Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Seema Pahwa
I have always liked Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao’s choices of films. They are the advocates of films which have strong and unique scripts. But, Bareilly Ki Barfi seems to be an exception. The trailer of the movie was so entertaining that I was looking forward to it but its fundamental flaw in the script and the typicalness in its conclusion make it an average movie.
Bareilly Ki Barfi is a love story. Bitti (Kriti Sanon) is a bold and free thinking girl who smokes, dances and roams at night. Of course, her mother and people around her don’t like that. She is tired of everyone judging her. One day, she reads a book whose story is similar to her life so she wants to meet the author of the book Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkummar Rao). She takes the help of a printing press owner Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana) to track him down. In the process, Chirag falls for Bitti.
Overall, the story of Bareilly Ki Barfi seems good. A love triangle between Bitti, Chirag and Pritam, their fun together and family involvement are fine ingredients for a small town big heart film. The big fundamental problem I found about the movie is why Ayushmann keeps the secret from Kriti. It’s not like a life changing secret or something bad or criminal. He loves her and she is also finding him interesting. That small error in script is just too vital to ignore for me. And everything that happens further in Bareilly Ki Barfi, has a root based on that secret. The writers should have written something that could have made this twist a more believable one.
Ashiwny Iyer Tiwari’s direction in Bareilly Ki Barfi is a mixed bag. The character developments of all the roles are brilliant. You instantly like and connect with Bitti’s lively fun, Chirag’s lovely presence, Pritam’s hilarious character and Bitti’s weird family. This actually makes up for a pretty entertaining first half. I loved the relationship between Bitti and her father (Pankaj Tripathi). It brings out the real emotions of India’s family. The chemistry between Bitti and Chirag is mesmerising, thanks to the matured direction from Ashwiny. The film actually goes a notch higher when Rajkummar Rao is introduced with his afraid-kind of personality and then, his transition into the bold authoritative guy to meet Bitti is simply engaging.
Image Source: Junglee Pictures
However, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari couldn’t continue the momentum as the movie progresses. When things start getting complicated in Bitty-Chirag’s lives, the quality of storytelling also goes down. The hold which was there in direction initially, goes missing afterwards. The screenplay becomes weak. The character of Chirag goes too far cinematically, losing your interest in the story. There are also very few memorable moments of Ayushmann-Kriti together in the second half so as a love story, the movie is not entirely satisfactory.
Also, the conclusion of the movie is predictable and worst of all, typical filmy. This is ironical as I have seen Ayushmann and Rajkummar doing movies which are away from being filmy but are very real. Even Ashiwny’s ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ was rich in realism so Bareilly Ki Barfi becomes a very ordinary attempt, considering all those factors. Bareilly Ki Barfi is not a completely avoidable movie. It has great many moments in the first half which will keep you glued to its story. But, it’s just not a complete entertainer. I expect better from Ayushmann and Rajkummar Rao.
The cast of Bareilly Ki Barfi is amazing. Ayushmann Khurrana is always a perfect choice for such films. A guy from small town, falls for a girl, his attempts to impress her, being afraid to tell her yet will do anything for her, no matter right or wrong, Ayushmann delivers these aspects easily and effectively. His cunning treatment to Pritam (Rajkummar) is a high point of the movie. But scenes of him getting depressed when he realizes he can’t have Bitti are also efficiently enacted by him.
Kriti Sanon is raising her quality of acting with each film. She impressed in Raabta, though the movie didn’t. She does a noteworthy job as Bitty. A dynamic girl, not afraid to live like she wants, she is likable. Her presence on screen and her lovely expressions are seriously cherishing in the film.
Rajkummar Rao is a hell of an actor. I don’t think there is any role he can’t do. In this movie, he had a very unique character to portray and he excelled in it. A very simple man who is always afraid of people, Rao is hilarious when Ayushmann tells him to do something for him. Then comes his transformation into exactly opposite person who always talks like a street smart desi guy. Those dialogues of ‘Tum suno be..’ are a complete joy.
Bareilly Ki Barfi is a sweet film but not sweet enough to be a complete entertainer. It has its moments but it also has many drawbacks. The script falters in second half so does Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s direction. It’s an average cinema experience.