the whole damn packet of masala, not just a pinch or two. It’s both a good and bad thing. When a film appears too extravagant, suddenly it becomes less relatable to audiences. With that said, I totally understand the need to do it. I watched an interview with Zoya Akhtar a few weeks ago where she rightly said ‘people don’t pay to see poverty… Cinema is supposed to be an escape.” This film accomplished that. With a KJo production, you can always expect the WOW factor to be there.

The sets were grand and the backdrops were breathtaking… and the music was to die for! Tamma Tamma had me jamming in my seat at the theater. It was great on YouTube but it blew my mind on the big screen! I also really enjoyed the opening song ‘Aashiq surrender hua’.

It’s not that the film wasn’t good, it was just a tad too over the top. It was a simple point that they blew up and harped on for the duration of the movie. Apart from a few things in the story I didn’t care for, the film was an okay watch. If anything, watch it for a few good laughs, fantastic music and the out-of-this-world chemistry between Alia & Varun!

Rating: 2.5/5

By: Jessica Thomas