Dum Laga ke Haisha

Dum Laga ke Haisha


Dum Laga ke Haisha
February 2015
Director: Sharat Katariya
Starring: Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar
Length: 1hr 50min

Short summary: I wasn’t 100% sure that reviewing this movie was a good idea. 

It’s not what I would describe as a traditional Bollywood movie and I’m having a hard time assigning it a genre. IMDB lists it under three categories: comedy, drama and romance but I would say it’s more of an uncomfortable drama; Not uncomfortable in that you want to look away but more like when you see a couple in public breaking up or having a heated argument. You feel you shouldn’t watch or pay attention, but you can’t look away. You turn the music on your headphones down and you listen. This movie is very much like that. It’s an uncomfortable but mesmerizing story.

The two main characters Prem (Ayushmann Khurana) and Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar) are two losers, two, unsuccessful in life, loners that are forced together by their sad circumstances.

Prem is high school dropout in his late twenties, he lives at home with his overbearing parents and works in his father’s cassette shop. With the advent of the CD, his family realizes that the only way to secure their financial future is to marry him to a woman with earning potential.

Sandhya is a plus sized teacher that is way past her prime for marrying and too chubby to be traditionally marketable. The two are wed in a quite forgettable ceremony and they begin their lives together.

With no common interests, the two spend all their time together fighting and being uncomfortable. The short marriage is heading for an expected demise when the oddest story twist is introduced. In order to save his failing family business, Prem must win a local competition called “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”. Translated it means “Heave Ho Carry that Load”. The men in the neighborhood compete in an obstacle course while carrying their wives on their backs. The audience is probably meant to be thinking, "yeah right, like that’s even possible" but I guess the point is that looks can be deceiving and it takes a lot of hard work to make a real marriage work.

Music & Dancing:
There are no dance scenes in this film. There are however very emotional songs that set the mood of the movie. Usually there would be a light and fun song to set the mood of a comedic film but, then again, I don’t think there was anything ha-ha funny about the movie.

Outfits & Wardrobe:
Not visually beautiful outfits, but the clothes are fitting for the time period that it’s set in. The movie takes place in the early nineties. It also takes place in a rural mountain village of India, both lead characters are from working class families and fashion is not the most important thing. Staying warm and saving money is more of their priority. As there are no dance scenes in the film, there’s no need for fancy dancing outfits.

This isn’t an outrageous film. There are no out of this world stunts or unbelievable coincidences. On the contrary, it is quite a down-to-earth movie. It depicts the reality of a lot of marriages, specifically arranged marriages. It breaks down the inner workings of a common Indian couple. The only unbelievable portion is the end. Prem, an average sized man, is able to not only compete, but win an arduous obstacle course while lugging his overweight wife on his back. Keep in mind, he is competing against other average sized men with rather thin wives to carry. His victory is hardly likely in real life but this is a small victory, rather than a big one, for their story as a couple. It illustrates their stamina and the obstacles that they must overcome as man and wife.

Overall rating:
Dum Laga Ke Haisha is not a comedy. It is barely even a romance. But what it is, is something that has a lot of emotion. It is an unorthodox love story that hits you right in the feels. Don’t go in thinking that you’ll need lots of tissues to dry your tears. Give this movie a watch knowing that at the end of it, you’ll appreciate the hard work that a true love story really needs.

John Fallon's The Shelter

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