Rating : 4/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2015
Running time : 1 hour 51 minutes
Director : Sharat Katariya
Cast : Ayushman Khurana, Bhumi Pednekar, Seema Pahwa, Sheeba Chaddha, Sanjay Mishra
Kidwise Rating: PG
Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a quiet note of melody amid the cacophony that is Hindi commercial cinema, especially coming from the creators of much of that cacophony – Yash Raj Films. It gladdens the heart.
Prem is your average 10th class fail, assisting his father in running a musty tape recording shop in Haridwar. When the parental unit insists on him marrying plump Sandhya, Prem’s objections to marrying a “saand” (literally a bull) are firmly quelled. The marriage happens, but never did we meet such an unhappy twosome.
There is much to like in this film. It is a strong story, with well-defined characters, and actors who fit right into those characters. Sanjay Mishra and Seema Pahwa, whom we also saw in Aankhon Dekhi, play out similar characters as in that film, only this time they aren’t married to each other. Mishra is Prem’s father Chandrabhan Tiwari and Pahwa, Sandhya’s mother Subhadra Rani. Ayushmann Khurana as Prem is marvelous. I couldn’t have imagined city-bred MTV VJ Ayushmann capable of this, but he does a wonderful job as small-town Prem, mannerisms, body language and all. Bhumi Pednekar though, is the find of the film with her gorgeous portrayal of Sandhya. Although her body type won’t let her fit into the traditionally slim-trim Bollywood heroine mould I look forward to seeing this accomplished actress in a lot more films.
Haisha is probably a low-budget film, but crafted with such care and attention to detail – that’s half the battle won, right there. This is situated in small-town UP, and the home (situated on the banks of the Ganga), the clothing, the dialect and the accents are spot-on. The many family members live in a small, courtyard-ish home, where every creak of the marital bed and every phone conversation is overheard. There are several amusing quirks which build up a realistic picture of small-town life and also help in fleshing out the characters – Prem belongs to a “Shakha”, an RSS-style set of young men who engage in various “character-building” exercises . Then there is his Bua, Naintara, (played by the elusive but magnificent Sheeba Chaddha) who although married lives with them. Sandhya’s voluble younger brother also adds interest to the proceedings.
Dum Lage Ke Haisha is a well-put-together package. The music is a strong, although unobtrusive part of the film. The one song I do remember is the gorgeous “Yeh Moh Moh ke Dhaage” which plays in refrains throughout the film. Haisha is such a sweet little charming film, and it works because of the likable lead characters and the strong feel-good factor.
Kidwise: There are a couple of lip-locks but so naturally and unassumingly done, that I doubt they’ll wound any sensibilities. Also some talk of consummation/wedding night, but nothing obscene or vulgar.