Starring: Aalia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Shukla, Ashutosh Rana, Gaurav Pandey, Sahil Vaid
Directed by Shashank Khaitan
There’s a scene in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania in which Humpty (Varun Dhawan) is perched on the terrace parapet and sulking when Kavya (Aalia Bhatt) comes from behind and says in a sing-song voice, ‘Humpty Dumpty....’ Given the hero’s position, the reference to the nursery rhyme leaves one chuckling. It’s these off-the-cuff moments that make HSKD a refreshing watch. The film is a tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge, and updates the popular film for a new generation. Yes, it’s the same, far-fetched and predictable Punjabi shaadi film; yes, it’s full of irritating cliches, avoidable stereotypes and silly gay references, and yes, the soundtrack is not quite music to the ears, but still something about it works. There is spontaneous energy, a light touch and freshness with which Shashank Khaitan handles his material. The lead pair of Aalia and Varun is dripping in charm, very endearing and their give-’n-take sparkles. Newcomers Gaurav Pandey and Sahil Vaid as their friends Shaunty and Poplu complete the picture. Their dance to a medley of Bollywood songs—from masti ki paathshala to hawan karenge—is smile-inducing. The tribute to DDLJ comes a full circle with the hero sharing a cigarette with the girl’s father rather than feeding the pigeons. And Ashutosh Rana makes a welcome return after long as the contemporary Amrish ‘Bauji’ Puri. To quote a line from the film itself, this is a ‘100 per cent original fake’ of DDLJ.