Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Director: Sharat Katariya
Cast: Ayushmann Khurana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra
A director who has delivered a dud on debut, a talented actor whose star is on the wane and a first-time actress who is a far cry from the typical ‘Perfect beauty’ kind of heroines….Yashraj Films couldn’t have chosen a more unlikely lead team for their latest film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. But they have done that. And on top of that they have also ditched their patented foreign locales, NRI themes and chiffon saris. The result is surprisingly refreshing!
What’s the plot?
It is Haridwar in the 1990s. A high-school dropout (Ayushmann Khurana), who is perpetually ordered around by his authoritarian father (Sajay Mishra), is running a small music cassette shop. His family, much against his will, marries him off with a girl (Bhumi Pednekar) who is far too educated and far too heavy for his liking! The forced marriage fails to take off. Things come to a head and the indignant wife walks out. How will this mismatched pair ever reconcile their differences? Will they ever be able to love each other?
· Director Sharat Katariya successfully brings to life a simple tale of a feuding young couple. The North Indian small town middle-class patriarchal mentality and the 90s touch are captured well.
· Light-hearted humor and shunning of melodrama are noteworthy features.
· Almost every character is well-etched and well-acted. The supporting cast led by the redoubtable Sanjay Mishra is excellent. Singer Kumar Sanu appears in a cameo.
· After dishing out some questionable performances in his last few films, Ayushman Khurana finally gets it right. His portrayal of a bottled up small-town guy, who is ordered around by everybody and who feels like a loser in every sense, is convincing.
· Debutant actress Bhumi Pednekar plays her ‘heavyweight’ role to perfection. She is endearingly natural as the happy-go-lucky yet spirited girl, who never looks at her weight as some issue; but who is heart-broken after her husband heaps insults on her.
· The film slows down at some places.
· No surprises on the way.
· The story could have been made more nuanced and interesting.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a sweet, simple story of common-folk and their struggle to find the true meaning of life and love. Its North Indian small town ambience reminds of the recent films like Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and Aankhon Dekhi. It may be a Yashraj Film but cinematically it belongs more to the school of Rajshri Films; thankfully it is without the wishy-washy melodrama that typically mars the latter.