A National Award winning writer (Nitesh Tiwari – Chillar Party); a National Award winning actor (Rajkummar Rao); a director who has impressed with her earlier work (Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari – Nil Battey Sannata); another male lead who is championing the realistic cinema movement in Bollywood (Ayushmann Khurrana); and a female lead who is not just a treat to the eyes but also improving as an actress with each film (Kriti Sanon).

This week’s release Bareilley Ki Barfi (August 18) has multiple aspects in its favour! Add to it the celeb reviews that dubbed it a “delightful watch”, I was expecting to have a good time at the theatre. But did Bareilly Ki Barfi turn out to be the sweet entertaining watch the trailer and songs promised or does it leave a bad taste in the mouth? Read in my review…

What’s It About? 
Bitti Mishra (Kriti Sanon) is a free-spirited young girl who finds her small town of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh too small for the lifestyle she dreams of. According to her mother (Seema Bhargava), her modern ways (which include smoking cigarettes, breakdancing and watching English films) are reasons why she is scaring away her potential grooms. Her father (Pankaj Tripathi) is more accommodating of Bitti’s ways. However, the constant cribbing by the mother gets on to her and she starts blaming herself too for being someone with just too many flaws.

But the novel ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, the story of which resonates with her own life, gives her hope that there is someone out there who will like and love her for who she is. Thus begins her hunt for the author Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkummar Rao). Her first step it to reach out to the publisher Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana) who’ll further help her with the details of Pritam. A case of mistaken identity skews the relationship dynamics among the three. Initially, we see Chirag harbouring love for Bitti and she in turn only infatuated with Pritam. But the turn of events lead to both Chirag and Pritam vying for Bitti’s love and attention. Who will win in this love triangle forms the rest of the film.

What’s Hot?
Bareilly Ki Barfi is the simple, sweet love story that tugs at your heartstrings sans any sentimental drama. The romance is real as are the emotions of the characters involved. Though the story begins to a slow start, and might seem too bland for your sweet tooth, it gradually picks up thanks to the generous garnish of some delightful performances.

Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao pass with flying colours for playing their parts convincingly. You’d be surprised to see Ayushmann in his new found full of swag avatar. The actor, who’s been playing the boy next door roles since sometime now, looks ready for a more gritty character.

Rajkummar is a revelation yet again with his gullible Pritam Vidrohi. His switch from a vulnerable, under confident chap to a Tapori with a bindaas bhai attitude showcases his unparalleled range as a performer.

Kriti looks pretty and plays her small town girl part without going OTT.

The story and dialogues are well written to keep you entertained throughout and also ensure some LOL moments. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s direction captures the small town nuances well and her eye for detail is impeccable.

Talking about the music, all the songs complement the narrative with Nazm Nazm being a lyrical delight.

What’s Not?
Some parts of the story and the characters were not convincing enough. For instance, in the narration, Javed Akhtar points out that the Mishra sadan in Bareilly is a house full of mad people. Even Ayushmann Khurrana’s sidekick warns him, ‘bachke rehna, paaglon ka ghar hai.’ But in the course of the film, you would struggle to see what is so crazy about this family of three.

As far as the character of Bitti’s father is concerned, the director fails to get the best out of Pankaj Tripathi, one of the most versatile artists in Bollywood. His act of an old, worried yet doting father looks too forced.

What To Do?
Bareilly Ki Barfi is laced with some beautiful performances. It’s a sweet love story with an ending that’ll leave a smile on your face.

Verdict:
India.com rating: 3 stars

Watch the official trailer of Bareilly Ki Barfi below

Bareilly Ki Barfi releases on Friday, August 18, 2017. Comment to share your excitement for the film.