Fox Star Studios and Dharma Productions’ Badrinath Ki Dulhania (UA) is a love story with a strong message.

Badrinath Bansal (Varun Dhawan) lives in Jhansi with his strict father, Ambernath Bansal (Rituraj Singh), mother, Shanti Bansal (Leena Prabhu), elder brother, Alok (Yash Sinha), and sister-in-law, Urmila (Shweta Basu). Ambernath Bansal is of the firm belief that women must look after the household chores and not go out to work. Alok had been in love with a girl but his father had forced him to marry Urmila, who, though very educated, dare not step out of the house to work in an office. Quite unknown to Ambernath Bansal, Urmila helps husband Alok in his automobile business and is actually an asset to the business. Ambernath Bansal has a business of money-lending, and Badrinath helps his father in that business.

One day, Badrinath goes to Kota to attend his friend’s wedding. He meets Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) there and falls head over heels in love with her. He tries to woo Vaidehi but she doesn’t think too much of him because he isn’t well-educated. Vaidehi has had a heartbreak in the past, her lover having duped the family of lakhs of rupees and having vanished with that. Vaidehi’s father (Swanand Kirkire) is due to retire from his job in some time. He is very concerned about the weddings of his two daughters, Vaidehi and the older daughter, Kritika (Sukmani Lamba). Vaidehi’s mother (Kanupriya Pandit) is a housewife.

Scared of his father and aware of his aversion to love affairs, Badrinath makes his bosom pal, Somdev (Sahil Vaid), take Vaidehi’s proposal to his father. The father meets Vaidehi’s parents and agrees to the marriage. But Vaidehi is not happy with the marriage proposal and she says so to Badrinath, instead offering her elder sister’s hand in marriage. But since Badrinath is in love with Vaidehi, he refuses to marry Kritika. Rather, he offers to hunt for a suitable match for Kritika. Badrinath and Somdev get lucky when they find an eligible bachelor in Bhushan Patnaik (Aparshakti Khurana), whom Kritika and her family approve of. Even while the proposal in in the negotiation stages, it is about to be cancelled when Mr. Patnaik (Rajendra Sethi) asks for a huge amount as dowry, which is beyond the means of Mr. Trivedi. But Badrinath seeks his brother and sister-in-law’s help, pays the shortfall and saves the marriage from being called off.

Vaidehi now seems obliged to agree to marry Badrinath. But she realises that her dreams to soar high would remain just dreams if she were to marry Badrinath as his father would never allow her to work.  The unexpected happens on the day of the marriage of Vaidehi with Badrinath and Kritika with Bhushan. Vaidehi runs away from home just before the wedding ceremony. Badrinath is devastated. His father feels terribly humiliated. Bhushan, nevertheless, gets married to Kritika.

Unable to forget the insult, Ambernath Bansal asks son Badrinath to track Vaidehi down and bring her to him so that he could teach her a lesson of a lifetime to underline that it doesn’t behove a girl to run away from home. Badrinath comes to Bombay in search of Vaidehi but learns that she has landed a job with an airlines company in Singapore. Badrinath and Somdev then fly to Singapore. Badrinath is still madly in love with Vaidehi. But Vaidehi explains why she can’t marry him.

What happens thereafter? Does Badrinath convince Vaidehi to return to India with him? Does he hoodwink Vaidehi into returning to India with him? Does Vaidehi marry Badrinath? Or does Badrinath, like his elder brother, marry a girl of his father’s choice?

Shashank Khaitan has written a story which has love, romance, comedy, humour, drama, betrayal, emotions etc. The first half is light and full of fun moments. After interval, the story takes an emotional turn. Shashank Khaitan’s screenplay is very engrossing and fast-paced. It may not be seamless at places but the audience would want to overlook the slight bumps, if only because the drama is so entertaining otherwise. The audience laughs throughout the first half and often sheds tears post-interval. Shashank Khaitan, however, has taken care to infuse the emotional drama post-interval with humorous anecdotes so that the drama doesn’t become heavy at any time. Although predictable, the climax has been written so effectively that the audience feels a sense of elation. Shashank Khaitan’s dialogues are pleasing to the ears and also touch the heart.

Varun Dhawan is excellent as Badrinath. This is undoubtedly Varun’s best performance to-date. If he is supremely endearing in the light scenes, he is very effective in the emotional and dramatic ones. He does the fullest justice to the character of Badrinath Bansal and that includes delivering dialogues like a resident of Uttar Pradesh. Alia Bhatt is outstanding, as always. The ease with which she performs is indeed praiseworthy. Whether in comic scenes or emotional or dramatic ones, Alia is at her best. In fact, she performs the emotional scenes like a seasoned actress. Her smile and laughter are infectious. She looks extremely pretty. Together, Varun and Alia carry the film effortlessly on their shoulders. Sahil Vaid is splendid in the role of Somdev. He makes some of the scenes memorable by his sheer talent – like, for example, the one in which Varun (Badrinath) apologises to him. Yash Sinha is endearing and effective as Alok Bansal. Shweta Basu is lovely as Urmila Bansal. Rituraj Singh makes the character of Ambernath Bansal believable with his natural performance. Swanand Kirkire leaves a fine mark as Mr. Trivedi. Sukmani Lamba (as Kritika Trivedi) does a good job. Aparshakti Khurana is endearing as Bhushan Patnaik. Leena Prabhu (as Shanti Bansal) and Kanupriya Pandit (as Mrs. Trivedi) lend very good support. Gauhar Khan makes her presence felt as Laxmi Shankar. Gaurav Pandey (as Gurmeet) and Akansha Singh (as Kiran) have their moments. Rajendra Sethi is natural to the core as Mr. Patnaik. Sunil Uppal (as Panditji), Anjuman Saxena (as Mrs. Patnaik), Atul Nagrang (as Sagar) and the rest provide decent support.

Shashank Khaitan’s direction is mature. His narration is fresh and he never lets go of the thread of entertainment even once. Kudos to him for providing entertainment for all age groups and all classes of people. He deserves special praise for the message in the film, passed on without making it sound like sermonising. Music is very good. The ‘Badri ki dulhania’ song (composed by Tanishk Bagchi) is mass-appealing. ‘Roke na ruke’ (Amaal Malik) and ‘Humsafar’ (Akhil Sachdeva) are very melodious songs. ‘Tamma Tamma’ (original compostion by Bappi Lahiri, remixed by Tanishk Bagchi) is, of course, a hit. Lyrics (Shabbir Ahmed, Kumaar, Akhil Sachdeva; ‘Tamma Tamma’ by Indeevar, rap by Badshah) are very good. Song picturisations (‘Badri ki dulhania’ and ‘Aashiq surrender’ by Ganesh Acharya; ‘Tamma Tamma’ by Bosco-Caeser; ‘Humsafar’ by Feroz Khan) are very youthful and eye-filling. John Stewart Eduri’s background music is impactful. Neha Parti Matiyani’s cinematography is just too beautiful. Shashank Tere’s production designing is of a very good standard. Manan Sagar’s editing is razor-sharp.

On the whole, Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a hit. It has entertainment for the masses and the classes, for the young and the old, for the girls and the guys, for the big as well as the small centres and for the multiplex audience as well as for the single-screen cinema audience. It will keep the producers, distributors and exhibitors smiling from ear to ear.