The ApunKaChoice movie review of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. Nineteen years is a long time for a film to retain its sway in our imagination. Girls may still swoon over Shahrukh Khan’s tinkering with the mandolin, his wooing of Kajol amidst equally beautiful Swiss alps, and their mutual gamboling through Punjab’s sarson ke khet in Aditya Chopra’s much loved and watched flick Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Many might still shed tears over that bloody climax where Kajol’s Simran runs in slow motion to catch a departing train with Shahrukh’s bruised and battered Raj holding out his hand to assist his ladylove a graceful boarding.
Time flies, things change, but our likings necessarily don’t. Yet, in these times of virtual dating, online poking, liking, unfriending and what not, DDLJ was crying for a reinvention. That’s what Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, tries to do.
The film by debutant director Shashank Khaitan is a cheeky, cheesy, fun tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. The heroine here isn’t the book-loving, well-spoken, prim and proper damsel toing her authoritarian babuji’s line.
Alia Bhatt’s Ambala girl Kavya is a cracker, a livewire who’s set to get married with an NRI munda of her dad’s choice, but she has just one condition. She’ll exchange nuptial vows in nothing less than a Rs. 5 lakh lehenga by designer Manish Malhotra that she’s seen Kareena Kapoor wearing. Kavya doesn’t read books, but boozes like a tanker. She’s does Yoga after a fashion, and when it comes to loud and foul talk, she can give any lout a run for his money. In other words, a bigdi hui Simran. And we like her this way.
Varun Dhawan’s Delhi boy Humpty, likewise, isn’t a ladycharmer but flirt looking for half a chance to make out with a girl. He’s a girl taadu, a hustler, but a good guy at heart who, as said above, weeps like a baby upon watching DDLJ climax.
So what happens when these two oddballs meet? Party, sharty, boozing and hustling -- all to help Kavya get her dream lehenga for her impending wedding with the NRI munda Angad (Siddharth Shukla). But somewhere in this romp, Cupid strikes, love sprouts and Kavya ends up celebrating her honeymoon with Humpty even before she’s taken saat pheras with Angad. Big time locha, you see.
The rest is just a watered down version of the second half of DDLJ. The lovestruck guy turns up at the house of the girl in Ambala, tries to win over her uptight father and prove himself a worthy suitor for the girl.
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania isn’t a film to be taken seriously, because it doesn’t take itself so. It knows well that it doffs its flimsy hat to one of the best romantic films of Indian cinema with its tongue firmly in cheek. There’s some parodying, some spoofing, but never in bad taste.
The love-hate chemistry between Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan is the film’s mainstay, and both actors excel in their performances. Ashutosh Rana as Alia’s father isn’t a patch on Amrish Puri but he holds his stead well. Sidharth Shukla slips well into the skin of the tall, handsome Mr. Perfect without any vice. On the sidelines Sahil Vaid and Gaurav Pande as Humpty’s loyal friends Poplu and Shonty are irresistibly likeable.