Bareilly Ki Barfi is set in the Uttar Pradesh hinterland and captures the life and culture of the place very well. The movie starts with the life of Bitti (Kriti Sanon), whose mother’s only complaint is that Bitti is unable to get a good groom because her feminist father has brought her up as a boy. Bitti smokes, drinks, stays out late night and in lesser words, she is up against the norms of a typical girl in the Bareilly society.Bitti is upset that her mother would have been happy had she been a boy. In a scene, her father tells her that while he doesn’t subscribe to such norms, they have to live in the society which has such norms. Bitti gets herself rejected by prospective grooms; she wants to marry someone who understands her and more importantly, who accepts her exactly the way she is.
Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurana) is a jilted lover who has long been on ‘Vanvaas’ from relationships after a girl broke his heart. He had published his poignant tale into a book with the pseudo identity of his friend Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkumar Rao). While Pritam forcefully lends his name to the book, he disappears from the town in anticipation of a mess. The book remains unsold and is lost in time, till Bitti finds a copy in a shop on the railway platform, on a night when she is about to run away from her home and this ‘society’. Bitti finds the main protagonist of the book a mirror image of herself and decides to stay back in Bareilly to pursue the author who she feels, would understands her .
The movie takes to higher ground when Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkumar Rao) reappears in the scene. Chirag trains Pritam to fake his personality and come across as a rude celebrity author so that, while Bitti’s wish of meeting the author is fulfilled, she isn’t impressed with the author. Rajkumar Rao effortlessly switches character from a soft spoken salesman to the egoistic, mannerless celebrity figure. A love story ensues, that sees both the leading men trying to impress the lady in their own ways.
The first half of the movie builds the story firmly; the 2nd half slowly inches towards Bitti’s wedding and after a while one can start guessing as to who will Bitti chose as a groom. Barring a few moments in the 2nd half that may feel stretched, the movie is very well edited and crisp.
Javed Akhtar has lent his voice to the narrative and narrates the story with a brilliant grace filled with humorous anecdotes. The narration adds to the flavours of the sweet dish that Bareilly Ki Barfi is.
Rajkumar Rao’s brilliant acting is on display throughout the movie which can be easily termed one of the best in his career. Ayushmann and Kriti play their roles well too along with Pankaj Tripathy and Seema Bhargava in pivotal roles. The story is well written and screen play is very well executed. The movie is refreshing portrayal of a triangular love story that Bollywood has found staple in thanks to the likes of Dil Toh Pagal hai , Kuch Kuch Hota Hai etc. Ashwini Iyer Tiwari gives us another honest movie after her directorial debut movie Nil Battey Sannata. Her husband, Nitesh Tiwari has co-written the script after proving his mettle as a writer and director in Dangal.
Bareilly Ki Barfi is a must watch. It will ensure that you laugh throughout the movie and go home smiling after the movie.
CultureBowl Rating 3.5 out of 5.