Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Kavya from ‘Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania’ saw the Women’s Rights movement making the rounds around the globe, jumped on the bandwagon and came out as a transformed modern day woman called Vaidehi on the other end to now become ‘Badrinath ki Dulhania’.

‘Tis the story of a very real struggle of women who grow up in homes where an early marriage is the ONLY dream they are allowed to harbor and their parents bend their backs collecting dowry because grooms are sold according to the size of their daddy’s homes, cars and egos. Marriage brokers that come to your house and ask for “kitna lagaenge shaadi mein” as soon as they plant their derrières on your couch really do exist – I am speaking from experience that almost made me lose my composure and shoot darts at them before I nudged my parents to throw them out of our house.

There is a nice ying and yang between aspiration and realism in this movie which hits the pulse of today’s day and age. Though some scenes are really cliched and added for pure mass entertainment, such as Kritika’s swayamwar, her clarity in thought about who she is marrying is commendable. Vaidehi, too, is marrying “under her league” but she finds the unexpected in Badri which is all that a relationship sometimes needs to work out.

I found it interesting that the filmmaker chose to broach the topic of rebellion against a deep engrained system of patriarchy in which sons are merely puppets of their dangerously commandeering parents. Helping them move along with the times is as much their children’s responsibility as their own. For all the Vaidehis out there – if your Badri is not willing to create a reasonable environment for you two to live in within the fiefdom of his dad – run, run as fast as you can!

Alia Bhatt’s acting is like a cheese pizza from the same shop. Consistently good but always tastes the same. I can’t wait to see her in a more subdued, silent, thoughtful character. Even though Udta Punjab was quite different her angst filled role was very familiar.

Varun Dhawan tried visibly hard to act like the UP ke bhaiya but he was skirting at the edge of authenticity and childishness. Comic roles are not his forté. He did much better in a far more serious Badlapur.

Oh, and taking away a point for horrendously butchering Tamma Tamma when we know that remixes can be as good as the original – look at Humma Humma. (7/10)

 

Badri

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Sometimes images speak more than words. If I had to summarize this entire 2 hour 35 minute experience into an image it would be this:

newtoncradle

A loves B, but B loves C, and C loves D but because D is not reciprocating D kinda loves C again but not the way C wants.

What starts as a “new age,” fun, use and throw relationship drama with aspirational characters for every born-into-wealth youngster quickly turns into an inception like abyss of love stories. Karan Johar peeled so many layers of the love relationships onion that nothing of the onion is really left to cook with in the end.

Choke full of one-liners, poetic and filmy dialogues – at times it feels this entire movie is overscripted. You gotta learn to use the right spices, not all of them, when you are trying to get the dish right, KJo. No really, what type of wit are your characters born with to always have the perfect answer? There is a scene in the movie where Ranbir even makes fun of it.

Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma clearly saved this one from being a pain to watch. Their acting is spot on and truly entertaining. Particularly Ranbir’s character hit home with me…I know a thing or two about carrying your heart on your sleeve after all. 🙂

Fawad on the other hand disappointed. His intoxicating face is not meant to be hidden behind a caveman’s beard. I feel sorry for KJo for stirring up such a storm by casting him when he really had pretty much nothing to do in this movie.

Undoubtedly, the glamor of a Dharma Production is smeared all over Ae Dil Hai Mushkil but at times you just want to disassociate with all of their past movies and not be reminded of them through the nose touches and the incessant Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam backdrop. All in all ADHM felt like the mis-orchestrated end of a firework. KJo pulled out all his pataake but the final show was a fuss. Happy Diwali! (6/10)

Special thanks to the little brother for organizing this family movie night the day I landed in Frankfurt!

adhm

 

Bombay Velvet

Take Kramer from Seinfeld, put him through a cuteyfication machine and on the other end it will spit out Johnny from Bombay Velvet. I have a feeling Anurag Kashyap sat down each evening with a glass of whiskey, and then two and then three because the story he piecemealed got progressively worse. Hat tip to Ranbir Kapoor for getting really bad movies but acting out his characters so well. Anushka and Raveena’s dresses and make-up are to drool for. If I could flick a wand we’d all be in the 50s now wearing breathtaking dresses and glamorous make-up and hair. (3/10)