Zara Hatke Zara Bachke movie review: Vicky Kaushal-Sara Ali Khan's love saga meanders between funny and boring
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke movie review: Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan’s new rom com delivers more misses than hits.
We enter the world of Chawlas and Dubeys thinking it's going to be a laughter riot with some fresh humour, edgy characters and a storyline that doesn't rely on usual, tried and tested tropes that Bollywood films are used to. And Zara Hatke Zara Bachke makes us believe as it takes off that everything is quite normal and relatable. But, it all soon turns into a loud cringefest with actors overacting beyond our imagination, dramatic dialogues being said one after the other, a joint middle-class Pandit family living in a small house and Punjabi stereotypes served to us on a platter because there is a 'chant' bahu who they believe has lured their son and accidentally made them all have a cake that contained 'egg'. Also read: Sara Ali Khan and Vicky Kaushal reach Lucknow for Zara Hatke Zara Bachke promotions, offer prayers in temple
I never could wrap my head around movie trailers that give out the entire plot. Makers of Zara Hatke Zara Bachke made it worse with two trailers that revealed more than they should have and left very little for us to watch and find out on our own. Directed by Laxman Utekar, the romantic comedy has a lot going on at the same time and it does leave you with many questions at many places.
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke's premise
Set in a small town of Indore, we are introduced to college sweethearts Kapil Dubey (Vicky Kaushal) and Somya Chawla (Sara Ali Khan), who are happily married and living in a small house alongwith Kapil's vegetarian and religious family – his parents, maternal uncle and aunt and their young son. While Kapil is a yoga instructor, kanjoos and with a middle-class mentality, Somya comes from a modern Punjabi family, is quite outgoing, makes more money giving coaching classes and dreams big in life. The two are the happiest with each other but Somya does feel the pinch of not having any privacy in the house and is desperate to get her own dream house soon.
Since they can't afford heavy EMIs, they fall for a government scheme and end up faking a divorce to be eligible for a lottery allotment. Pretending to hate each other, they separate and start to live separately. How far this drama goes and what's the fate it eventually meets forms the plot.
What works, what doesn't
At 132 minutes, the film doesn't look dragged or needlessly stretched, but definitely has its high and low moments. While the high never gets to a point that it makes you go wow, the lows are definitely loaded with flaws and loopholes.
The story that Utekar has co-written with Maitrey Bajpai and Ramiz Ilham Khan, starts of on a very funny note and keeps the momentum going with harmless jokes, natural light-hearted humour and some comic punches. But post interval, it just meanders without any direction and goes off track.
At this stage, I really wish it stuck to being a romantic comedy and not get so melodramatic at places it didn't require to. The script has nothing that you haven't already seen or something that will leave you in splits. If anything, it only gets a bit predictable in the second half and comedy of errors is only left with errors. The flaws in writing and direction are tough to overlook.
Performances somewhat try to salvage the situation but not for too long! Sara shows some restraint in her acting and it's visible in her actions or reactions. There are some scenes where she goes overboard but never to the extent that it annoys you. Vicky showcases a myriad of emotions and like a smitten lover, he keeps that romance quotient alive onscreen. He portrays the small-town guy pretty convincingly and does keep that raw demeanour intact. I quite liked Vicky and Sara's onscreen chemistry. I won't say it's extraordinary but definitely better than what we've seen in frivolous guy-meets-girl kind of rom-coms.
Supporting cast impresses
Among supporting cast, Rakesh Bedi and Sushmita Mukherjee as Somya's parents are funny and true to their characters. There's a sequence between Kapil and Somya's father having drinks in the car where the father is trying to figure the reason behind their divorce. It's not only well-written but also well performed without looking awkward.
At some point, a nosy colony guard Daroga (Sharib Hashmi) is also thrown in to make things look funnier. While the actor doesn't disappoint with this performance and screen presence, I have a bone to pick with makers here for wasting an artiste of his calibre and reduce it to a cameo. You wish his role was more fleshed out.
In fact, the man who plays Kapil's lawyer friend helping him in the divorce case is a masterclass in overacting and didn't really merit the screen time he has been given. Amid all this, the crooked and dubious agent Baghwandas (Inaamulhaq) delivers his part pretty well and brings a comic relief in the whole story.
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke's music
What truly stands out in Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is the music. After a very long time, I've thoroughly enjoyed all the songs in a film. Sachin-Jigar's music and Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics create a whole vibe. Tere Vaaste plays in your mind for long and Phir Aur Kya Chahiye has already topped the charts while Sanjha touches you emotionally. Baby Tujhe Paap Lagega isn't there in the film but it's already a peppy party number.
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is an easy-going family entertainer that won't bore you. But, it won't leave a lasting impact either. A few laughs here and there and some loud characters make it watchable, however the story needed way more depth and definitely a better screenplay would have helped.
Film: Zara Hatke Zara Bachke
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Sara Ali Khan, Inaamulhaq, Sushmita Mukherjee, Neeraj Sood, Rakesh Bedi, Sharib Hashmi
Director: Laxman Utekar