How Badrinath Ki Dulhania Tries (And Fails) To Be DDLJ

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How Badrinath Ki Dulhania Tries (And Fails) To Be DDLJ

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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here’s a scene in Shashank Khaitan’s Badrinath Ki Dulhania where Varun Dhawan’s Badrinath Bansal and Alia Bhatt’s Vaidehi Trivedi get really really drunk. In that moment, the two are reminiscent of Bollywood’s most iconic pair: Raj and Simran from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. While in DDLJ, the point of the scene was to set up that Simran was physically safe with Raj, in Badrinath…, it is to establish Vaidehi’s emotional safety with Badri. What follows is a casual yet arresting role-reversal from DDLJ, where a dejected Badri proceeds to tell Vaidehi how he has to go home and marry someone he’s never met, in almost the same words that Simran used back in the day.

Unlike his first outing Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, where Khaitan’s DDLJ overtones were evident, in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, he’s rather judicious. There’s a babuji modelled on Amrish Puri in the film, who is a staunch believer in arranged marriages – but in a tweak on this familiar trope, he is the hero’s father. Then there is Vaidehi, the girl with a past, while Badri is the virgin. Similar to DDLJ, much of Badrinath Ki Dulhania is spent on the boy chasing the girl who refuses to take him seriously. Khaitan tasks Badri with the additional quest of earning Vaidehi’s respect.

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