Film Review: 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania'
Opened: 11 July 2014
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Siddharth Shukla, Ashutosh Rana, Gaurav Pandey, Sahil Vaid
Director: Shashank Khaitan
Producer: Dharma Productions
It's annoying reviewing a film like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. We may harp on about how we want different, soul defining cinema to enlighten us on the meaning of life, but however hard we try, resistance is futile, because films like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania for all their recycled mush inevitably, always end up warming the cockles of our hearts.
Directed by debutant Shashank Khaitan and produced of course by Karan Johar, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is the story of Delhi's middle class boy next door Humpty (Varun) and his modern DDLJ-esque love story with Ambala live wire – the feisty, self confessed Kareena Kapoor fan, Kavya (Alia). Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy, but orthodox papa (Ashutosh Rana) is not too keen on the match, as he'd rather see her settle down with poster boy, the 'vilayti' who-can-do-no wrong Angad, Siddharth Shukla (from TV's Balika Vadhu), playing a character heavily inspired by DDLJ's Kuldeep, albeit with a modern spin.
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania unsurprisingly, has a distinct Karan Johar stamp on it and the plot, as you've probably guessed by now, has an uncanny resemblance to DDLJ, but here it's more a tribute to the 90s classic rather than blatant plagiarism.
It all could have been a clichéd yawnfest, but Khaitan peppers the film with some really witty touches and a distinct modern edge (why didn't you add me as a friend on Facebook first?!), which see the film through. Despite its inherent 'westerness', Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania's heart is still 'desi' and is firmly rooted in the right place, which is why despite its overdrawn climax, you'll find yourself rooting for Humpty and Kavya right till the end.
Of the cast, Alia continues her winning streak and completes a hat trick post her stellar turn in this year's Highway and 2 States. While the previous two films had more meat to her characters, here she gives her Kavya just the right amount of charm and backbone, which differentiates her from your average shrinking violet. Siddharth Shukla has a striking screen presence but gets very little scope in which to shine, especially because, neither Kavya, nor us as an audience really empathise with his character. As Varun's clingy cronies both Gaurav Pandey as Shonty and Sahil Vaid as Poplu bring the house down with their antics and are perhaps a couple of the film's more memorable characters. Ashutosh Rana as the stern patriarch springs a pleasant surprise and it's a welcome departure to see him here than the caricaturish villains we're so used to seeing him play. The film though, ultimately belongs to Varun, who's far better as Humpty than his previous solo outing in Main Tera Hero this year. If he'd messed up even slightly, his character could have come across as a bit of a knob, but here he gets Humpty's endearing nuances just right, knocking it right out of the park as the goofy, lovelorn, cowering Punjabi 'munda' with the heart of gold. As if that's not enough, his chemistry with Alia, simply rocks, and gives the film several of its finer moments.
On the flip side, surprisingly for a Dharma production, the music by Sachin Jigar, is strictly ho hum apart from 'Samjhawan', which itself is a cover of a Pakistani single. Also, despite being relatively short in length, the film could have been edited further especially in the last ten minutes when it really begins to drag, with a climax that's supposed to entertain but comes across as really forced and unnecessary.
Still, for all its shortcomings, I enjoyed Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. Whatever it lacks in originality, it makes up for with oodles of charm, a witty script and some fun, light hearted moments which make it a decent enough weekend watch. I'm going with three stars.