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DUM LAGA KE HAISHA - A simple, sweet but hurriedly made film lacking emotional depth with a soundtrack reminding you of the musical 80s & 90s. (Review by Bobby Sing)

27 Feb, 2015 | Movie Reviews / 2015 Releases

If a film reveals almost everything about the storyline in its 3 minutes trailer itself, then there is only one way it can win over the viewer and that’s with its extra ordinary execution, performances and music. Thankfully DUM LAGA KE HAISHA does exactly the same moving over its predictable drawback, presenting itself as a short (111 minutes), simple and sweet film that can easily connect to its audience with the realistic card played quite well.
No doubt the film leaves you in a less satisfied state as it ends contradicting to the expectations raised by its enjoyable beginning. But giving the producer, writer, director & the performers their deserving due, allow me to mention its entertaining features first before the avoidable ones.
Beginning with the biggest name in the project, DLKH is a pleasant surprise coming from the reputed banner of YRF and as per my opinion, this is their second appreciable project post ROCKET SINGH not depending upon any clichéd romance between the stars playing the lead characters. At first the film reminds you of NASEEB APNA APNA (1986) made on a related subject but then (moving on a different path) its proceedings take you back in those musical decades of 80s and 90s with all those cassettes, ribbons, their entangling, cassette to cassette recordings, big speakers and the times when we used to bring a Colour TV, a VCR and four Video Cassettes of different films on hire for the whole night. The voice of Kumar Sanu superbly used by Anu Malik (in the same way as it used to be in those hit songs of that era) makes you feel the nostalgia and so does the sound of “Miley Sur Mera Tumhara” running in the backdrop. Also the “Shaakha” reference reminds you of the days when RSS Shaakhas were quite active in the mornings, inviting all from every age group ranging from 10 to 60.
Introducing another first in a YRF film, here we have an unknown “heavy weight heroine” instead of the inviting glamourous one, who actually carries the entire film on her shoulder alone, ahead of her known lead hero. The highly relatable family, their lovable interactions and the collective middle class ambience pulls you in before the intermission and the impressive spell continues in the second half too (with the court sequence and more), till it all moves down to a highly predictable and unconvincing section of ‘The Game’ ending on a quite less impressive note along with a smart cameo of Kumar Sanu keeping the nostalgia intact.
In other words, DUM LAGA KE HAISHA majorly works due to its realistic local feel, lively characters, melodious music and performances. But it certainly should have worked more on these same elements with few stronger insertions in its storyline making it a bit longer ending on a different note than the game. For instance the English exam sequence added deliberately fails to make any kind of impact on the viewer, the lawyer speaking long lines in English with the girl's family looks weird and the climax game too doesn’t turn out to anything close to reality or natural.
Further apart from the storyline, the second disappointment is felt when we don’t find the songs incorporated in the film in their complete form as it used to be in the 90s (since the film is based in that era only). Yes, director Sharat Kataria does deliver a notable product with many fine performances and all the ‘time related detailing’ worked beautifully with his cinematographer and art director. But why he didn’t work on the story adding more twists and didn’t include the melodious songs in the film’s narration was really puzzling for me quite honestly. In fact it was highly disheartening seeing “Tu” and “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage” used as a backdrop and “Dard Karara” coming with the end credits while people were moving out of the theatre leaving it in the mid.
In the performances, it completely belongs to the debutant Bhumi Pednekar and Ayushmann Khurrana in this particular sequence only. Though its tough to comment upon her future film career as such but Bhumi shows her talent superbly and helps the film a lot as a complete natural or flawless performer. Ayushmann once again is decently good but at the same time looks like repeating himself at many places that needs to be taken care of urgently. In the supporting cast we once again have Sanjay Mishra and Seema Pahwa (after ANKHON DEKHI) along with Sheeba Chaddha and more. Their individual acts are all fine but I couldn’t find that simplicity and natural ease witnessed in the similar homely characters of ANKHON DEKHI. Putting it clearly, they all seem to be playing their natural middle class acts with a visible effort that was not actually there in ANKHON DEKHI and perhaps that's the difference caused by a director’s exact instructions and vision.
May be due to this very reason only the film looks like a hurriedly made project, lacking the depth it should have in its various portrayals missing that much required emotional pull or feel. It’s as if the producer’s instructions were, that just make a light hearted film with not so heavy emotions, hanging in between a romantic and comedy product that has more commercial viability in today’s changing times.
So made exactly as per the above probable instructions, DUM LAGA KE HAISHA does provide that light entertainment largely due to its nostalgic ambience, good performances and a comeback soundtrack by Anu Malik. But don’t look for any emotional depth or some exceptional storyline here offering something extra than what was there in its trailer. It’s a simple and sweet film intentionally made to make you smile without much thinking, sobbing or heavy hearts. So do give it a try if the description interests you.
Rating : 3 / 5 (Including additional 0.5 for the few catchy tracks and Kumar Sanu.)

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27 Feb 2015 / Comment ( 0 )
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