Movie Review: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, popularly known as DDLJ has been one of the biggest cult hits of Bollywood and an epic love story. What had made that famous Yash Raj movie tick was that it had the youthful element of adventurous love despite the fact that the girl is about to be married to a boy of her father’s choice. And then, the lover boy goes all out to win over her parents and gets the girl.

Karan Johar has attempted to re-create the same magic by making a largely DDLJ inspired film Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. It has oodles of romance, comedy and a bit of beating and getting beaten up plus a couple of likeable songs. But, will this film make it as big as DDLJ? I don’t think so. Partly due to short shelf life of films and partly due to generation change from the days of Bollywood style true love!

The film opens with an introduction to its lead characters. Rakesh ‘Humpty’ Sharma (Varun Dhawan) is a happy go lucky young man brought up by his equally chilled out father (Kenny Desai) who runs a bookstore in Delhi. Kavya Pratap Singh (Alia Bhatt) is girl from Ambala engaged to an NRI chosen by her authoritarian dad (Ashutosh Rana). Patriarch Singh detests love marriage after the failure of his first daughter’s choice and wants the whole affair to go on in the way that he deems fit.  

Kavya wants her wedding to be a grand affair. After noticing that her friend in Delhi, Gurpreet has bought herself a designer lehenga, she demands her family buy one for her too. When denied, Kavya quarrels with her family and goes to Delhi to make enough money to shop a designer. It was here that she meets Humpty and she arranges a deal to get him through a pass mark in his bachelor’s degree.

For Humpty, he has fallen for the pretty, feisty and smart girl and chases her despite knowing that she is about to get married in a month and a half. But as is the case in all romance flicks, Kavya falls for Humpty after he helps Gurpreet with a problem and then delivers upon his promise to buy her a lehenga (although the latter seemed extremely contrived). Although Kavya heads back to Ambala to go on with the wedding plans, Humpty chases her and vows to win her father’s heart.

The story takes a serious turn as Kavya’s father and brother turn belligerent towards him. Upon Kavya’s insistence, father Singh gives Humpty a chance by putting him on the task of finding at least one fault in the NRI boy Angad (Siddharth Shukla) that he has chosen for his daughter. The rest of the story is filled with humor as Humpty and his two friends go all out; plus the essential ingredient, emotional scenes.

While the plot is decent, the ending of Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania has far less impact than the epic scene of DDLJ where Shah Rukh Khan is on the train awaiting Amrish Puri to release his grip on Kajol and the latter running in all her bridal finery to board the train. Who can ever forget that scene!

This is just her third movie and Alia hasn’t put a foot wrong, either in her choice of movies or performance. She has played a college kid, a soul searching sojourner and now a feisty bride with aplomb. Notwithstanding the dumb Alia jokes on the internet, the numero uno slot in Bollywood is just a matter of time for the actress who can carry off innocence and attitude perfectly well.

Varun Dhawan’s character is not that of a typical macho hero, but a regular guy who wears his heart on his sleeve who falls in love with the girl. Siddharth Shukla, a popular face on TV makes his film debut. However, his role hardly has much scope. One of the most noteworthy performances is that of the acclaimed actor Ashutosh Rana as the stern father. He fits well into the Bollywood baddies hall of fame.

Verdict: When compared, there is no chance that debutante director Shashank Khaitan can manage what a debutante Aditya Chopra did 19 years ago. On a stand-alone basis, Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania is an enjoyable film and it’s a choice you won’t regret. The song ‘Samjhawaan’ is very likeable too. You can watch it with your family, laugh at the jokes and yes, believe in the power of love!

Rating 6/10: Worthwhile for its youthful romance and humor