Posts Tagged ‘ Ayushmann Khurrana ’

Dum Laga Ke Haisha

DumLagaKeHaisha_Poster

Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Release date: February 27, 2015
Directed by: Sharat Katariya
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra, Seema Pahwa

As a kid growing up in the 90’s in a yet obsolete suburb of Mumbai, I watched a lot of Hindi films and I loitered as much, emulating the trends of the films that I saw; often around boys who were much older than me. There were some who had given up education, dropped out of school and didn’t do much. Not very ambitious, not swashbuckling in the slightest of quantities. And my grandfather attended the “morning shakhas” in his khakhi shorts. These are my roots which I see thickly embroiled in the universe of Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

Prem Prakash Tiwari (Ayushmann Khurrana) is just one of those dropouts that I knew, clueless about his life, whiling away his hours at his father’s cassette shop in 1995. Except, he’s in Haridwar. He embodies the ‘small town’ naivete and is a man-boy who still doesn’t get to make his decisions, he’s literally browbeaten to marry a girl he doesn’t find attractive. A girl who’s more educated than he is, a girl who even speaks English well. What’s the dealbreaker, you ask? She’s just a tad too “healthy”, code for ‘overweight’ in middle class families.

Sandhya Verma (Bhumi Pednekar) is the girl in the equation. She’s evidently superior to our irritatingly Ganga Kinaare wala laundaa, in the “nature” and qualifications department. The incredibly shaky institution of arranged marriage unites this unlikely pair, at a community marriage ceremony, where a fifty other couples are also taking the rounds of the sacred fire. I’ve possibly listed a lot of quirks from the film at the risk of spoiling the film, but they are simply so delectable, it’d be injustice to them if I didn’t tell you how much character they add to every portion of the story.

Prem doesn’t understand the gravity of raising a family with his sperm, just like a substantially great number of other Indian men. He’s frustrated at his own insecurities and he piles them on his new bride’s physical appearance. It’s a difficult relationship, and the family members, just like in a majority of dwindling actual Indian marriages, offer their suggestions on how to salvage the situation so that they don’t have to face the stupid/stoneage ignominy of being the bearers of children who couldn’t keep up the charade of a perfect marriage, no matter how miserably, for their entire lives.

Set in Haridwar, the characters converse in country-accented Hindi, mirroring their friendships and the dynamics of the sweet-and-sour nature of closely-knit intricate families of the city. The cassettes are beginning to go out of favour and the Compact Disks are starting to roll in. Kumar Sanu is still hot property though. Anu Malik provides the modern soundtrack with Varun Grover’s whimsical lyrics. They successfully recreate the decade masterfully with Sanu and Sadhana Sargam, and juxtapose them with haunting tunes as themes to Prem and Sandhya. Andrea Guerra’s background score, as a few kids on the internet say, “is on fleek”. Pleasantly rhythmical and not at all over-the-top.

A strong ensemble cast, like the one in this film, can never be a bad thing. A good ensemble, like families, provides the constant badgering and the continuous kick-on-the-butt, which this film’s Tiwari and Verma clans keep doing. There is the mother’s emotionally manipulative BS, and another mother’s insufferable sobbing. There’s one father’s shoe-beating, and another brother’s teenage petty cribbing. Sanjay Mishra and Seema Pahwa, after last year’s Aankhon Dekhi, are just invaluably indispensable additions to any film, in any capacity.

Khurrana’s Prem is a particularly unlikeable lad, often with no redeeming qualities. The maker’s goal isn’t that, they don’t want to cause a turnaround in him, nor the viewer’s perception of him. He tries to pick up his studies from where he left them, but he suddenly doesn’t become the goddamn class-topper with his determination. He can’t conquer every hurdle that is thrown in his path, even though he does manage to overcome some of his prejudices–which is perhaps a bigger victory for him. Again, he isn’t likeable, he’s just real.

Bhumi Pednekar’s Sandhya is the thriving girl who finds herself on her groom’s bed wondering what to do. She’s reticent, and yet makes an exemplary effort in making a move to consummate her liaison. She knows that she isn’t in the right place, but she makes the effort to hang in there. She makes Sandhya real and affable.

