Police officer Shardul (Rajkummar Rao) and physical education teacher Sumi (Bhumi Pednekar) are homosexuals. They are fed up with their families who pressurize them to marry someone. Shardul and Sumi happen to meet somehow and after knowing their sexual orientation, they decide to marry to silence their concerns. But the matters get worse and they keep hiding from their families.
Badhaai Do is considered a ghost sequel to Badhaai Ho so a sexual issue is addressed to ‘perhaps’ continue the series and commercialize the awareness. Two factors play important role in such an impressive story. One, South Asian families are too demanding to their young ones and strictly make their life decisions and believe they are right and the young ones are opposite. Why their wishes and ambitions are never asked? Why their future is decided by the elders? Only they can explain this but this matter is wonderfully exaggerated in Badhaai Do. Two, the existence of homosexuality is almost impossible to express for the LGBTQ community, and unfortunately have to lie all their lives to avoid any social havoc. Because of their being homos, the balance of life hangs around whether the family and society will accept them or not. And this also is brilliantly picturized in the film.
If these two central characters are played by Rajkummar and Bhumi, more than half of the film is guaranteed either commercial success or acceptance by the general public. These actors along with Ayushmann Khurrana have successfully addressed social issues existing in India that need the audience’s attention.
Badhaai Do is quite a lengthy film for the subject. Because the story didn’t have enough detailing to make it to 147 minutes. Around half an hour is spent on the songs out of nowhere. Besides the tracks, a lot of the film’s screenplay is written about Shardul and Sumi struggling to escape from the whys and hows of their marriage.
The film got serious after over a hundred minutes and addressed the issue. And at this point, I detected that the screentime would have easily been reduced. There were many instances where they would have been exposed.
In the last few years, the makers have raised a lot of social issues. They even start on a promising note but the plot is lost in the middle and ends either abruptly with no technical conclusion or is very predictable. And that is the same problem with this film. The hatred of family about homosexuality turns into accepting their choices so abnormally. Absolutely no consequences on the homos from the elders. Maybe the elders are aware that the film is finishing so let us just drop our egos and embrace them.
The director had his best chance to finish the film at the LGBTQ rally on the highway with Shardul wearing that mask and smiling at his friends. Anyway, the performances are first-rate. Both Rajkummar and Bhumi were excellent. Seema Pahwa and Sheeba Chaddha are superb but I am afraid they are getting typecasted, especially Seema Pahwa. Most of the time she shows up in the film, Seema will be stuck in similar roles.
Badhaai Do deserves praise for raising such a sensitive issue.