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Badrinath Ki Dulhania: Part fun, part dull

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Director Shashank Khaitan seems to be creating a franchise of his own as he comes back with 'Badrinath Ki Dulhania' after his earlier film, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. This film too starts off in Hindi belt but later traverses to Singapore to break the monotony.

In the process, Badrinath Ki Dulhania also heavily promotes the woman’s cause, her independence and right to choose.

Varun Dhawan's character is a barely educated lad from Jhansi working as a recovery man for his well-off but steadfast and old-fashioned father played by Rituraj Singh. Singh's character considers himself lucky. Since he has sired two sons, daughters, according to him, are a liability. He does not care if his sons love some girl, they have to marry according to his wishes and the dowry that the girl brings is his prime consideration.

Accordingly, his elder son, Yash Sinha's character had to sacrifice his love and marry Shweta Basu Prasad's character who brought along a car showroom besides cash as dowry. She is well-educated but a working woman is no-no for Rituraj.

Varun joins the baraat of his friend headed for Kota. There, he spots Alia Bhatt, also a guest, and instantly falls for her. It is a one-sided love as Alia is a headstrong and independent girl who wants to work to bring her middle-class family out of a tight financial situation. Also, Alia has an elder sister, played by Aakanksha Singh, who, according to tradition, has to marry first.

Nice guy that he is, Varun decides to help Alia and her family find a suitor for Aakanksha on the condition that Alia will marry him in the same mandap. Varun does manage to find a match for Aakanksha and the wedding day is decided.

Things don’t go as planned, however, and Varun has to chase Alia all over again.

Enjoyable so far, the film loses pace as the location shifts to Singapore where Alia has taken up a career in an airline. Varun is left to do a Devdas act, slipping into a bout of self-pity. This part slows down the film considerably for a while before it comes back into some fun and songs. The climax is interesting while it also delivering a message.

The script is penned keeping in mind that the theme is youth-oriented and romance, with light moments aplenty, especially in the first part. The second half needed to be spruced up. Direction is competent and the songs are well placed.

The film has a popular musical score with Humsafar…..,Rokenaruke…. Tenutakiyabina…. being hummable while the title song has a sectional appeal. The remixed Tammatamma… is already popular number from the film Thanedaar (1989). Cinematography is good.

Varun plays his carefree character with élan. Alia makes a good pair with him, and acts well. Sahil Vaid makes a mark. Rituraj is impressive. Yash, Shweta and Aakanksha land good support.

Otherwise a plus film, Badri Ki Dulhania will have to contend with pre-Holi weekend which affects collections, especially in the Hindi belt, board exams and election results aftereffects for next few days.

Producers: Hiroo Johar, Karan Johar.

Director: Shashank Khaitan.

Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Gauahar Khan, Mohit Marwah, Aakanksha Singh.

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