Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt star in Bollywood blockbuster Badrinath Ki Dulhania which has biggest UK opening in Ilford

Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Picture: Fox Star Studios India

Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Picture: Fox Star Studios India - Credit: Picture: Fox Star Studios India

Bollywood fans will be pleased that the eagerly anticipated Badrinath Ki Dulhania is being released in Ilford Cineworld today in time for Holi.

 Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Picture: Fox Star Studios India

Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Picture: Fox Star Studios India - Credit: Picture: Fox Star Studios India

The film, a spiritual successor to 2014’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, sees award-winning actors Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt reunite under director Shashank Khaitan, albeit in different roles.

Billed as a romantic comedy drama, it tells the story of Badrinath Bansal (Dhawan), a conservative young man from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, who falls for free-spirited Vaidehi Trivedi (Bhatt) from Kota, Rajasthan.

The pair hold diametrically opposed views on everything, including life, love and marriage, but are still able to see the goodness in each other, and their story unfolds as they travel between their home towns (via Mumbai and Singapore).

This is Dhawan and Batt’s third film together, after Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and 2012’s Student of the Year, but it explores more serious themes than their previous work.

“This has been a journey of ups and downs because my character goes through a lot of changes as the film progresses,” Dhawan said.

“It has been more emotional than other films of mine which are more light-hearted.”

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Alongside the Bollywood staples of dancing, music and colourful costumes, Badrinath Ki Dulhania looks at the thorny issue of gender roles in modern India. Badrinath wants to find a wife and settle down, but Vaidehi wants a career and an escape from the life her mother and sister have chosen.

“Vaidehi is not a shy girl,” said Batt.

“She’ll make for a good daughter-in-law, but she’s not shy at all — she’s very outspoken.”

Despite this potentially controversial theme, the film has been well-reviewed in India, where it is expected to make around £1.5 million on its first day, which would put it in the top 50 opening days in Bollywood history.

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