The heroine of Bawri Chhori is on an unusual quest: to travel from India to London, find her runaway husband and feed him to the pigs.

Armed with a list of Abhishek’s last-known contacts and loads of anger, Radhika (Aahana Kumra) arrives in the British capital and proceeds to put her plan into motion. Along the way, she meets characters who deepen her understanding of both womanhood and immigration. At least, that is what we think the screenplay, by director Abhishek Jaiswal and Prateek Payodhi, wants to convey.

The Eros Now original film is chopped up into a series of scenes as chunky as the bits of bacon that Radhika studies as part of her research. Bawri Chhori works only when it slows down and stops trying to be wacky and wise.

Radhika’s foolhardy scheme and clueless behaviour make her an unlikely champion of abandoned women. Better than her harebrained ideas and the preposterous ease with which she navigates a foreign land are the relationships that flower from fleeting encounters.

Among the Londoners who steady Radhika and moderate her temper are another rejected wife (played by Niki Walia) and the half-Indian Anna (Rumana Molla). Radhika and Anna team up to find Abhishek (Sagar Arya) while making the time for some female bonding.

The best moments in the always-in-a-hurry plot emerge from the encounter between Radhika and her old friend Anand (Vikram Kocchar), who now drives a taxi in London. Distance and time haven’t dimmed Anand’s feelings for Radhika, leading to some sweet scenes between them.

Aahana Kumra’s doughty performance is especially admirable given the embarrassing East-West encounters into which she is forced. Wandering about London with a strolley, a moralistic view of British ways, and nary a clue, Kumra’s Radhika nevertheless conveys sparkiness and a sense of purpose. The rest of the cast performs well too, and would have been even more memorable if the movie hadn’t tried so hard to bring home the bacon.

Bawri Chhori (2021).