A good cast is the best thing that can happen to a movie. It is especially great when all of them not only look perfect for their respective roles but also individually give their best to the film. 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' is the perfect example of this fact.
The effort that has gone in to making this sweet romantic comedy set in the small backdrop of Rishikesh and Haridwar, is apparent.
The plot is easy to predict but the performances would blow your mind. Whether it is Ayushmann Khurrana as a good-for-nothing dreamer or Bhumi Pedneker playing the strong willed educated girl with a dream of being a school teacher.
Bhumi is perhaps the best debut actress that Bollywood has seen in the past few years. She is genuinely a good actress, has a great screen presence and looks beautiful as Sandhya. Her struggles with being fat does not curb her spirit and that is what the audience will take from this movie.
The straight from the heart storyline will take you back the memory lanes. The director has taken his time to wind you in his 90s memorabilia starting with the charm of listening to cassettes – complete with how we wound them up patiently and how our favourite songs were put together in one cassette with stickers telling us the playlist. There were also the scooters which one had to carefully balance upon to get from one place to another. All in all the nostalgia of the last decade of the 20th century has been beautifully recreated in the film.
The director has kept the characters strong and the story concise. Even with the predictability of the movie the growing chemistry between Ayushmann and Bhumi is worth watching.
Sanjay Mishra, Sheeba Chadda, Alika Amin and Seema Pahwa (one who played Mishra's wife in 2014's critically acclaimed movie 'Aankhon Dekhi') are perfect supporting cast for the love story.
Sharat Kataria who is known for his quirky endeavours 'Bheja Fry' and 'Bheja Fry 2' has proved his genius once more with 'Dum Laga ke...'. While his last ventures focussed on urban characters, his now semi-urban story also is spot on.
The movie steers clear of exaggerated feelings and speaks of some real situations and real disappointments without being didactic. The fat girl, who has to overcome the prejudices her husband has about her, is not however the unimaginative loser that we have seen in Bollywood so far. She is educated and has an ambition – therefore lucrative for her in-laws. But they don't take advantage of her. Even with the usual Indian taunting by the Bua, the family mostly supports her and considers her feelings. The girl herself knows how to stand up to the world.
This modern thinking without the preachiness is refreshing. Kataria has excelled in making you feel for his characters.
The background score by the Italian composer Andrea Guerra is perfect and Anu Mallik's comeback is laudable. While 'Moh Moh Ke Dhage' (both Monali Thakur's and Papon's versions) is perhaps his best composition till date, the quirky 'Sundar Susheel... ' (Malini Awasthi, Rahul Ram) sets the mood of the film pretty nicely. The Kumar Sanu fandom has been revived in this film and he brings back the memories of his heyday..
The shots (Manu Anand) of the Rishikesh and Haridwar too are beautiful and one wonders how they found the two towns empty enough to shoot since they are thronged with tourists throughout the year.
This movie is a feel good package and a must watch for those born in the 80s and the 90s simply to relive the decade. For those who are not, go for the performances. It is rare that a Bollywood movie makes you all warm, fuzzy and gooey from the inside – the experience is a must for those who love cinema.