Bareilly Ki Barfi star cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Seema Tripathi
Bareilly Ki Barfi director: Ashwini Iyer Tiwari
Bareilly Ki Barfi rating: 2.5 stars
‘Bareilly ke bazaar mein barfi giri re’. Clearly, the film was made keeping the iconic song in mind, except with an alliterative ‘barfi’ not a ‘jhumka’ in mind.
This Small-Town Rom Com ticks all the boxes going in: perky girl armed with requisite quirky parents, a couple of suitable boys, and great one liners. And it does work in fits and starts, but it flattens equally in between. The thing with dreaming up smart lines, and there are some quite wonderfully flavoursome ones in here, is that sometimes entire scenes get written just to be able to include the punch-lines: this ‘mithai’ has several such sequences, and make the run-time flabby.
One fine day, Bitti Mishra (Sanon) pronounced, quite properly Misra, by the ‘h’ dropping Bareilly-walas, sets her heart on meeting a mysterious someone who seems to know her inside out. Local printing press owner Chirag (Khurrana) is smitten. And then arrives a guy who goes by the name of Pritam Vidrohi (Rao) who is the fly in the ointment. Or is he? Will the new entrant surge ahead? Who will win the fair maiden?
Among the good things about this film is the superb supporting cast: Tripathi, who’s much too young to play the leading lady’s father, does a good job of being Bitti’s papa, who’s more like a pal than a pa. Pahwa scores another ace after Aankhon Dekhi: what a lovely actress she is.
The two actors who play the best friends, one who accompanies Khurrana, and the other who is seen with Sanon, are pitch perfect. They show up the problems that Sanon has with merging into her part: she tries hard to the be the small-town girl who likes a couple of puffs on the side, and who break dances for fun, but the effort shows.
The plot’s contrivances come in the way of Khurrana’s playing of Chirag fully credibly. As does Rajkummar Rao, who blows away the weaknesses of this film with his consummate act, playing the timid ‘chota shehari’ on the one hand, and the loud ‘rangbaaz’ on the other.
Rao sweetens the pot, and makes up for the rest of it. Almost.