Does the film manage to thoroughly entertain us?
'Bareilly Ki Barfi' is a love triangle, set in the titled small Indian town of Bareilly featuring Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon.
Kudos to the team for cutting an interesting trailer that promised a paisa-vasool entertainer. But does the film manage to thoroughly entertain us? we aren't sure.
In 'Bareilly Ki Barfi', Sanon (Bitti) plays a middle-class girl, who after repeated rejections from prospective grooms, sets her heart on Pritam Vidrohi (Rao) after reading a book authored by him. Chirag (Khurrana) is the only one who can help her connect with this lesser-known writer. At the behest of Chirag, Pritam dons the act of an arrogant semi-goon whom she is destined to hate. But instead of 'depressing' her, he ends up 'impressing' her.
What follows is an open challenge between the boys to marry the lady in question. There are sequences in the film, particularly the second half, showcasing a tug-of-war between the boys to lure the girl. But whom will she finally end up with is highly predictable. Clearly, your guess is as good as mine!
The film is directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, whose debut 'Nil Battey Sannata' was critically acclaimed. Add to that, the film is co-written by 'Dangal' director Nitesh Tiwari along with Shreyas Jain. Obviously, our expectations were high with a stellar team at work, but the film seems like an opportunity lost as much more could have been achieved.
The first half of the film is crisply edited and the movie moves at a pace that keeps you hooked. The second half might be predictable but doesn't seem like a lengthy affair.
As expected, Rao outshines the other lead characters, although Khurrana tries to engage us, playing the lovelorn character - however, the former steals the show as he switches from being a shy, simpleton saree salesman to a character gone 'rogue'.
Kriti doesn't do much in her life, expect for being interested in weighing her options (boys) and planning to settle down - something her mother also wants. Although she questions the traditional role of girls in society, has a smoking buddy in her father but her character hardly comes across as progressive.
Although she claims to be a break dancer, she never breaks into any 'break dance' moves and can be seen twisting her waist to Indian dance numbers. The song in the films are typically small-town baarat (wedding) numbers that have been shot and choreographed well.
We would like to make a special mention of Pankaj Tripathi, who plays the Sanon's father - and has time and again proved his acting abilities. He adds to the mad comedy in the film.
Overall, 'Bareilly Ki Barfi' is a light-hearted film that leaves one asking for more.
Said that, if you don't have any plans this weekend, grab a ticket and go watch this popcorn entertainer.
Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon
Playing in theatres in UAE.