DIRECTOR: Laxman Utekar
CAST: Vicky Kaushal, Sara Ali Khan, Sharib Hashmi, Rakesh Bedi, Inaamulhaq, and others
WHERE: In theatres near you
RATING: 2.5 stars
Producer Dinesh Vijan’s vision of backing small-town stories worked in the past. There was Hindi Medium (2017), which revolved around the education system in the country. Followed by Luka Chuppi (2019), directed by Laxman Utekar, a family drama with the backdrop of a live-in relationship.
The commonality between these films is the narrative, where the protagonists lie to the family for their own benefit which leads to unexpected chaos. Laxman’s latest offering Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is similar to the films mentioned above.
Kapil Dubey aka Kappu (Vicky Kaushal), a yoga instructor is madly in love with his wife Somya Chawla Dubey (Sara Ali Khan), a coaching instructor. The two dream of their own house someday and they soon find a way to build it not knowing the ugly consequences.
Laxman has a knack for telling stories of small towns that represent the majority of our country. He very well knows the life and struggles of a middle-class family. This time, his story is set in central India, Indore. The film is shot well and Laxman also highlights the world-famous local street culture of the city, however, he makes a blunder in picking up the Indori accent throughout. The dialogues are a mix of Bhopal, Agra and Indori dialects.
Laxman, who is known for making easy breezy family entertainers, infuses humour like a comedy show on television. The first half barely makes you laugh or even giggle. It looks like the ensemble cast tries too hard to create a comedic atmosphere, their punches and one-liners look too well-prepared. The second half is manageable with humour in parts but again the film slips into predictable situations, a melodramatic climax and a happy ending.
Vicky, who was last seen in Govinda Naam Mera, a comedy of errors, was panned for his loud performance in that film. However, as Kapil in this film, he is convincing and not a misfit. This was a tailor-made role for the likes of Varun Dhawan, Kartik Aaryan or perhaps even Ayushmann Khurrana but Vicky brings variety to it.
Sara, as Somya, is far from someone who stays or teaches in a city like Indore. She is too polished for a role like this. Her camaraderie with Vicky is fantastic but again, Vicky contributes a lot more than her. Her facial expressions while being angry or crying remind one of Love Aaj Kal (2020).
A special shoutout to the casting director for onboarding brilliant actors like Rakesh Bedi, who plays Sara’s father, Inaamulhaq, a real estate agent, Sharib Hashmi, who plays the society guard. Himanshu, who plays the lawyer and so on. They all really uplift the film in several ways.
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is laced with some great performances, but the core idea of the film seems illogical. The film is a forced adaptation of the current trend that sadly makes it a one-time watch.