Badrinath ki Dulhania live review: Loud cheers for Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan; packed theatres

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It’s early Friday morning, and for what is supposed to be a working day, the suburban theatre at which I’m taking in the first day, first show of the Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhwan starrer Badrinath Ki Dulhania is oddly full.

I breezed in, expecting to be greeted by an empty auditorium where I’d have my pick of seats. Instead, I’m wedged in between a gang of kids who seem to be in their late teens. They look at me askance, and I suddenly realise I’m the oldest person in the room by far.

The kids in the theatre — I imagine their college classrooms are strikingly deserted this morning if they’ve showed up en masse for this film (as deserted as I expected the auditorium to be) — cheer on the trailers: Naam Shabana and Phillauri meet with their cheers, which makes me think these films can look forward to as much of an audience as Badrinath has clearly managed to.

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Then the Dharma Productions logo comes on and we’re off.

We start with a montage of Jhansi, where our hero Badrinath (Dhawan) lives with his parents — a rather feudal father (who uses chest pains and threats of a heart attack to control the family when his orders don’t work), a quiet mother, a brother (who had to give up the girl he loved to marry the bride chosen for him by his father due to said heart attack) and sister-in-law.

Badri (his onscreen entry, as he poses for a photo to be shared for matrimonial matchmaking purposes, is greeted by loud cheers by the audience) is now of marriageable age; at a wedding, he meets Vaidehi (Alia Bhatt), a feisty lass who isn’t smitten with the hero at first sight — as he clearly is.

And so begin Badri’s attempts to woo Vaidehi.

Watch the trailer here:

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