Bareilly Ki Barfi
Director: Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwary
Cast: Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkkumar Rao
When Bollywood’s NRI-targeting, star-studded glossy big banner entertainers are falling like ninepins, there comes a small budget Hindi hinterland comedy that endears itself to audiences. Films such as Tanu Weds Manu, Aankhon Dekhi, Dam Lagake Haisha and Hindi Medium are some recent examples of this trend. Now Bareilly Ki Barfi adds itself to that list.
What’s the plot?
A tomboyish girl (Kriti Sanon) who likes to smoke, drink, shake a leg and watch English movies is a total misfit in a small town like Bareilly. Her doting, permissive father and melodramatic mom are worried as the regressive local marriage market rejects the ‘defective piece’! The girl, depressed by the constant rejections, decides to run away from home but then stumbles upon a book ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, which makes her change her mind. The book’s author seems to be a nice, progressive guy who has lovingly portrayed a girl, who seems to be exactly her replica. So taking the help of a local publisher, she decides to track down the reclusive author. Little does she know that the young publisher (Ayushmann Khurrana) himself is the real author and he had forcibly used a hapless friend’s (Rajkkumar Rao) name as a social cover!
· Director Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwary delivers a sweet rom-com with some good twists, many memorable one-liners and loads of laughs!
· North Indian small town milieu, with its typical lingo, characters and social attitudes, is captured well.
· Kriti Sanon effortlessly sheds her urban girl image to don the Bohemian Bareilly girl colors. Hers is a winsome portrayal.
· Ayushman Khurana is easygoing and charming as ever. His transition from a confident manipulator to a jealous jilted lover is well done.
· The biggest hurrah is reserved for Rajkkumar Rao, who plays his most memorable character till date. The usually serious actor shows that his funny bone is intact and simply runs riot with his transformation from a bullied, shy, stammering sari-shop worker into a ‘Rangbaaz’ cool dude with dollops of attitude!
· The supporting cast is excellent.
· The songs are catchy.
· The story seems like a rehashed Tanu Weds Manu plot.
· The second half drags and turns melodramatic.
· Predictable climax.
· Some holes in the plot and characterization.
Director Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwary had earlier given us a poignantly sweet non-mainstream film Nil Battey Sannata. Here she successfully woos the mainstream audience with an earthy, enjoyable rom-com. Excellent performances coupled with a breezy narrative makes this offering one of the must see films of 2017.