Film: Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. Duration: 132 minutes.
Director: Laxman Utekar. Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Sara Ali Khan, Inaamulhaq, Sushmita Mukherjee, Neeraj Sood, Rakesh Bedi and Sharib Hashmi.
IANS Rating: ****
As a director, Laxman Utekar is known for creating his own universe, which invariably seems like a messy but lovable household with needy, wanting and fun characters, who at times are muddled, chaotic and sometimes outright elementary, but just when you're about to find some sort of order, the simple actions begin to have devastating results.
And those very outcomes are thoroughly dipped in humour, social commentary and love.
Set in the heartland of Indore, Vicky Kaushal as Kapil Dubey, a gym instructor, and Sara Ali Khan as Saumya Chawla, a coaching institute teacher, are college sweethearts. They found each other in college, love blossomed and now the duo is married. Their life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they are in love and find peace and happiness in their banal yet binding life.
They live a life of struggles in a middle-class household with parents and a nosey uncle and aunt, who refuse to leave their house depriving the couple of their privacy. That is all okay at the beginning as this is pretty much the norm in a middle-class family.
Saumya, however, wishes to have her own home, a space she can call her own, a nest in which her future would unfold. This again is a typical middle-class dream, and yet, is so unattainable for a large section of the population. With a lack of resources and the taboo of separation from the family, the dream remains completely out of reach for many like her.
Saumya and Kapil go house hunting, only to be duped, cheated and ridiculed. But one fine day they come across a government housing scheme, which has a special category, an affordable house for divorced women. So, the couple hatches a plan -- they will fight and create the impression of not getting along to get a divorce in order to be able to fall in the right category for the house being allocated under the government scheme.
Kapil and Saumya put in every effort to make their divorce believable, they even cough up their last rupee for brokers, fees, forms and what not. But things don't go as planned. What started out as a simple idea backed by a simplistic plan, turns sour and ugly. The pretence becomes real in no time and the gamble goes against their own relationship. It becomes heart-breaking and warming at the same time.
What happens next pretty much will make you fall in love with Kapil and Saumya and their sweet little universe, where love is so tenacious that it will endure everything and anything.
Kudos to the writers, Maitrey Bajpai and Ramiz Ilham Khan, who take a simple relatable idea and wrap it with such fun characters and emotions that are so surreal that it feels like it's everyone's story. The narrative flow and the pace of the script allows actors to play with emotions and conquer tough situations with ease. The punches are hilarious, to the point of being at times very emotional as well.
Stalwarts such as Rakesh Bedi, Sharib Hashmi and Sushmita Mukherjee pack a solid punch in the movie. They hold the story and its emotional quotient effortlessly.
Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan's chemistry is electrifying and grounded at the same time. The film offers a unique take on relationships, marriages, love, and wholesomely delivers pretty much on all the points.
The performances are amazing and the music is outstanding in ways that can't even be explained in words. Laxman Uterkar has woven this universe with utmost warmth, so much so that it stays with you long after the film is over.
A magical family film such as this hasn't been seen in a long time. This has to be seen with your loved ones because apart from the fun and games this journey imparts a simple notion of love and family, the grounding foundation of our society.
It is time to make the weekend memorable. Watch it with your family for sure!