Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dum Laga Ke Haisha :: Movie Review

Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a quirky, refreshingly " Hatke " wholesome family entertainer from YRF which is able to hit the right chords with the audience because the movie has its heart and soul at the right place. The movies makes us nostalgic as it takes us back into the 90's era where we had tape recorders instead of CD/DVD players, more of Priya scooters could be seen hovering on the roads and soothing voice of Kumar Sanu could be heard on nooks & corners of the streets. In fact, Kumar Sanu is spirit of this movie so much so that when the YRF title appears, the usual title track sung by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar has been replaced by vocal chords of Kumar Sanu. The protagonist of the movie Prem (Ayushmann Khurana) owns a cassette recording shop in Haridwar and is a die hard fan of Kumar Sanu. Due to family pressure, he is forced to marry Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar) who is a fatso. On top of it, Sandhya is educated and holds B.Ed degree where as Prem is not even matriculate. Now, Prem feels ashamed of taking his wife out in public and maintains a safe distance from her which is not acceptable to articulate Sandhya, hence tussle ensues between both of them. There is a scene in the movie where Ayushmann plays a song on tape recorder and goes to bathroom, Bhumi immediately replaces the cassette and plays a contrasting song & in reaction Ayushmann comes out of bathroom with soap on his body to replace the song and as soon as he goes back to bathroom Bhumi changes the song again......This goes on & on with almost 4 different songs being played. This scene is a treat to watch and it is several scenes like this in the movie that make the movie so entertaining. There is no forced humor or gags inserted in the movie by unwanted characters, instead the humor flows automatically through the witty situations woven in the screenplay. Most of the humor is mouthed through the simple characters of the movie who represent common people living in small towns of India and their mannerisms. It is the way this story has been crafted and narrated that takes this movie par excellence. The director has in a jovial way reiterated the fact that more than looks, understanding and commitment are the characteristics that pave way for an ideal wife. Traditional men generally go in for looks while choosing their life partner where as the key to a successful marital life lies in compatibility and mutual understanding. Also, the director has beautifully conveyed that it is not necessary that love happens at first sight but it can develop gradually by understanding your partner. In later half of the movie, in one of the scenes Ayushmann says to Bhumi that there will definitely be someone who will love you the way you are irrespective of your being overweight and she replies that she was of the view that you are that guy. This scene has been beautifully captured and sets the tone for the rest of the movie to follow. It is movie made by heart about the usual happenings in the lives of common people of small town and it is this sheer reason that makes this movie stand tall in front of the other typical Bollywood movies.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                                                   ::                           The story, screenplay as well as dialogues of this movie have been penned down by Sharat Kataria who is also the director of this movie. Kudos to Kataria for penning down this narrative which is laden with some very well written scenes which are filled with emotions but never go overboard. You will find abundant situations in Kataria's well chiseled screenplay that are a fine blend of genuine wit and humor. And the biggest strength of his screenplay lies in his well crafted characters who give you a feel of all those common people whom you come across in neighbouring 'Galis' & 'Mohallas'. The movie begins in Haridwar where Prem Prakash Tiwari  (Ayushmann Khurana) is sitting in his father's shop and recording songs on a tape recorder. In his self introductory scene, he confesses about his three weaknesses in life namely his father's slippers, Kumar Sanu's melodious voice and question paper of English exam. Cut next and his father, Chander Bhan Tiwari (Sanjay Mishra), mother Shashi (Alka Amin) & Bua Nain Tara (Sheeba Chaddha) force Prem to tie the nuptial knot with a plump girl, Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar), in spite of his protests. Sandhya is chosen by them because she has a B.ED degree and might add to the fortunes of the family by getting a teacher's job. Prem, however is least interested in her because of her fat figure and cannot accept the fact that he has to share the bed with her. When nothing happens on their first night, the same is conveyed by Sandhya to her mother Subhadra (Seema Pahwa) who in turn insists her daughter to lure her husband by wearing flimsy costumes while playing 'Foreign waali' movies on VCR. The morning routine of Prem includes going to a Shakha for doing exercise. One of his friends from Shakha is about to get married and invites Prem along with his wife to the function. On the eve of function, out of frustration of getting married to a plump girl, Prem drinks too much of alcohol and uses real bad words for Sandhya which she co-incidentally overhears. Being an educated girl, she refuses to stay with Prem any longer and files for a divorce after moving to her parents house. As a legal formality, the court orders the couple to stay together for a period of six months and in case they still don't have a change of mind, they can get divorced legally. As Sandhya comes back to Prem's house, a competition by the name of 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' is announced in their town in which husbands have to carry their wives on their backs and run amongst manmade hurdles. Meanwhile, Prem also starts to understand the feelings of Sandhya and develops a soft corner for her. Prem is coaxed by his parents to participate in the competition. Will Prem & Sandhya have a change of mind regarding divorce, Will they participate in the competition and win, is what forms the rest of the story.

