Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra
Direction: Sharat Katariya
Dum Laga Ke Haisha continuously makes you smile. This is a film with a big heart and you’ll also love watching this one for the kind of nostalgia it evokes.
It’s a simple love story; not unlike many romantic tales that we must have watched in the 1980s – an era this film is happily reminiscing. Our hero is emotionally blackmailed into getting married, he is almost repulsed by his new wife but in our films people eventually find a way to each other’s heart.
Nothing new there, but the treatment is different and there are rare moments of genuine fun. This is probably the first time that we see a newlywed couple’s first fight play out over their personal selection of Hindi film songs.
Our protagonist Prem (Ayushmann Khuranna) is a huge fan of Kumar Sanu and has a modest shop in Haridwar. But our fitness freak has failed his class X exams and cannot speak a word of English. Thus, some compromises have to be made and he is bullied into marrying our plus-sized heroine; she is educated and aspires to become a teacher.
We all know that love comes in all sizes. Love is not only blind but, at times, retarded too. In real life when we fall in love – we don’t gauge the depth of our feelings vis-à-vis how much a person weighs. But Bollywood is obsessed with perfect looking couples and therefore, a plus-sized heroine in a Hindi film is “big” shift in perspective.
Sandhya played by Bhumi Pednekar is a feisty female lead. She makes no apologies for her size: in fact, she flaunts her education and is well aware of her economic affluence over her husband’s family. Yet, she makes an honest attempt to make things work till it hurts her pride to make any more effort. Bhumi makes an effortless debut. It’s a pleasure to watch her many avatars – when she is playing the seductress, when she is argumentative and angry and also when she is a feminist.
Ayushmann is back with a bang in an author-backed role. As the frustrated, annoyed and resentful husband and son, he gets the nuances spot on. You feel for him but are also disappointed with his behavior and his lack of willpower.
The director has further bolstered his narrative by onboarding an incredible supporting cast. Sanjay Mishra, especially, is a treat to watch. As the family patriarch who is a little unsure of what exactly to do, he belts out another commendable portrayal.
On the downside, the suddenness with which love blossoms between Prem and Sandhya is a bit contrived. It is possible to realize your follies and stand corrected and you can even possibly develop a certain affinity and rapport. But is that love? Even if it is, I mostly certainly didn’t see it evolve.
Having said that, it’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a fun watch. What is in fact commendable is that a banner like Yash Raj Films has put its weight behind a project like this one. We always associate YRF with foreign locales, snowcapped mountains and chiffon-clad heroines – basically slick productions where everything looks perfect. It is heartwarming to see a relatable story with characters you can identify with.
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