Badrinath Ki Dulhania: Movie Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Badrinath Ki Dulhania is an Indian rom-com written and directed by Shashank Khaitan. Co-produced by Hiroo Johar, Karan Johar, and Apoorva Mehta under the banner of Dharma Productions, Badrinath Ki Dulhania stars Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles. The film costars Sahil Vaid, Rituraj Singh, and Gauahar Khan. Badrinath Ki Dulhania is the second installment in the franchise that started with the 2014 rom-com Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. However, the plot and characters are entirely different. Badrinath Ki Dulhania presents the tale of a Jhansi boy who falls in love with a girl from Kota. But the girl has some reservations about the relationship and so the boy must go the extra mile to convince her fully. 

Badrinath Ki Dulhania highlights the family and societal pressures that young people in our country must deal with before and after marriage. Finding the right match is always a challenge, for there are so many criteria for compatibility. After all, marriage is just not a union of two individuals but an alliance of two families. Traditionally, the social liability on the bride’s family is much higher owing to the unreasonable demands of dowry made by the groom’s family. Then there is pressure on girls to quit working and take the role of a homemaker once they get married. Of course, there is great pressure on the boys as well. One wonders how handy can couples counseling prove to be in such a social setup.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania starts on a brilliant note but loses its focus half way. The dialogues are explosive in a humorous sense. As a rom-com revolving around the theme of marriage, Badrinath Ki Dulhania promises everything that one would expect from a commercial Bollywood film of its kind. For Bollywood, marriage is a bankable subject like no other. As a matter of fact, some of the biggest commercial hits in the history of Hindi cinema have dealt with the theme of marriage. Blockbusters like Hum Aapke Hain Koun...! (1994) or Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) successfully exploited the Indian sentimentality for the traditions and rituals associated with marriage. And the trend has continued with more recent films like Band Baaja Baaraat, Tanu Weds Manu, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, and Tanu Weds Manu Returns.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania’s greatest strength is that it succeeds in drawing our attention to some important social issues prevalent in our country such as dowry and gender inequality. But the movie’s plot falls apart during the second half. The momentum built during the first half fizzles in a most anti-climactic manner. The result is a half-cooked rom-com that leaves one disappointed. The only respite comes from Varun Dhawan and Sahil Vaid whose bromance is the movie’s highlight. Sadly, Alia Bhatt fails match the magic of her previous performances. Given the talent on offer, Badrinath Ki Dulhania can best be described as a wasted opportunity. However, the movie does have its moments, especially during the first half, but a completely flat second half proves to be its greatest undoing.

Rating: 5/10

Badrinath Ki Dulhania Trailer (YouTube)

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