Bareilly Ki Barfi (transl. Bareilly’s barfi) is a 2017 Indian romantic comedy film directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and starring Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Rajkumar Rao, with Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa portraying supporting roles. The film was theatrically released in India on 18 August 2017, receiving generally positive reviews from critics, and emerged as a commercial success grossing over ₹600 million (US$8.4 million) worldwide against a budget of ₹200 million (US$2.8 million). The film ran for more than 70 days in both India and abroad, and received six nominations at the 63rd Filmfare Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Pahwa) and Best Film, and won Best Director (Tiwari) and Best Supporting Actor (Rao).
The movie’s title is the name of a book written by Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana), a young man in the town of Bareilly who runs his own printing press. He writes this book five years ago when dealing with heartbreak and publishes it under the name of his friend Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkumar Rao) to protect his identity.
In the present time, Bitti (Kriti Sanon), a tomboyish girl in Bareilly, runs away from home after yet another failed attempt at arranged marriage. While waiting for a train, she buys and reads a book, Bareilly Ki Barfi, and realizes that she is the main character mentioned in the book. She returns home and tries to seek out the author Vidrohi, as mentioned on the back cover. She traces the book down to Chirag’s printing press and enquires about the author.
Vidrohi had left town many years ago after the book had been published. Realizing that Bitti thinks she is the character in the novel, Chirag gets close to her to find out how much she resembles his ex-girlfriend, who is the actual inspiration behind the book. He pretends to be the messenger for Bitti and Vidrohi’s subsequent letter exchanges, keeping secret the fact that he is the actual author of the letters as this may be his chance of finding love again.
Bitti longs to meet Vidrohi so Chirag goes to Lucknow to bring him back. His intention is to use Vidrohi as a foil, showing him in bad light so that Bitti forgets about him and opens up to Chirag’s proposal instead. The real Vidrohi is meek and timid, and Chirag teaches him to act as a street-smart ruffian in contrast to the image of him that Bitti has in mind. When the two meet, Bitti is shocked at Vidrohi’s rough behaviour, but slowly starts getting attracted to him when she perceives that he might be misunderstood by society, much like herself.
Realizing his plan is backfiring, Chirag lies to Bitti’s mother that Vidrohi had previously married. Since marrying a divorcee is against societal norm, Chirag unknowingly sabotages Vidrohi’s chances of marrying Bitti’s best friend, Rama, for whom he had taken a liking. Vidrohi lashes out at Chirag for what he perceives as years of manipulation, and in revenge, promises to make Bitti fall for him instead.
A hapless Chirag sees his attempts at maligning Vidrohi fail, and soon, Vidrohi and Bitti are about to get engaged. Resigned to the fact that Bitti now loves Vidrohi, Chirag writes a final letter to her to be read by Vidrohi on the day of their engagement. At the ceremony, Vidrohi turns up with a sore throat and returns the letter to Chirag to read instead. The letter ends with Chirag/Vidrohi asking Bitti to marry her. Bitti then comes up to Chirag, reveals she knew all along that he was the real author, and agrees to marry him.
It is revealed that on the second day of his visit, an emotional Vidrohi, overwhelmed at being asked to act like a ruffian, had spilled Chirag’s secret to Bitti. All events leading up to their engagement had been a charade to test whether Chirag was really in love with Bitti or just the idea that she resembled his ex-girlfriend. In the epilogue, Chirag marries Bitti while Vidrohi marries Rama, and the two couples lead a happy married life in Bareilly.
Ayushmann Khurrana as Chirag Dubey, Bitti’s love interest, writer of the book “Bareilly Ki Barfi”
Rajkummar Rao as Pritam Vidrohi, Chirag’s friend and salesmen at a saree store
Kriti Sanon as Bitti Mishra, Narottam and Susheela’s daughter, Chirag’s love (Few lines as Mona Ghosh Shetty)
Pankaj Tripathi as Narottam Mishra, Bitti’s father
Seema Pahwa as Susheela Devi Mishra, Bitti’s mother
Sapna Sand as Vidrohi’s mother
Lovleen Mishra as Chirag’s mother
Rohit Chaudhary as Munna, Chirag’s friend
Swati Semwal as Rama, Bitti’s friend and Vidrohi’s love interest
Naila Grewal as Babli, Chirag’s ex-girlfriend
Javed Akhtar as narrator
Rakesh Dubey as goon