Friday, 18 August 2017


I must admit I'm a sucker for films set in the heart of small towns in North India portraying the day to day lifestyle of the orthodox middle class. They carry a distinct flavor with them and when peppered with witty dialogue it makes for a cracking combination. Tanu weds Manu returns (which I feel is the best rom-com made of late), Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Aankhon Dekhi are a few examples that might prove my point. The fact is that such films aren't as much driven by plot as they are fuelled by character dynamics and quirky humor.

Okay, so now let's talk about Bareilly Ki Barfi. Given my penchant for such films and a promising trailer I was quite eager to indulge my sweet tooth. For most part it does tick all the right boxes. The Tiwari's (director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and writer husband Nitesh Tiwari who helmed last year's Dangal) succeed in creating real flesh and blood characters whose playful banter evoke plenty of laugh out loud moments. The first half coasts along smoothly brimming with originality and smart one liners which keep you invested in the film, not bothering about where the story is leading to. For example, how can you not be amused by the way Seema Pahwa's character welcomes every male guest in the house with two essential questions of life ; Beta saadi (read shaadi) ho gayi tumhari? and Beta sarbath (read sharbath) peeyoge?. It's also equally hard not to be delighted by Rajkumar's prep for the role of a rough and tough bully with a swag and his comical exchanges with Ayushman.

Post intermission, however, things take a turn and the story loses much of its quirkiness when cornball moments take over from sharp humor, effectively stripping the film of its charming appeal.

The biggest strength of the film, though, lies in its casting. Kriti Sanon, who frankly talks and looks more urbane than small town, still manages to win hearts on account of her honest performance. Ayushman is expectedly in good form while Rajkumar, who clearly seems to be having a ball with his film choices, gets another opportunity to showcase his versatility. The actors who stand out among others are Seema Pahwa and Pankaj Tripathi, whose abundance of talent make you wonder why we don't get to see more of them in films.

I'm going with 3/5 for Bareilly Ki Barfi. Tiwari nicely ties up the loose ends in the climax, but blame it on the rocky screenplay or what the film falls short of the comic genius it so had the potential to be. Definitely worth a bite!!