Photo by Jake Hills
Seldom do I see the audience responding to the character’s actions on the screen. A lady sitting in the row behind me was evaluating every action taken by Alia Bhatt’s character (Vaidehi) and was mostly in agreement with her. She used phrases such as these:
“Sahi kar rahi hai”
“Aur kya kar sakti hai wo, aise situation me”
The running commentary intrigued me because the message in the movie is rightly about women empowerment. Can’t a small town girl have dreams to fly (To be an air hostess)? Does she need to sacrifice her dreams in order to get married at the “right age” and give peace of mind to her disease ridden father? Doesn’t she deserve the right to speak and a chance to be respected?
The writer-director Shashank Khaitan has attempted to tell a movie that does not have cracks. At least on the surface. He gets it right for most part of the movie. But there are flaws as there would be in any effort of such magnanimous nature.
Badrinath (Varun Dhawan) is born with a silver spoon. While his elder brother and sister-in-law toil hard in the car showroom business, he is busy doing the recovery of money lended by his father. He is happy doing it and considers his family’s reputation as his job description.
In a “chance” encounter Badri meets Vaidehi and is smitten by her. To make it apparent, we have the surrender hua song in the beginning. The song is also used for credit rolling which seems a better purpose for it than taking the story forward.
Badri doesn’t need Vaidehi’s approval. He wants to marry her. No need of love and consent. As long as her parents are willing who cares what the girl thinks. In comes Vaidehi’s “No” and out goes Badri’s “Self-confidence.”
The further story revolves on how Badri learns to respect women and gathers courage to stand up to his father.
Badri-Vaidehi chemistry works beautifully on the screen. Badri’s friend Somdev (Sahil Vaid) is the source of comic relief and thankfully has been given some meaty time on the screen. Alia Bhatt continues to impress with her incredible talent. Watch out for the scene, where she convinces herself that marriage is the right thing for her while doing the chores in the kitchen. Varun Dhawan makes us laugh and is also sincere enough to make us feel for his plight in the second half.
If the movie was a relay race, it started great and continued doing good till the 70% of the track and then decided to give up. It then just wanted to finish and qualify, not win.