by Shaheen Raaj
Producer: Aditya Chopra & Maneesh Sharma
Director: Sharat Katariya
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, débutante Bhumi Pednekar along with Sanjay Mishra, Alka Amin, Sheeba Chaddha, Seema Pahwa & Kumar Sanu
Music: Anu Malik & Andrea Guerra
Sharat Katariya in his debut directorial outing ’10 ML Love’ had seemed totally out of focus. No wonder the film had nosedived at the box office turnstiles. Perhaps Sharat learnt his lesson and mended his directorial ways and how? So in his 2nd directorial outing ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’, strongly backed by Yash Raj Films, Sharat has crafted an endearingly heart touching movie which comes once in a while like a breath of fresh air and leaves a million dollar smile on your countenance even after you walk out of the darkened auditorium.
The scenario of ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’s plot opens (set in circa 1995 in Haridwar), with a self introduction of a neither qualified nor talented Prem Prakash Tiwari (Ayushmann Khurrana), a high – school dropout & a die – hard fan of crooner Kumar Sanu. He confesses that he has only 3 weaknesses in his life namely exam’s English question paper, his father’s slippers & Kumar Sanu’s melodious voice.
This eventually leads to his matrimonial meet, where his parents meet the parents of the ‘B.Ed graduate but fat’ Sandhya Verma (Débutante Bhumi Pednekar), who wants to become a teacher. Seizing the opportunity, Prem’s parents especially his father Chandrabhan Tiwari (Sanjay Mishra) gets him married to Sandhya, even though Prem is least interested in her because of her fat figure. When a very disinterested Prem does “nothing” on their wedding night, this news reaches the ears of both the families, thus making them nervous and also scared about the couple’s future relationship.
Sandhya, on the other hand, who genuinely loves Prem, on the insistence of her mother Subhadra Rani, even tries to seduce him with a ‘foreign waali VCD’. Meanwhile, a certain incident happens between Prem and his friends, in which Prem confesses his utter disliking for Sandhya, which co – incidentally, Sandhya overhears. This leads to her filing for a divorce with Prem. As a legal formality, the court decides a time of 6 months for the couple to spend time with each other, in case they have a change of mind. Amidst all this chaos, their village announces the annual competition named ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’, in which the husbands have to carry their wives on their back and run till the finishing lines, despite all the man made hurdles. Again, on his family’s insistence, a very reluctant Prem agrees to carry the ‘moti saand’ (fatso) Sandhya on his back and take part in the competition.
Director Sharat Katariya is in full bloom in his 2nd directorial offering ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ thereby displaying his sparkling directorial brilliance which touches your heart strings in both the romantic & the melancholic moods of the movie. It seems that Bollywood heroines with svelte figures & sexy persona may now have to take a walk with the arrival of an unconventional heroine like Bhoomi Pednekar. Sharat also deserves a pat on his back for his minutest detailing in the entire film in lieu with each & every character in tandem with their performances. Kudos to Aditya Chopra & Manish Sharma (Producers), Anu Malik & Andrea Guerra (Music Scorers), Varun Grover & Chinni Prakash (Choreographers), Manu Anand (Cinematographer), Shajith Koyeri (Sound), Meenal Aggarwal (Production Designer) and above all brickbats to Namrata Rao (Editor).
Performance wise it is the débutante real & reel life actress Bhumi Pednekar who outshines, but never over shadows the entire cast of the talented & the gifted actors. Bhumi displays her natural flair for acting as if possessing an inborn talent. But her real test in histrionics will be her subsequent outings. The next in line actor who has delivered a par excellence performance is of course Ayushmann Khurana. But a cautionary advice to him, at this juncture will not be out of place, is to take care of his stereotypical expressions & mannerisms mostly in close shots. While the remaining cast members which comprises of Sanjay Mishra, Alka Amin, Sheeba Chaddha, Seema Pahwa et al have once again proved that they still are and will always be stalwarts in the histrionics arena.
Tailpiece: It needs a little more “word of mouth” push to come out as a winner with flying colours. Don’t miss out on this honestly made fare.