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Bareilly Ki Barfi: 3 things that worked for Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao’s romcom and 3 that didn’t

Bareilly Ki Barfi: 3 things that worked for Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao’s romcom and 3 that didn’t – The movie stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao in the lead, and is based on the book, Ingredients of Love, written by Nicolas Barreau.

If you have noticed it, we are having movies this year that are not set in Mumbai and New Delhi, but more in non-metropolitian cities like Mathura, Kota, Jhansi and Bareilly. Perhaps, we have to thank last year’s two biggest blockbusters, Aamir Khan’s Dangal and Salman Khan’s Sultan, which showed that you didn’t need foreign locales and mansions to sell a story and make money. Just a good story with a relatable mileu is enough to win the classes and masses. So this year, we had Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Hindi Medium, Behen Hogi Teri etc who set their premises in small town milieu. Now add this week’s Bareilly Ki Barfi to that list.

The movie stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao in the lead, and is based on the book, Ingredients of Love, written by Nicolas Barreau. The movie is directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, who had previously made the excellent Nil Battey Sannatta. Having seen the movie (please read the review here), I found it to be a fairly entertaining movie with some really good performances from the lead cast and some humorous moments. Let’s look at three things that worked for the movie, and three that didn’t…

What worked:

Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao

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There is no doubt about it that Bareilly Ki Barfi rides on the strong shoulders of both its main leads. Ayushmann Khurrana is charming, even though his character sports a mean streak of being a bully. But yeah, it is Rajkummar Rao, who has a better scope to perform, as his character has to oscillate between being meek and bullied to being a ruffian with an attitude. Needless to say, he is terrific once again!

The excellent supporting cast

Bareilly Ki Barfi has Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa playing Kriti Sanon’s parents in the movie, and they are fab. Pankaj Tripathi is easily becoming one of the best character actors in the industry, while I am so looking forward to watch Pahwa playing a frustrated mother to Bhumi Pednekar in Shubh Mangal Savdhan. Rahul Chaudhary, who plays Ayushmann’s friend, is a terrific find.

Humorous dialogue and deft direction

One of the biggest positives of Bareilly Ki Barfi is the humour in the dialogue, credited to one Mr Nitesh Tiwari, who recently made Bollywood’s highest international grosser in Dangal. What’s best that instead of resorting to slapstick comedy, the humour is natural and flows well into the dialogue. Talking about direction, while this might not be a really strong followup to last year’s lovely Nil Battey Sannata, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari proves with Bareilly… that she has a really good hold over her craft. The way she has captured the essence of Bareilly needs to be lauded.

Now off to its weaknesses…

What didn’t:

A weak second half

The first half was truly hilarious and quite engaging, as Bareilly develops its core love story and introduces its principal characters, with Ayushmann and Rajkummar on a roll. However, with the second half, the pace slows down a lot, there is unnecessary melodrama, and the writing in quite a few sequences are patchy. A couple of songs could have been easily avoided here as well.

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An unoriginal love triangle

When the love story between Kriti and Ayushmann’s characters begins, it holds promise, thanks to the web of lies Ayushmann finds himself trapped in. With the introduction of Rajkummar in the tale, our interest is piqued. However, he doesn’t prove to be a real threat to their love story as such (not spoiling anything here). Also the entire romantic track will remind you of Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra’s Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.

Kriti Sanon’s underwritten part

Kriti Sanon may be the centre of attraction in Bareilly Ki Barfi, but she has an interesting character for sure – a small town girl who works for the electricity department, who smokes and break dances at the slight given opportunity. However, once the male leads get in the game, she is often pushed into the background, even though the entire drama is about her. It reminded me of what happened with Diana Penty in Happy Bhag Jaayegi, when she was surrounded by really good actors, who stole the show from her. Thankfully, Kriti had a couple of really cute scenes with her father.

Have you seen Bareilly Ki Barfi? Do you agree with our feature?

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