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‘Badhaai Do’ Review: Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar Shine In This Wholesome Entertainer

The makers already had a tough job on their hands, thanks to the first installment in the franchise, the National-Award winning film Badhaai Ho. And to the audiences' surprise, they achieve a feat by delivering a progressive storyline, with a blend of comedy making it a wholesome entertainer.

Badhaai Ho Movie Review
Badhaai Do starring Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar in the leads released this Friday in cinemas worldwide. (Image: YouTube/JungleePictures)

HOW can a modern-day marriage between two diametrically opposite individuals be given an intriguing twist? Well, sketch them both to be homosexuals, that definitely makes for an unprecedented storyline! Adding a tint of humor and an excelling cast to a sensitive issue always works in favor of the filmmakers, but is that enough to make the audiences glued to their seats for a 152-minute-long film? Badhaai Do proves why this is a sure-shot winning formula.

Badhaai Do starring Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar in the leads released this Friday in cinemas worldwide. The makers already had a tough job on their hands, thanks to the first installment in the franchise, the National-Award winning film Badhaai Ho. And to the audiences’ surprise, they achieve a feat by delivering a progressive storyline packed with comic punches to make it a wholesome entertainer.

Rajkummar plays the Police inspector Shardul while Bhumi plays the physical education teacher Suman. There isn’t much suspense to the storyline of the movie considering the lengthy 3-minute-long trailer, which basically acts like a gist of the film. 

This movie introduces us to a new term to add to our vocabulary, ‘a lavender marriage’. In layman terms, a Lavender marriage happens when a gay man marries a lesbian woman to hide their respective sexual preferences from the world so that they can secretly lead a happy peaceful life with the partners of their choices.

The movie does charter an otherwise unchronicled territory, and begins from where movies like Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, Dostana, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga roll their end credits: marriage.

Here’s the main conflict: the lead pair submits to a lavender marriage in order to escape their parents’ constant pestering about marriage and the gazillion questions that follow. The two live together like roommates and live individual lives in a conservative police colony.

The drama continues when Suman’s love interest walks in and starts living with the married couple while the families wonder why Suman and Shardul haven’t been able to give ‘good news’ even after spending a year togethe.

Director Harshvardhan Kulkarni had a tough job on his hands while dealing with a sensitive matter, and he did it with utmost caution and maturity. There are no dark jokes or demeaning any community while attempting to deliver one-liners or witty punch-lines. 

Shoutout to the director for making the audiences see the intimate scenes between the two couples without making it awkward or mechanical.

Rajkummar Rao delivers yet another character with utmost ease and looks tailor-made for his role. Right from his dialogues to him flaunting his muscles breaks away from the stereotypical image we have seen of gay men in Bollywood in the past. Kudos to Rajkummar!

Bhumi is in full-form as the unapologetic and unabashed PE teacher who makes no qualms about her partner preferences. 

Debutant Chum Darang also deserves a special mention, who plays the parallel lead alongside Rajkummar and Bhumi. It comes as a refresher to see an actor from the North-East creating her own space in the frames she is in, and looking confident while delivering her performance.

The supporting cast is undeniably an important part of any film, with veterans like Seema Pahwa, Sheeba Chaddha, Nitesh Pandey taking the baton forward every now and then. We also get to see Gulshan Devaiah in a hilarious cameo which will make you want to see more of him in the future.

The music isn’t impactful, with the title track by Tanishk Bagchi being the only song to stand out, while the background score does make sure to keep the film on a light-hearted track.

Coming to the duration of the film, at about 153-minutes, the story seems stretched. Though the movie starts with a good pace, it loses its grip while it proceeds to the second half but is able to get back on track towards the climax.

The movie doesn’t really delve deep into the complexities and the stigma surrounding homophobia. Badhaai Do neither goes all-in nor an all-out, playing safe somewhere in the middle while dodging the bullets. 

Overall, the movie isn’t preachy and tries to normalize homosexual relationships, with the star cast portraying relatable and realistic characters convincingly.

Watch this one if you’re looking for a light-hearted entertainer in theaters near you!

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