Review : Those who have seen Rajat Kapoor's 2013 gem Aankhon Dekhi would completely agree that Dum Laga Ke Haisha seems heavily inspired from the former, whether it is in the storytelling, or the actors or even the setting up of each frame. But while Aankhon Dekhi dealt with a man questioning the very reason of his existence, debutant director Sharat Katariya ( who was Rajat Kapoors's assistant director) has a charming love story to proffer to reinforce the fact that "Love comes in all sizes" and everything ultimately boils down to how we rise above all odds to look at the brighter side of life.
Sharat Katariya nicely captures the essence of Haridwar in the music, the local dialect and the amusing characters, whose conversations evoke hearty laughs on more than one occasions. He has created a small world of his own, where almost everyone in the locality know each other, where one of our protagonist can't get over the songs of Kumar Sanu, where any word uttered in one corner of the house can be effortlessly heard in the other corner and where education is seen as a very respectable credential by less fortunate ones. It isn't surprising, then, that the film moves at a languid pace as nothing much happens by way of story or plot. But even at a crisp running time of 111 minutes, DLKH seldom feels more than a sum of its parts. True, there are flashes of brilliance like the court scene where the two families erupt into a fight over the divorce issue, or the use of the '90s songs by the lead pair to articulate their state of mind or for that matter, the good-natured banter the friends share with each other. But to pull-off a script of this nature on celluloid more convincingly, the director could have peppered the film with more substance and wit and done away with all the "taane maarna" and "moti saand" which becomes hackneyed after one point of time.
Of the two leads, Ayushman Khurrana plays his character on one note throughout the film, which despite being sincere comes off as mildly disappointing. The rotund Bhumi Pednekar, on the other hand, injects the right dosage of believability into her role and never lets it slip into the zone of cliche, making her the best part of the film.
I'm still going with 3/5. It may not leave as lasting an impression as its big brother Aankhon Dekhi, but surely stands as a respectable debut, reminiscent of the kind of innocence that has long been forgotten today.