Sharat Katariya presents what we know, what we’ve seen around. Dum Laga Ke Haisha is enjoyable and accomplishes well what it sets out to do, it succeeds in telling a story which is relateable and yet novel and effectively original.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

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Nautanki Saala

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Nautanki Saala
Release date: April 12, 2013
Directed by: Rohan Sippy
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Dalvi, Gaelyn Mendonca, Evelyn Sharma, Sulbha Arya, Sanjeev Bhatt

Rohan Sippy’s official adaptation of Danièle Dubroux and Pierre Salvadori’s Après Vous (A 2003 French film) has a cool urban premise and some spirited writing and performances. It borrows only the basic plot and makes a lot of changes to the characters and the narrative.

Ram Parmar shortened to RP (Ayushmann Khurrana) prevents an unknown stranger from committing suicide. He doesn’t even ask for his name and tries to help him out. Ram’s live-in girlfriend Chitra (Gaelyn Mendonca) is shocked and perturbed in equal measures by his this endeavor. On their trip to the stranger’s house in Pune, Ram gets to know his name, i.e. Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur)

Out of sympathy or what his girlfriend Chitra later labels as a God complex, Ram lobbies for Mandar to get a part in a play that he’s directing. Meanwhile he also traces down Nandini (Pooja Dalvi) – Mandar’s ex-girlfriend whom he can’t let go. Hustling between his own girlfriend, Mandar and his ex-girlfriend, Ram is now stuck in a major predicament.

The first half of the film is very entertaining and you keep asking for more. The pace is encouraging and you are thrust into a second half that suffers through quite a few problems. A major issue is the prolonged hinting at the eventual climax, it’s as much as hamster running on a wheel with the carrot just dangling away every time the creature came close to it. The stretched out build to the end is grimacing.

The men in the lead pull out a good job at letting their roles grow with you. Pooja Dalvi hams it up a little and Gaelyn falls into her character just finely. The attractive Evelyn Sharma has little to do, while Sanjeev Bhatt shines as the mumbling producer. The music is a treat, though they go a tad overboard with it. I’ll be lying if I didn’t think that this film is an out an out winner at the halfway mark.

But that was not to be. After all the issues that exist, Nautanki Saala is still funny, light and also a dash of narcissism (in the form of the said God complex) always amuses me.

My rating: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5)

Vicky Donor Review

Vicky Donor
Release Date: April 20, 2012
Directed by: Shoojit Sircar
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Annu Kapoor, Dolly Ahluwalia, Kamlesh Gill.

A Punjabi boy talking about the achievements of Bengal, realistically modern outlook, amalgamation of tiny cultural & metropolitan nuances are some of the things that the viewer is presented with. With an underlining social message of the importance of sperm donation in our society & addressing the stigma attached to it along with keeping the audience bound with entertaining sequences and a story that connects emotionally is a fairly tough task.

Vicky Arora (Ayushmann Khurrana) is the stereotypical Dilli ka launda who’s ‘spoilt’ by his doting grandmother.  His mother wants him to get going and start earning. Vicky plays cricket, likes to party & shop a lot, not too much to ask for an unemployed living (yes, sarcasm) Dr. Baldev Chaddha (Annu Kapoor) runs a fertility clinic & a sperm bank in Dariyaganj. He’s in search of a physically & genetically perfect model that could help him appease his patients with quality sperm. The dots start joining, and Dr. Chaddha starts coaxing Vicky to donate his “excellent” sperm.

Ashima Roy (Yami Gautam) works at a bank where Vicky lands up to open a new account for his mother’s earnings. Ashima is the new-age independent woman who doesn’t need a boyfriend to guard her like a dog, at least that’s what she says. The first half is filled with a lot of laugh-raising sequences where all the Delhi slang terms are used. That touch adds to Vicky’s character and his inane sense of belonging to the Refugee Colony in Lajpat Nagar.

The film doesn’t boast of artistic camera shots, but it tells a story with all of its characters that make an extra effort to connect with the viewer. Be it Vicky’s AWESOME grandmother or Ashima’s Bengal loving father. It does get in a foreseeable path, but it is the execution that deserves the props. Shoojit Sircar makes his point with our unease and insecurity over the issue of infertility with a heart-warming tale of simple people that live differently.

Ayushmann is at ease with the character as it is familiar territory for him, since he’s a Punjabi boy himself. Yami adds to the ever-sincreasing list of additions to Bollywood from the TV industry, she does a good job at being contained & at control of her emotions with her subtlety.

Vicky Donor is an entertaining film which adheres to the age-old convention of delivering a social message in a positive fashion. The film turns out to be delighting and not too heavy on the senses of the viewer unlike the current fare running in theaters. Vicky Donor makes a very good watch.

My rating: *** (3 out of 5)

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