Verdict: A complete entertainment package with umpteen laugh-out-loud moments.
Four years ago, audiences were left smitten by the small town charm beautifully picturized in Raanjhanaa starring Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor. Then it was Benares and now we have Bareilly – one of India's most colorful towns with a Bollywood song devoted to it (remember Jhumka Gira Re?). The talented husband-wife duo Nitesh Tiwary and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari have once again won hearts with Bareilly Ki Barfi starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao. While Nitesh's last venture Dangal broke all records at the box office, his wife garnered a lot of praise for her powerful direction of the Swara Bhaskar–starrer Nil Battey Sannata. From such a gifted pair comes an entertainment package that shouldn't be missed at any cost.
Bareilly Ki Barfi, directed by Ashwiny, and co-written by Nitesh, is a sweet-sour tale of romance budding in the narrow bylanes of Bareilly amidst worn-out buildings and progressive fathers. The story is ordinary; what makes it extraordinary is the watertight editing and crisp yet nuanced scripting with innumerable punch lines that make you roll with laughter.
Javed Akhtar's narration takes audiences into Bitti Mishra's (Kriti Sanon) twisted household consisting of her hilarious yet nagging mother Susheela (Seema Pahwa) and her super cool yet sweetness personified father Narutham Mishra (Pankaj Tripathi). Amidst all drama of finding a suitable groom for their daughter raised as a 'son' (small town girl Bitti has the freedom to smoke, watch English films and break dance), the hypocrisy of our society is portrayed in many layers. Then comes along an author whose book 'Bareilly Ki Barfi' seems to have a protagonist much like Bitti's character. The latter's search for the author lands her in the printing press of the book's publisher, Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana), whose story narrated in a flashback forms the main crux of the film. Chirag falls in love with Bitti but there is a hurdle. Bitti is in love with Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkummar Rao), a lanky, shy guy, who is apparently the author of the book. Ayushmann, along with his childhood friend, takes the help of Pritam and turns him into a rangbaaz – an arrogant, misogynistic and ill-mannered gunda, in order to clear his path to Bitti. But Bitti starts getting even more attracted to Pritam, and the triangle soon starts to take shape.
Bareilly Ki Barfi is a character-driven film where every character is important and contributes heavily towards the plot development. Ayushmann's endearing expressions and charm juxtaposed with his selfish and bullish behavior will leave you with mixed emotions. Kriti shines in her best performance till date as she pulls off the feisty character with amazing confidence. Rajkummar Rao is the heart of the film and steals the show completely. At one moment he is the shy, gullible saree seller, and he later transforms into an overconfident, discourteous and brash author. The supporting cast especially Pankaj Tripathi, Seema Pahwa, Rama (Bitti's best friend) and Chirag's best friend, make this rom-com all the more appealing, with their side-splitting humor. The main highlight of the film is the dialogue penned down by Nitesh Tiwari, which is as colloquial as it gets. There is wit with plenty of anecdotes and analogies. Amidst pure Hindi words like 'vikalp' and 'upcharikta', you will also find the cast delivering dialogues like "Saree utarneke umar me pehna rahe ho" and "Raat bhar bahar ghumti he. Chudail hai kya?'". The continuous tug of war between Pritam and Chirag with the song Badass Babua in the background is another plus point. If you are a North Indian, there are chances you might love the film more due to the script's local essence, simplicity and purity.
The film is also nail-biting in the sense that it doesn't bore audiences for even a moment but makes them wait impatiently to see who Bitti ends up with. Such is the power of scripting. The music by an ensemble of composers provides the perfect relief at regular intervals. Although, the film's pace slows down in the second half and the climax gets predictable, it is still packaged differently from all other love triangles and is a sweet treat for the audiences. All in all, Bareilly Ki Barfi is an excellent piece of art and easily counts among the most entertaining films of this year.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Other than to serve your loved ones the best mithai this weekend, watch this film for the amazing camaraderie between Ayushmann, Rajkumar and Kriti that will not just leave you in splits but also fill your cinematic appetite. If the above reasons don't excite you, then catch the movie to experience the joy of laughter in this light-hearted rom-com. And of course, Rajkummar hai, aur kya chahiye?
If you need more reasons to watch Bareilly Ki Barfi, checkout this video.