Reviewing the Reviews: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania succeeds as teen date movie

14 Jul,2014

By Deepa Gahlot


Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Directed by: Shashank Khaitan

Starring: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Ashutosh Rana, Siddharth Shukla and others


Shashank Khaitan’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is a tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which only goes to show that not much seems to changed in our country over the last two decades. Still, so eager is it to please, and so charming is the lead pair that critics must have given a little sigh before giving it three stars. It is meant as a teen date movie and it succeeds. Real life youngsters may be more mature that Humpty and Kavya, but this is Dharma Production and nobody ever grows up in this universe, all they need is love and a disco to shake a leg in.


Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, both still as fresh and enthusiastic as they were in their first film together (Student of the Year) and currently the darling of the college set. Together they crisped up a rather soggy plot.


Raja Sen of was uncharacteristically kind. “The strength of Khaitan’s film lies in how it’s not trying too hard, it’s not trying at reinventing the wheel, and instead being honest to two characters who, it becomes gradually apparent, aren’t who they said they were — or, more importantly, they aren’t who they thought they were.”


Aniruddha Guha of Time Out was not so impressed. “Selling a film as a “tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” seems like a pretty mediocre idea. Several films have tried to recreate the DDLJ magic since Raj and Simran’s love story wooed us nearly 20 years ago, and the clichés and the familiarity have gotten slightly annoying. Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania projected itself as old wine in new bottle – a dated plot told with new actors and a fresh set-up – and that’s never really an inviting proposition. However, director Shashank Khaitan’s debut film, although lacking in originality, keeps afloat due to some smart lines and breezy humour, and the camaraderie between its two endearing leads, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.”


Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express commented, “Main toh paida hi hot hui thi“, says Ambala’s resident ‘pataka’ Kavya Pratap Singh.  And slays ‘Dilli da munda’ Humpty Sharma. The banter between the two is easy, natural, fun. That they will fall for each other is inevitable, because that’s the way they have been set up, and the process makes the first half of ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ a breeze. I smiled all the way till the half way point. After the interval, it becomes another story. Or shall we say, the same old, same old story, in which the plot, which had been going swimmingly along despite its stretches, begins to meander, and lose its way.”


Rajeev Masand of IBMLive raved over the stars, “The film rests on the appeal of its two leads who’re nothing short of terrific. Alia has a livewire presence, literally lighting up the screen when she’s in the frame. But it’s Varun who has the slight edge here, effortlessly pulling off both goofy and genuinely heartfelt. The film works – despite employing every predictable trope – because they’re on top of their game. Of the supporting players, Ashutosh Rana is well cast in the Amrish Puri role, nicely humanizing the character instead of leaving it out to dry as a lazy stereotype. ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ comes peppered with smart dialogue, and filled with genuine affection for a cinematic blockbuster that it repeatedly references…but with flair.”


Saibal Chatterjee of wrote, “Beyond its surface gloss and spry spirit, it is way too pat and predictable to be regarded as a worthy doff of the hat to one of the most successful films ever in the history of popular Hindi cinema.  A film whose male protagonist is called Humpty Sharma should have been humming with earthy wit and humour. It isn’t. For the most part, it swings wildly from the facetious to the fatuous. The lead pair of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt is actually pretty impressive, but the material placed at the disposal of the young actors reeks of staleness. Shashank Khaitan’s directorial debut has been produced by Karan Johar, who incidentally played SRK’s friend in DDLJ and clearly hasn’t rid himself of the hangover yet.”


Nandini Ramnath of Mint nailed it : “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is an extended, 134-minute review of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge by a debutant writer and director who has watched the film closely enough to have his own spin on it. Shashank Khaitan’s film-making debut arrives 19 years after Aditya Chopra’s blockbuster became the gold standard of screen romance, and he has the necessary distance from the source material to unpack the conservatism that beats loudly at the heart of the original movie.”


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