Direction: Shashank Khaitan
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Shukla, Ashutosh Rana‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ promises simple, unadulterated fun, that has become such a rare commodity these days. The film makes no bones about the fact that it is hugely inspired by Bollywood’s classic love story ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ but it is the little spins the director has weaved into the narrative that makes the film such a fun watch.
While our NRI Simran in ‘DDLJ’ (1995) was engaged to a desi munda in India, feisty Punjabi kudi Kavya (Alia Bhatt) is set to be married off to an NRI doctor settled in the US. While DDLJ’s Raj had to fly down from London to win over the girl’s family, our Humpty Sharma (Varun Dhawan) lands in Ambala to build his case with the strict father of the bride. Despite the little variations, you might feel that you are watching ‘DDLJ’ all over again, but Shashank Khaitan’s irreverent treatment just makes ‘HSKD’ worth your while.
It is essentially Humpty and Kavya and their quirky personalities that really make the clichéd plot work. Kavya doesn’t care that she’s marrying someone she hardly knows, as long as she gets to wear a designer lehenga on her wedding day. She comes across as naïve, impulsive and superficial when you see her obsess about an expensive wedding ensemble, but once you know her better, you realize she’s spontaneous, warm and very practical.
Humpty is the emotional fool – an ardent ‘DDLJ’ fan, he always cries at the climax. In fact, here’s a brawny hero who has no qualms about getting moist-eyed easily, he wears his heart on his sleeve and is the master of all kinds of jugaad. The only time he seems to be failing miserably is when it matters the most – he has been entrusted to find one credible fault in Kavya’s eligible suitor, Angad (Sidharth Shukla). But unlike Kuljeet in ‘DDLJ’, our prospective groom is flawless – handsome and health conscious, a good cook, respectful and most importantly, not gay: essentially, he is too good to be true.
It is the subtlety of the Humpty-Kavya love story that makes this story stand out. There are no overtly mushy declarations, there is no heightened melodrama, and there is no substantiating why two people suddenly fall for each other – some things just happen, some things like love. And when love happens, you don’t throw logic out of the window, you devise a rational method and you try a practical approach, hoping for the best.
Here are two people who are in love, they know they probably have no future together, and yet, they go out of their way to offer the best to each other. And in the end there is just hope that it will all eventually fall into place.
Humpty’s best buddies make for a solid supporting cast and their smart wisecracks make for some of the film’s funniest lines. Like the time when a bewildered Poplu asks Humpty, “Yeh touch nahi karke, feel kaise aati hai?” or the time when he pretends to be gay to expose Angad. Shonty as the research specialist is also a pleasure to watch.
Ashutosh Rana as Kavya’s father is an interesting character – he wants the best for his children and thus, wants to exert control but at the same time he is essentially a loving father, who wants to protect his children from any hurt. It’s quite a contrast to Amrish Puri’s character in ‘DDLJ’, he seems to be enjoying himself when he watches Humpty slog it out for his daughter.
In a film that scores big on humour, performance and production values, the music is a bit of a letdown.
‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ has most of our favourite things – big fat Bollywood weddings, a filmi love story, and a charming lead pair. Watch the film, it will sure make you smile.
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