Effervescent, entertaining, engaging, enjoyable.
An absolutely MUST SEE movie.
It is an emergent spark of the coming of age of the Bollywood factory! Every week we see so many films being released. But Bareilly ki Barfi is the clarion call that Bollywood has come of age and is not afraid of showing totally human, totally believable characters. People like you and me. People who act absolutely human. And do not put on any “filmi” airs. They live very normal lives. Day to day humdrum things happen to them. And amidst it all: a lovely story flowers and entertains you.
No actions of any of the characters is “super human”, which has become the norm of all the Hindi potboilers. Here is a under the wraps writer Chirag (Ayushman) who publishes his trashy fictional book under someone else’s name and photograph. And when Bitti Sharma (Kirti Sanon) reads the book and changes her life’s course and wants to meet the author Vidrohi ( Rajkumar Rao), Chirag has to play role of getting Bitti to meet Vidrohi. The proverbial love triangle ensues with Chirag falling heads over heels for Bitti while Bitti only wants Vidrohi in her life. Vidrohi is engagingly played by Rajkumar. First aloof, then interested in Bitti, coming up against Chirag ; who is now caught in a web of his own subterfuge, as he has projected Vidrohi rather than openly accepting he was the real author of the novel that Bitti actually seeks.
Rakjumar shows what a great actor performer he has become. He is a total scene stealer in his various avatars; Sari salesman, scared friend, local aggressive loudmouth, man in love, and finally challenger of Chirag. Each scene in which he is on screen just effortlessly belongs to him and his acting prowess. The movie is worth watching just to see the craft and skill of Rajkumar.
Kirti Sanon ( whom I saw first time on screen) has remarkable confidence and presence. She brings Bitti Sharma to life. Her interactions with her friend, her mother, her father, with Chirag, in her Electricity Dept Complaint Office, her first hating Vidrohi’s loudness and then falling in love with Vidrohi : all are done with ease and elan. While the totally believable script characterization helps her, she deserves full credit of carrying it off well. I saw Anushka Sharma’s confidence and star power (displayed in Rab ne Bana di Jodi and Band Baja Baraat) take birth all over again in Kirti, in the way she has played Bitti.
Ayushman as Chirag plays the first half very well. He is great as the small town publisher who falls head over heels for Bitti and woos his damsel. But he falters when Chirag brings in Vidrohi as a counterfoil in Bitti’s lovestory. Maybe the sheer acting prowess of Rajkumar finds it’s first victim in Ayushman’s Chirag. Ayushman is not able to hold his character or his acting together after Rajkumar as Vidrohi enters the story. His only solace is that he finally gets the girl.
On 2 other fronts Bareilly ki Barfi sparkles. All the support characters of Bitti’s parents, Chirag’s friend, Vidrohi’s mother are played to perfection and leave a lasting impression. Secondly the script writing by Nitish Tiwari (of Dangaal fame) is a class apart. The sheer repartee and clean riposte keeps you bubbling and cheery for the entire 2 hours 2 minutes of the movie. Nary a dull moment, it actually grows from strength to strength.
So Bareilly ki Barfi is sweet. Sweet from beginning to end. And leaves a lovely taste in your heart as you leave the theater.
Here is hoping the Imtiaz Alis and the Karan Johars and Anurag Kashyaps and Aditya Chopras gather some courage from the director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and writer Nitesh Tiwari and show us some truly believable characters like Bitti and Chirag and Vidrohi in their romcoms.
So next time you are in Bareilly ka bazaar don’t search for jhumkas.
Savor Bareilly ki barfi instead: vikas