ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Review: ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ Would’ve Benefited From Being More ‘Hatke'

'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke' hit theatres on 2 June.

Published
Movie Reviews
4 min read
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large

If there is a champion for a fake dating/fake marriage AU in Bollywood, it would perhaps be director Laxman Utekar. His previous films like Luka Chuppi and Mimi both deal with people who had to, in one way or another, lie about their marital status.

In his latest Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, there exists a married couple who must once again lie to the law but in their own different way. 

'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke' hit theatres on 2 June.

A still from Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

College sweethearts Kapil Dubey (Vicky Kaushal) and Somya Chawla (Sara Ali Khan) live in Kapil’s house with his religious, Brahmin family which soon comes to include his maternal uncle and aunt as well. Kapil works as a yoga instructor and Somya is a Chemistry teacher in a coaching institute. At Somya’s insistence, the duo decide to buy a separate house that they can move into but that is easier said than done. 

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

As a premise, I must admit, the film is rather interesting. There’s an interesting thread about how Kapil who cites his middle-class upbringing for his money-saving habits is exploiting a government scheme that is designed to help low-income families. Then there’s the fact that Kapil’s family believes that a ‘Punjabi bahu’ has trapped their son in an unhappy marriage (it is not) and is slowly attacking their family’s values (she is not). 

'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke' hit theatres on 2 June.

A still from Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

How does Somya navigate living in a patriarchal family that holds their outdated values above all else?

The intricacies of such a social setting are rarely explored even though there are nods towards it.

However, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke picks a page from the Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar playbook and almost blames the woman for wanting a nuclear family by equating that desire with a hatred for her husband’s family members (some of whom, if you remember, don’t see her in the best light either). 

0

The film uses its minority characters as tokens towards the end: for instance, an earnest Sharib Hashmi as the society security guard Daroga who becomes the catalyst and recipient of the couple’s good deeds. The film does, however, smartly contrast Daroga’s living situation with that of the Chawla-Dubeys.

Utekar’s cinema aims to highlight the social ills surrounding patriarchy and stoic beliefs in his films but it remains superficial in Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. In that aspect, Mimi was a better offering. 

'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke' hit theatres on 2 June.

A still from Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

As Kapil, Vicky Kaushal is delightful as ever to watch but it feels like we’ve seen this before (most recently in Govinda Naam Mera). This goofy man who loves and supports his wife seems like a character Kaushal could enact in his sleep. Sara Ali Khan’s performance seems to have improved over the past few years; she’s funny when she needs to be and endearing otherwise. Barring a few scenes and slight accent faux pas, she’s immensely watchable as Somya. 

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke would have benefited from trying to be a bit more hatke because we’ve seen the setting before, we’ve seen a similar conflict before (in Vicky Kaushal’s Love Per Square Foot no less), so what would make this film stand out? 

ADVERTISEMENT

Perhaps the fact that the two actors are adorable to watch together on screen, which is a plus since they play college sweethearts whose spark hasn’t fallen victim to routine and monotony. Watching their relationship play out over a marriage and a divorce and separation is the most fascinating part of the film. 

'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke' hit theatres on 2 June.

A still from Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

The film does boast of a strong supporting cast: Neeraj Sood, Inaamulhaq, and Sushmita Mukherjee to name a few. Additionally, the film uses its runtime to the fullest. It doesn’t feel draggy at any point even when the screenplay fails to make a mark. The dialogues by Maitrey Bajpai and Ramil Ilham Khan, however, are smart in some places; at one point a love triangle is called a ‘love trikon’. So, there are little joys. 

At the end of the day, the comedy in the film has a lot to match up to. Is it funny that Kapil’s family is so comfortable chastising their daughter-in-law and then gets to have a redemption arc without having changed anything about themselves? Not really. I was also left wondering if Kapil’s flippant usage of a casteist slur was an indictment of his upbringing and circumstances.

As an audience, it’s okay to expect from a filmmaker who clearly wants to make astute cinema. Perhaps that is why one might step out of the theatre wanting more. 

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from entertainment and movie-reviews

Topics:  Vicky Kaushal   Sara Ali Khan 

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
ADVERTISEMENT
×
×