Thanks to Ayushmann Khurrana, small-town comedies have become a genre unto itself, and it appears that more and more directors are turning to this technique to tell stories that are specifically about India’s rural areas. Although Madhur Bhandarkar, who is often known for his realistic films, has taken a creative turn with Babli Bouncer, it is clear that the picture fits into this genre. Even though he did Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji a decade ago, neither reviewers nor viewers thought highly of the movie.
A 20-something girl named Babli Tanwar (Tamannaah Bhatia) hails from Fatehpur Beri, widely known as the Village of Bouncers, which is located close to Delhi. Babli gives up on education after failing her 10th grade board examinations five times in a row. Babli does not share her mother Ganga’s (Supriya Shukla) desire for her to become more “feminine” and excel in the kitchen in order to get married off. She enjoys leading a modest life in her village and occasionally roughs with her buddy Pinky (Priyam Saha) at eve-teasers. Until she meets Viraj (Abhishek Bajaj), the son of Pinky’s school teacher and an attractive young man who has recently returned from London, she seems to have continued to body shame Pinky, calling her a “Dhol” (Drum). Babli, who comes from a family of wrestlers and bodybuilders, secures a position as a female bouncer at a Delhi nightclub in an effort to make a good impression on Viraj as an independent woman. She doesn’t really realise her own potential until she experiences heartbreak, though.
Babli is neither typically feminine or elegant, as her mother claims. She has a large appetite and doesn’t mind burping in front of people, as has been proved several times. Even her attire doesn’t fit the most traditional definition of gender suitable. However, these character flaws appear to be deliberate attempts to challenge and disrupt social norms. A lovelorn hero from a Hindi film who is propelled into action after falling in love is most likened to Babli’s character arc.
Tamannaah Bhatia portrays the role admirably. She speaks Haryanvi naturally, for one thing. Second, it is clear that she has changed to look the part of a lady bouncer. The actress excels in action sequences as she battles against rogues in particular. Gajanan Tanwar, the loving father of Babli, is portrayed by Saurabh Shukla, who is perfect for the role. It’s a pleasure to see Sahil Vaid as the really charming Kukku who is in love with Babli. As Viraj, Abhishek Bajaj is amazing as well.
The plot and character arcs of Madhur Bhandarkar’s tale of a female bouncer are highly original, yet they have been seen before. However, it doesn’t hurt the movie because it makes for a light-hearted one-time watch on lazy days.