There was a time when Doordarshan used to rule the middle class households. Cable tv was in its very nascent stage. The Khans were the next big things, but at that point of time, they were just chocolate boy heroes (as the tabloids used to call them!) pitted against the entertainer No. 1 (no prizes for guessing Virar ka chokra!) and Kumar Sanu was the king of melodies. I repeat, the King. We tend to get nostalgic about that era because in all of us, there is small part which belonged to the 90’s. We loved the Tv programs, even advertisements, the jhankaar beat songs and rotary phones with missed calls to inform the arrival and trunk calls through operators. Dum Laga Ke Haisha takes us back to that era. The love for double sided cassettes, recording them at the local store for 20 bucks and then listening to it till the cassette gets all wobbly, it all comes back to the mind when you watch this little gem of a film.The director Mr. Sharat Kataria must’ve been one of us, who keep on reminiscing about that time. He tells a very simple but thought provoking story of a newly-wed couple, who have individual identity crises.
A good for nothing Prem is married off ( True in every sense !) to a well educated, plus size young lady Sandhya. While Sandhya is happy to start her new life with such a good looking guy, Prem finds it really difficult to get along with this girl with weight issues. Adding salt to the injury are the parents and the family members of the couple, who have their own agenda. There’s a father who’s constantly disapproving of his son, but equally reciprocates his affection for the daughter-in-law. There are mothers, who faint on the slightest hint of divorce, give “krantikari” advice to the daughter to entice her husband by watching english cinema and even have tears of joy when they successfully interpret the noise coming from the bed springs as the ‘Act’. There are friends at the local gym (a wonderful tip of hat to RSS !) who, between the exercise regime provide suggestions of all sorts. There’s a married-but-left-at-home aunt, who keeps on passing snide remarks to the bride for her weight issues. And there’s Kumar Sanu. He’s omnipresent in this movie. Rather he’s the soul of this movie !! With all this mayhem and shades of incompatibility between the couple, they keep searching for love, respect and a little understanding.

The very talented Mr. Ayushmann Khurana gets into the role of Prem very easily. He makes the character believable to such an extent that you feel hatred for the guy and get amused, equally. Watch out for the scenes between him and Sakha Babu, where he explains his helplessness while getting married and the “sharirik bibashta” having intercourse with his bride, in equal sense. Evenly matched are the scenes where every time he has his ass whooped by his father. Mr. Khurana is a rare talent and we wish to see more of his such versatile roles in future.

The debutant Ms. Bhumi Pednekar plays Sandhya and she does it with such a finesse that’s so rare in today’s actors. She enacts the role of an educated woman with weight issues who’s really confident about herself and doesn’t give a damn to the world. Looking to win her husband’s love, once she gets to see his insensitive side she never minces a word before saying the much dreaded D word. Bhumi is very endearing as Sandhya and plays her part perfectly to the T. The assorted star cast is wonderfully led by the brilliant Mr. Sanjay Mishra, Ms. Sheeba Chadda, Ms. Seema Pahwa and Ms. Alka Amin. They play their characters so well, that they start resembling some of your own relatives ! And together they literally burn the screen with their collective acting prowesses. Watch out for the court scene for an acting lesson on hard core comedy.

Not without flaws, this movie has its shares. The Dum Laga Ke Haisha competition, which brings the couple closer and makes them realise the true bond of love and togetherness looks too convenient and is etched out in a very superfluous manner. Probably a little development on this would have been better. To give the due where it’s required, the first time director Mr. Kataria weaves this tale with some beautiful scenes shot in Haridwar and Rishikesh with this talented star cast rather wonderfully. Cinematography and editing are of top notch with hilarious dialogues. Music plays an important role in this movie, where the couple has this tiff and reply with songs by constantly changing cassettes while the entire family watches !! The film ends with a “geet” which’s a homage to the countless Govinda-Karishma songs and to the king of melody Kumar sanu who plays himself in a special appearance.

If you really want to go ROFL and LMFAO at the same time, then please watch this charming love story. 

The Cinemawala Rating: 3.5/5

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