Posted by Fenil Seta
MUMBAI MIRROR (August 10, 2017)
Like in his 2016 wrestling-drama, Dangal, in which the story is narrated by protagonist Geeta Phogat’s cousin, Omkar’s (Apaarshakti Khurrana), writer-director Nitish Tiwari thought of taking a similar approach when penning the story of Bareilly Ki Barfi for his filmmaker-wife Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. The Junglee Pictures and B R Chopra production is co-written by Nitesh and Shreyas Jain and set in the small town of Uttar Pradesh.
“We wanted a narrator who is not just a voiceover but a key character through the film. Someone who is an integral part of the paagal Mishra family,” points out Ashwiny who roped in fivetime National Award-winning lyricist Javed Akhtar as the sutradhar in the Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon romcom.
She adds, “In any small town where houses are closely stuck, everybody is a part of the family and knows exactly what’s happening in whose house. So the sutradhar in our film is a neighbour who has been a witness to the Mishras interesting journey.”’
Ashwiny informs that it was creative producer, the late BR Chopra’s grandson Kapil aka Juno Chopra, who was instrumental in bringing the Padma Shri on board. “When dad (late filmmaker Ravi Chopra) was directing Baghban, he asked Javed sir to help with the climax and even after all these years, it’s the most poetic finale. Fifteen years later, I got Javed sir on board again and life has come a full circle,” says Kapil.
The August 18 release features Rajkummar as a shy salesman, Pritam, who turns into a stud Romeo to break starry-eyed Bitti’s (read Kriti) heart so Ayushmann, as Chirag, can woo her. The plan backfires when not just Bitti but her entire family grows fond of Vidrohi and a glowering Chirag is sidelined.
“The narrator had to be someone who enriches the story with dollops of humour with his understanding of language, intonations and expressions. Who better than Javed sir,” Juno signs off with a smile.