This Article is From Jun 02, 2023

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke Review: Heed The Warning Embedded In The Title - Best Avoided

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke Review: The performances from Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan as the happily married couple are as wildly uneven as the film itself.

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke Review: Heed The Warning Embedded In The Title - Best Avoided

Vicky and Sara in Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. (courtesy: YouTube)

Cinematographer-turned-director Laxman Utekar's third Hindi film, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, attempts to blend broad strokes of humour with a sprinkling of mawkishness. It falls between two stools and ends up as an ungainly, misshapen heap of a movie.

The biggest undoing of Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is the sheer predictability of the plot despite its unusual central premise. A young couple decides to break their home in order to acquire a house. The daring ruse sparks loads of confusion, catches their families unawares and leads to emotional turmoil that all but drives their marriage to the ground.

But does the film deliver genuine hilarity? No. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke hinges more on outright horseplay than pure absurdist fun. When the film tries to be funny, the actors are called upon to fall back on physical gesticulation and facial contortions to convey an air of mirth. It is all a tad too tiresome.

Utekar's previous Hindi comedy, Luka Chuppi, was about a live-in couple in Mathura pretending to be legally married to ward off the unwanted attention of family and society.

Zare Hatke Zara Bachke is set in another small town, Indore, and revolves around another couple pulling off a stunt that does not go down well with their orthodox relatives. Smacks of a formula that has clearly outlived its utility.

Kapil Dubey (Vicky Kaushal), a miserly yoga instructor, and his wife of two years, Somya Chawla Dubey (Sara Ali Khan), live in a cramped home that has been inherited by the former's father (Akash Khurana) from his father.

Kapil's maternal uncle and aunt live in the same house, forcing him and Somya to give up their bed and sleep on the floor with a nosey nephew between them. It is obviously not what they had bargained for.

Somya, who belongs to a Punjabi family from Gwalior, does not get along with her conservative in-laws, especially with a perennially cantankerous aunt-in-law. Deprived of privacy, she dreams of a home of her own against the counsel of her overly stingy husband. But the apartment that Kapil and Somya zero in on turns out to be beyond their budget.

At the coaching centre where she teaches, Somya learns of a low-cost housing scheme mandated by the government. She sees in it an opportunity to break free from the constricted world of her in-laws.

Somya and Kapil discover that the eligibility norms are stringent and only individuals with no property in their names can apply for the lottery. The couple can qualify for the scheme only if Somya were to become single again.

At the behest of a local fixer, Bhagwandas Ishwardas Sahai (Inaamulhaq), they decide to legally part ways. Kapil's friend Manoj Bhagel (Himanshu Kohli) helps the couple file for divorce. The first time around, the judge advises Kapil and Somya to give their marriage another chance.

While the divorce comes through after a hiccup or two and Somya then applies for a flat, the rest of the script does not go according to plan. The film, too, veers out of control, lurching heavily from one ham-handed twist to another without coming up with any real surprises.

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is the sort of film that gives the actors no chance at all to find their way out of the morass. Everybody in the cast, and that includes the two leads, ham away to glory in order to be heard above the din.

If the stereotype of the Punjabis being a loud, hard-drinking lot - the heroine's Sikh father fits the bill in every respect - is a downer, the film over-compensates by projecting the hero's puritanical Brahmin family as a brood that is just as over-the-top. Subtlety isn't what the film is looking for, like it or lump it.

Notwithstanding the stray droll passages that the film strings together in the first half, the wafer-thin and wayward family drama skids off the rails pretty quickly and runs into a surfeit of preachy mush by the time it gets to the business end.

Like most films that start off as comedies and then develop pretentions of being solemn weepies, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, in its pre-climactic moments, throws in a medical emergency and a family visit to the hospital as a precursor to a tear-soaked round of revelations, confessions and apologies.

The performances from Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan as the happily married couple whose desire for each other peaks in the face of the challenges that they encounter and then teeters on the edge of collapse are as wildly uneven as the film itself. When they are good, their chemistry is impressive. When they are not, they pull in different directions.

Inaamulhaq, in the guise of a fast-talking comic conman, delivers some of the film's livelier moments, while Sharib Hashmi, who plays a migrant who works as a security guard, turns up late in the film to bolster its emotive quotient. Their efforts are wasted in a film that is weighed down by its own convolutions.

Heed the warning embedded in the title: Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is a film that is best avoided.


Vicky Kaushal, Sara Ali Khan, Inaamulhaq


Laxman Utekar