The white chiffons are replaced by Banarasi sarees. The Swiss locales have turned into Rishikesh ghaats. The open-armed hero has metamorphosed into chappal-fearing Kumar Sanu fan. Wait, weight…if that wasn’t enough, the hourglass figured heroine has doubled up as a double-chinned heroine. Welcome to the new world of Yashraj Films, the brand custodians of romance have finally gained their lost glory, and how!
Sarat Katariya’s Dum Lagaake Haisha starring Ayushmann Khurana and debutant Bhoomi Pednekar, set in the mid-nineties, takes the relationship of Indian husband and wife to a completely different level, turning every convention on its head. Through a simple narrative with profound insights, Sarat Katariya takes explores the husband-wife relationship to the likes of Anil Ganguly’s ‘Kora Kagaz’, Chetan Anand’s ‘Tere Mere Sapne’, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Abhimaan’, Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Piya ka ghar’, Gulzar’s ‘Aandhi’ and Yash Chopra’s ‘Silsila’.
The film replete with gems that can only be appreciated when viewed on silver screen, be it the husband-wife nok-jhok expressed through songs of the nineties. Never before was a ghar-ka-jhagda so hilarious in our films! Sanjay Mishra, fresh from his success of Rajat Kapoor’s equally brilliant ‘Aankhon Dekhi’, is a treat to watch.
Notice the way he switches his expressions from a furious father looking for his slippers to hit his son Prem (Ayushmann Khurana) and immediately calms down as his bahu, Sandhya (Bhoomi Pednekar) approaches him. It’s scenes like these that make Dum Lagaake Haisha easily one of the best films of this year.
Varun Grover deserves a special mention for the honey-strewn lyrics of ‘Yeh moh moh ke dhaage’. The lyricist weaves words to the lilting tune of Anu Malik in a way that it captures the core essence or rather dilemma of the couple Dum with the line: Yeh moh moh ke dhaage, teri ungliyon se ja uljhe, koi toh toh na laage, kis tarah girah ye suljhe.
Ayushmann, with his nuanced performance, proves that he is much more than a Dilli-ka-Punjabi-Munda. Bhoomi makes a confident debut and essays her character to an unbelievable perfection. The husband-wife bedroom scenes (no pun intended), the shaakha scenes, courtroom ‘drama’ (not the sort we’ve grown up watching), and a particular scene where Prem offers to drop his wife Bhoomi to her job interview, conversing with on their way is something that Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee used to excel at. It’s a pleasant surprise to see a contemporary (that too debutant) filmmaker reprising it.
The film’s finale is an apt metaphor for the tuning of husband and wife, justifying the title to the ‘T’. To sum it up, Dum Lagake Haisha is a befitting comeback of YRF as the forerunners of romantic movies. Welcome back!