No agenda of social refinement, no big budget glamour to hog limelight. Averagely popular but brilliantly talented actors. Real characters with real flaws, no heroes, no anti-heroes.
All this makes Bareily Ki Barfi a simple story where unburdened performances meet reality and give us 3 hours of homespun entertainment.
Kriti as Bitti is the rebellious small town girl minus the usual Bollywood exaggeration. Struggling to find a match she is up for experiments but no compromises. Spends not more than 5 mins on cursing the ‘sexist samaj’ and moves on. Ayushman’s charm is understated but it kind of works for his character ‘Chirag’. The first half is primarily about these two and the overall rustic setting of Bareilly. There is also a refreshing Parenthood camaraderie that Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa bring to the screen with so much elan. As Bitti’s parents, they are adorable and give us moments that are right out of your living room.
The entertainment quotient suddenly spikes in the second half with Rajkumar Rao’s brilliant act.
While everyone does justice to their part, Rao is a complete show stealer. He switches his character from a timid saree salesman to a badass ‘rangbaaz’ at the drop of a hat. Rao pulls off every quirk with aplomb. His punches are well-timed and effortless. To be honest, that is true for almost everyone. Kudos to the excellent writing!
The script is tight and leaves us with hardly anything to complain. Music is not extraordinary but tends to the same flavor, so no distraction there. Ashwini Iyer Tiwari digs out humor out of simple things in life and that’s what makes Bareily ki Barfi winsome. Add to that an equally delightful narration by Javed Akhtar. What’s not to like?
All in all, a must watch for the sweet aroma of a small town humor and Rajkumar Rao.