Unlike Yash Raj Films’ swanky big budget vehicles, this tale of marriage and love from a small town’s perspective bowls you over with its simplicity
If you grew up in the 90′s, you would fondly remember the era of record tape, cassettes, VCR’s and walkman, with a faint smile lingering on your face. Ayushmann Khurrana’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha took me back in time, when I grew up in small quaint town of Ambala, away from the frenetic fast paced life. As the movie continued to chug along nicely, I went back in memory lane and cherished those simpler times in life. Set in Haridwar, Sharat Kataria’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha had managed to pique interest of the masses with it’s simple yet charming trailer. Also, the world is keen to know how good is YRF’s new find, Bhumi Pednekar. So, how isDum Laga Ke Haisha? Read on to find out…
What’s it about:
The film tells the tale of two strangers, Prem (Ayushmann), son of a cassette shop owner, and Sandhya (Bhumi), a B.Ed graduate, who are united in an unlikely matrimony. While Prem is forced into marrying Sandhya, due to pressure from his family members, Sandhya has a genuine liking for Prem. But alas, Prem shows no interest in Sandhya and feels like living a life which he did not order for. In a drunken state, Prem humiliates Sandhya in front of his friends, which leads to Sandhya storming out of the house. The two apply for divorce, but the court orders them to stay with each other for six months before the final separation could happen. Meanwhile, Prem’s family business of cassette recording is threatened by the opening of new CD store in town, which is apparently owned by his rival. After an ugly fight, his rival challenges Prem to take part in Dum Laga Ke Haisha contest, a one of a kind race where husband carries wife on his back, with his wife in order to save his cassette shop. Do Sandhya and Prem get past their misunderstanding and find love in each other? Do the unlikely couple take part and win the Dum Laga Ke Haishacompetition forms the climax of the story.
The movie wins you over with its simplicity as the makers manage to make you smile by beautifully depicting and capturing small things in life. Ayushmann Khurrana has done a commendable job, and looks perfect as the hen-pecked lad in a dysfunctional family, often dominated by his father played by Sanjay Mishra with incredible tenacity. Guess Mr Khurrana can finally forget the nightmare that was Hawaizaada. Bhumi Pednekar is a revelation in the film, and serves as a surprise package, as she impresses one and all with her acting nuances. The actress is also lucky to have played such a strong character of an educated woman, who knows to respect values but one who won’t take shit from others. The supporting cast deserves a standing applause as everyone from Prem’s father, mother, aunt to Sandhya’s mother and brother, manage to tickle your funny bone, never letting the tone of the film turn grim. Kudos Sharat Kataria for telling such a simple story beautifully. Music of Dum Laga Ke Haisha by Anu Malik is winner. Watch out for Kumar Sanu’s guest appearance in the end. There are numerous scenes which stand out like the one where Prem’s mom, overhearing the married couple locked in act of love, saying,” Sayana ho gaya apna Prem”, or the one where a raging fight is interrupted by a tray of birthday pastries or the one where Ayushmann and Bhumi convey their anger to each other through songs of Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. Filled with such little little gems, Dum Laga Ke Haisha manages to keep you chuckling every now and then.
The first half of the film is tad slow and the portions showcasing the discomfort between the married couple tends to drag a bit. Since it is a story from small town of India, the film has hints of prejudice against Indian women and the way they are expected to conduct themselves. Also, Ayushmann’s change of heart in the second half looks a little unconvincing. The film also highlights how big boned women are ridiculed, and despised and are considered undesirable by men, which made me little uncomfortable, but sadly is the ugly truth in our society.
What to do:
If you want to relive the times when life was much simpler, then Dum Laga ke Haisha is the movie for you. Packed with some wonderful performances by the entire cast, the film tells a sweet story, with plenty of comic punches to keep you entertained. Watch it for Bhumi Pednekar who has shown great promise. In closing, I would like to say, go watch Dum Laga ke Haisha with no expectations and more often than not you would leave the theatre with a faint smile lingering on your face.
Reviewed by Subramanian Harikumar
**** Very good