IBTimes India Rating: 4
Technology might have made it easier to reach out to a friend these days, but an STD/PCO booth had a charm of its own. Sure, advancements in science and tech have made the world a better place, but there was something heart-warming about socialising offline over cups of tea. Congratulations are in order for the "Dum Laga ke Haisha" team for panning out a heart-melting love story and presenting it on the big screen sans Bollywood clichés.
Prem Prakash Tiwari (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a man-child whose hatred for English and love for Kumar Sanu makes him somewhat a good-for-nothing nutjob. Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar) is what can be called a tub of lard but has a mind of her own. These two, under forcible circumstances, enter wedlock only to find out how big a misfit their marriage is.
What follows next is a super diluted "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" in which Taani partner and Surinder Sahni/ Raj Partner explore one another as they prep for a dance competition. Although the race has been wrapped up quick in the Sharat Katariya directorial, what the script holds in much deeper than what the Shah Rukh Khan-Anushka Sharma starrer gave us.
Shot in Haridwar and Rishikesh, cinematographer Manu Anand captures the unpolished beauty of the 90s incredibly well, and Meenal Agarwal's production design needs a special mention for transporting the viewers to the cassette-tape recorder times. Namrata Rao's crisp editing, which restricted (in a good way) run time to a little less than 2 hours, kept the pace of film stable, and Darsha Jalan's costume designs were as honest as it could get. Dressed in loose salwar-kurtis and 'nighties', Bhumi's Sandhya looked every inch the 'wife', whereas Ayushmann's Prem a reflection of the middle class working man.
Performances were stellar, and it couldn't get better when Sanjay Mishra played the overbearing father to Prem to perfection and Seema Pahwa essayed the over-worried mother, whose only wish is to get her daughter's sex life rolling, with effortless ease. Ayushmann redeemed himself with the honest performance, while Bhumi is one brilliant find by YRF.
A film like this was never too far for someone who has worked closely with Rajat Kapoor ("Raghu Romeo"), Rituparno Ghosh (dialogue writer for "Sunglass") and the likes. He might have started out as an assistant director, but along the way he was wise enough to pick up the little details, which make for a real and happy film.
Takeaway: Short, sweet and frill-free, Sharat's film is a must-watch. And honestly, love does come in all sizes.