STARCAST                                                                                               ::      Shanoo Sharma, Casting director of this movie deserves a round of applause for choosing the apt starcast as per their characterization in the movie.  Ayushmann Khurana, is one actor who has taken lot of risks by playing diverse characters in all his movies and has not confined himself to any kind of stereotyped roles. He has portrayed the character of Prem to pitch perfection by capturing the finer nuances of his character including the dialect and enacting them on-screen. He has delved so much deep into skin of the character that you will not to be able to locate Ayushmann Khurana in the movie but Prem. It won't be wrong to say that Bhumi Pednekar is the revelation in the movie. Whether it is the shy feeling of her first night, verbal duel with nagging Bua or slapping Prem in front of his friends, she has stood her ground in all these scenes in the most genuine manner. She has ably portrayed the feeling that for a lasting relationship, size and looks does not matter. She gradually charms her way unto your heart by the time movie ends. Sanjay Mishra as Ayushmann's father is a delight to watch. He is one actor who adds substance to every character that he portrays and makes it look as surreal as possible. Alka Amin has given an endearing performance as Prem's mother in the movie. Watch out for the scene where she says " Ab, Humara Prem Syana Ho gya hai". Similarly, Seema Pahwa has portrayed the character of Bhumi's mother to perfection and it is amusing to watch how she educates her daughter on phone about how to entice her husband. Sheeba Chaddha is apt enough as the constantly nagging Bua of Prem. Amongst the ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been delivered by Sanjeeva Vatsa, Shardul Rana, Chandrachoor Rai, Shrikant Verma and Mahesh Sharma. Also, you get to see Kumar Sanu in a special appearance.  

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                                ::       The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Anu Malik where as lyricist of the movie is Varun Grover. Anu Malik has given surprisingly good music making one feel nostalgic about the bygone era. Another highlight of the soundtrack is that it brings backs the soothing n melodious voice of Kumar Sanu. Some of the songs namely Moh moh ke dhaage, Sunder Susheel stay with you for a long time. The cinematographer of the movie is Manu Anand who has done a fine job of capturing the visuals. Manu, through the roving eye of his lens has been able to capture the essence of 'Galis' n 'Mohallas' of Haridwar & Rishikesh in an enchanting manner. Meenal Aggarwal, who is the production designer also deserves accolades for deftly recreating the nineties era with ample usage of cassette recorders, VCR's, Priya scooters and likes in the movie. The movie has been edited by Namrata Rao who has crisply packaged the movie in run-time of 111 minutes which is perfect for the movie of this genre. As a writer-director, Sharat Kataria has managed to impress and scored all the brownie points in crafting this movie. The best part is that he has made an entertaining movie without adding any extravaganza, excessive melodrama or regular bollywood cliches to the movie. He has ably extracted the best performances not only from his lead pair but also from the ensemble starcast. With this movie, Sharat has proved that he is a director to watch out for in future.

CONCLUSION                                                                                            ::          DUM LAGA KE HAISHA is an out of the box, sweet, simple movie that brings smile to your faces and is an out and out family entertainer. I am giving it 4 stars out of 5.  

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