Bareilly Ki Barfi is a very smartly written movie. Take the name of the characters, for example. The amazing Pankaj Tripathi plays the role of a father who is way of ahead of his time, given that the movie is set in a small town in the heart of Uttar Pradesh. He knows what the society is like but still has never changed himself and treats her daughter in a way which would make the Internet label him, Feminist AF. His name, Narottam Mishra, meaning a very good man (not accurate, but close) hence is accurate.
Next up, is Sushila Mishra, the mother, played by the excellent Seema Bhargava. Like her name suggests, she is all about being good natured. She constantly cribs about how Bitty has been brought up in the wrong way, i.e. like a boy. In comparison to the father, Narottam, she is conservative and all she cares about is finding Bitty a groom.
Now, the central character of the movie, Bityy. Bitty is quite a common name in northern parts of India. It is not a typical name as such, like a Simran but it is used mostly as a term of endearment or something the elders of the family might call a child, a nickname to be precise. Bitty hence is used because it feels like it could be anyone or maybe there are so many Bittys hidden in the country, who would connect with the character. Bitty is played by the very beautiful Kriti Sannon who just about plays the part to perfection.
Ayushmann Khurana’s character, Chirag Dubey. Chirag is the Hindi term for a Lamp. Chirag bring’s light into the life of Bitty. It is not a coincidence that Bitty was running away from home, in the middle of the night when she lands up with the book written by Chirag Dubey, titled “Bareilly Ki Barfi”. The very book changes her life and she is back home in the morning, in full daylight.
The love story would have been a straightforward one if not for a character named Pritam Vidrohi, played by the amazing Rajkumar Rao. The story eventually becomes a love triangle and gets treated very well, thanks to the amazing writing of Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain, and Rajat Nonia.
There is something beautiful about a movie which opens in a small town or city. You can hear people cribbing in the background and then the soothing voice of the narrator Javed Akhtar takes over and within minutes you are hooked to the story of the Mishras and their attempt to find a suitable groom for their daughter.
Bareilly Ki Barfi works amazingly well just because it feels so real and has so much heart and feel in it. You feel for the characters. These characters are so rooted to the soil that you feel at one point in your life, you have been one of these characters. Bitty’s struggle to find acceptance from men for what she is, is as real as Chirag’s act of drowning into alcohol after the love of her life is married off to some other guy.
Special mention to Rajkumar Rao for his performance in the movie. He is honest, earnest and sincere and it is so amazing that the character comes so naturally to him. Some of his scenes will leave you in splits!
Like most of the modern love stories, Bareilly Ki Barfi also pays little but significant tributes to the greatest lover that Hindi cinema has seen, Shahrukh Khan. From a DDLJ reference to Veer Zaara esque sacrifice of the hero to the climax inspired from a very popular scene in Kal Ho Naa Ho, the scenes are sweet yet meaningful and add value to the movie without being forced.
Bareilly Ki Barfi is by far the most fun I have had while watching a Hindi movie in theaters. The movie has everything to make you smile and make sure you have a great time.
Also, arguably the two most entertaining movies of the year had one profession in common: