Bareilly Ki Barfi Review (NO SPOILERS): Leaves a Sweet Taste on the Tongue

What a sweet sweet movie!  That’s the “twist” they don’t show you in the trailer, it is much sweeter than it sounds.  Very barfi like (the sweet, not the other movie of the same name).

I still haven’t seen Nil Battay Sannata.  I know, it was touching and sweet and small and struck a cord in the audience.  But I know that it exists, and it was a story about a mother and a daughter and nothing else fancy around it.  No romance, no big songs, no stars.

This movie is just a step up from that.  A romance that is more about characters than fantasy, some fun songs that are cut a little short, and for stars, well, Ayushmann and Rajkummar Rao and Kriti aren’t really the biggest things going.  But at least I know how to spell their names (I think, Rajkummar and his ms perplex me).  But it keeps a sort of different feel to it, grounded and centered on the characters and the setting instead of commercial value, which I suspect lingers from Tiwari’s last film.

What’s really interesting is that this film had a sold out theater.  On the one side, it benefited from the sort of odd tone of a director coming from a combination of advertising and art films.  And on the other side, it benefited from the failure of the major releases coming out around it.  I mean, Toilet is still doing okay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it dropped off this weekend.  And of course Jab Harry Met Sejal (despite my massively popular posts on it) is terrible.  There’s space for a small sweet film like this to flourish, to find an audience who might enjoy it and give it a chance.

And thank goodness!  Because we need more films like this.  With interesting strong heroines, and complicated love triangles, and great character parts.  The real outstanding entertaining part of this film is Rajkummar Rao.  Who isn’t the hero and doesn’t even show up until well into the movie.  But like Dharmendra in Guddi or Amitabh in Chupke Chupke or Pran in anything, he ends up being the most entertaining part.  The thing that makes this film stand out, be a little different and a little better than it could be.

Rajkummar is the sprinkle on top, but Ayushmann and Kriti are the strong backbone of it.  We have to care about their characters before we care about anything else in the film.  And we do, they are real earnest people who just want to do the best they can and not hurt anyone.  That’s what keeps us watching, and that’s what makes the ending touching.  It’s a small low stakes story, and yet there were people tearing up all over the theater, because we cared about this characters so much, so much more than those smoothed out perfect type characters in other bigger budget films.

I don’t think this film is something everyone will like.  It’s definitely a romance, if you aren’t interested in that, you won’t like it.  And it is very grounded in its particular setting, I don’t know if it will travel well outside of north India.  The songs are fun, but short and not quite as good as they could be.  The actors are good, but not huge stars and so on.  The script is good, but there were a few minutes that fell a little flat.

But for those who like it, it is exactly the sort of movie you have been waiting for.

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18 thoughts on “Bareilly Ki Barfi Review (NO SPOILERS): Leaves a Sweet Taste on the Tongue

  1. It’s sounded quite interesting from the Indicine review, and now you’ve just confirmed it. I was thinking of seeing this, depending on time. Now that I’ve seen the trailer, my main interest is to see Rajkumar Rao in a non-art film role. I’m glad you had fun.

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  2. I was going to try to see it, but it is literately only on one screen in the entire D.C. area, and one that is far away from me. The closest option for me is the local highbrow house near me, which is doing a double feature of Gangs of Wasseypur parts 1 and 2 this weekend. Not sure I am up for that!

    I have seen several of Ayushmann’s films and really enjoy him, though he seems to getting typecast. Time for a Darr.

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    • But he’s so good at that one very specific thing he does! I’ll be happy if he keeps cranking out interesting films like this.

      Definitely, wait for it to be streaming or DVD and check it out, this is a fun little film.

      On Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 8:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Yay, sounds good! I’m so glad the film turned out as good as the trailers.

    I actually watched Chupke Chupke last night and was so disappointed. I appreciate Dharamendra so much more, but otherwise, I found the whole thing completely foolish and not funny at all. I did appreciate that it wasn’t a slapstick, OTT comedy…almost The Importance of Being Ernest for middle cinema Indian crowd, but meh! Also just watched Mili this week and had the same reaction to it. Also found Abhimaan boring, too. I thought I liked Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s style after Khoobsurat (which I did find actually laugh out loud funny), but I guess not.

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    • Hrishikesh Mukherjee is a really specific kind of guy. The setting, the language, the acting style, it’s all distinctly Hrishikesh-y. Which is to say, if you liked Khoobsurat but not anything else you have seen from him, he’s probably not for you.

      On the other hand, can I just say, Dharmendra in a chauffeur’s uniform, HUBBA HUBBA!

      On Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 8:27 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Unfortunately they aren’t screening Bareilly ki Barfi in my town.The word of mouth is really good for the movie.I might end up making a two hour trip to the nearest city.I’m so glad Rajkumar Rao is finally winning you over.I know that you didn’t like him after Queen.And I think it’s cute that these new director couples are coming up in Bollywood.After Gauri Shinde, it’s now the turn of Ashwini Iyer Tiwari.

        Don’t be quick to give up on Hrishikesh Mukherjee.Do check out Gol Maal.You should really give it a try one of these days for Classic Friday.

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  4. Pingback: We LOVED Bareilly Ki Barfi – joint review with Margaret of Don’t Call It Bollywood – MovieMavenGal

  5. Re: Dolly Ki Doli which came up in your Pardesi review…I’d like to hear both of your opinions. The ending isn’t what you’d expect and I think it was changed last minute. I really liked it because it was the perfect character for Sonam and the fashion and songs were great. Also, really fun cameo in it.

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    • Still haven’t watched it, but been curious about it for a long time. Because Rajkummar Rao, and because I am always interested in films where Sonam is the lead.

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  6. Pingback: Bareilly Ki Barfi Review (SPOILERS): Don’t Be Fooled, It Really Is About The Title Character | dontcallitbollywood

    • Loved this review ladies!!

      I agree with your assessment that this film looks and feels rooted in its location. Bareilly is as hardcore Hindi heartland as it gets. There have been so many rooted in small-town films of late which is great because these stories deserve a chance. I did not know this was based on an actual novel. That’s really good!

      And Ayushman!! He is so cute and so talented. His theatre group participated (and won) in a street play event at our college fest way back when he got recognition as an MTV star and this guy has maintained that appeal for his fans with every film. I loved him in Nautanki Sala!! You can totally see that college dramatic society influence working in his movie picks and performances and it’s really endearing that he didn’t just do a bunch of Bollywood masala films just because he was a reality TV star!

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