This is my 200th post on Bogeyno2 – I have no idea where the past six years have gone or how I managed to write another 199 posts but would like to sincerely thank everyone who has read, commented, shared or encouraged me, I could not have done it without you! Here’s to the next 200, xoxo.
The influence of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) on modern Hindi cinema is infinite but few films go beyond just referencing their source material in the way that Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (HSKD) does. Weaving set pieces around famous dialogues and set ups from a variety of well loved films as well as reversing the dynamics of popular scenes that will be familiar to Bollywood fans are just two of tricks that HSKD has up its sleeve. What is nice is that this does not come off as arrogant or irritating – the treatment of the film has clearly been worked upon so that the jokes feel fresh and have enough double meaning to reach across audiences everywhere.
I also liked the way mobiles and social media were quietly key supporting players who help rather than hinder the on screen action and give what is essentially a recognisable tale an appropriate update. If I was to really nit pick, I would have perhaps liked the plot to have been a little more compact in the second half but having said that, HSKD is unashamedly about the treatment and style over innovating the big fat Punjabi wedding saga that was once a Yashraj staple but has now been reinvented by Dharma for the tech savvy label conscious audience of today.
Performance wise, Dhawan really gives a spirited attempt at his character and benefits from Khaitan’s direction which really pushes him to make Humpty as real as possible. I really liked Ashutosh Rana, Sahil Vaid and Gaurav Pandey in their roles, stealthily making an impression and contributing to the wonderful chemistry of the film. But it is Alia Bhatt who shines here – her energy and fearlessness stand her in good stead and she manages to steal nearly every scene she is in. Moreover, she manages to make Kavya’s story an engaging one – not many actresses could have pitched this role as well as Alia does.
I really enjoyed HSKD and have no doubt it has repeat viewing value – there are many clever layers and ideas presented that may intentionally bypass an audience first time but will delight second time around. Perhaps my favourite quality was the way HSKD is really a love letter to Hindi cinema and makes no bones about that – just as it is wonderful to see an intelligent film maintain its integrity, it is equally lovely to see a film that wears its heart on a bangle/henna adorned designer sleeve. Surprisingly pleasant, this is worth a watch.