Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a Hindi-language romantic comedy-drama film directed by Sharat Katariya and produced by Maneesh Sharma under the Yash Raj Films banner. The film stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles and is set in the mid-1990s in Haridwar, India.
The film revolves around the life of a young man named Prem Prakash Tiwari (played by Ayushmann Khurrana), who runs a small cassette shop in Haridwar. Prem is a high school dropout and lacks ambition, but his family is pressuring him to marry Sandhya (played by Bhumi Pednekar), an educated and ambitious woman who dreams of becoming a teacher.
Initially, Prem is reluctant to marry Sandhya because of her weight, but his parents convince him to go through with the marriage. After the wedding, the couple struggles to connect and Prem remains distant and uninterested in his new bride. However, when Sandhya decides to participate in a local beauty contest, Prem must confront his own biases and learn to appreciate Sandhya for who she is.
The film explores themes of body shaming, arranged marriage, and the struggle to find one's place in the world. Through the character of Prem, the film offers a critique of toxic masculinity and the ways in which societal expectations can limit personal growth.
Ayushmann Khurrana delivers a nuanced and understated performance as Prem, capturing the character's vulnerability and insecurity. Bhumi Pednekar, in her debut film, shines as Sandhya, bringing depth and complexity to a character that could have easily been reduced to a stereotype.
The film is also notable for its attention to detail and the ways in which it captures the cultural and social nuances of small-town India in the 1990s. The use of vintage Bollywood songs in the film's soundtrack adds to the film's nostalgic charm and helps to situate the story in its historical context.
One of the strengths of Dum Laga Ke Haisha is its ability to balance humor and drama, offering both moments of laughter and moments of emotional resonance. The film's climax, which takes place during Sandhya's beauty contest, is particularly powerful, as Prem must confront his own biases and insecurities in front of a crowd of strangers.
The film's message is clear: love and acceptance should be based on more than just physical appearance. By the end of the film, Prem has learned to appreciate Sandhya for who she is, and the two are able to find common ground and build a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.
Overall, Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a charming and heartfelt film that offers a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre. With its strong performances, attention to detail, and message of acceptance, the film is a must-watch for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of love and relationships in contemporary India.