CHEMISTRY: A chirpie Alia Bhatt and a young care free Varun Dhawan who meet each other in an unexpected journey.


DIRECTOR: Shashank Khaitan

CAST: Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Kenny Desai, Gaurav Pandey, Sahil Vaid


RUNNING TIME: 133 minutes

RATING: ****

DILWALE Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) continues to inspire and motivate a number of storytellers, even after almost two decades since its release. Now, debut director Shashank Khaitan takes Aditya Chopra’s all-time classic film and gives it a new spin. The result: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania uses a tried and tested plot – boy meets girl, love blossoms, boy/girl’s parent tries to stop the romance – but Khaitan improves it by adding light-hearted drama, heartfelt emotions and, of course, harmonious songs that will linger in your memory.

Most importantly, the chemistry between lead actors Varun and Alia is simply electrifying. In a nutshell, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is a fascinating youth drama and offers great family entertainment.

First, the plot. When Kavya Pratap Singh (Alia Bhatt), a feisty girl from Ambala, decides to make a trip to Delhi for her marriage shopping, she meets Humpty Sharma (Varun Dhawan), a young, carefree lad from Delhi.

Humpty’s father (Kenny Desai) is the owner of a campus bookstore, where Humpty and his two best friends, Shonty (Gaurav Pandey) and Poplu (Sahil Vaid), have grown up together.

With a little help from his best friends, Humpty sets out to learn all about Kavya and through an interesting turn of events, they start growing closer to each other.

When Kavya’s trip ends, she heads back to Ambala, knowing very well that her father, the strict, but loving Mr Singh (Ashutosh Rana), will never accept her love for Humpty. Even though they weren’t looking for love when they met, love happened.

Humpty, accompanied by his friends, decides to go and fetch Kavya and, against all odd, decides to convince Kavya’s family of his love for her. Does he succeed in his mission?

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is a quintessential Bollywood romance and ticks all the customary boxes that make a love story work. Yet, Khaitan makes sure the screenwriting incorporates several amusing and compelling episodes that steer clear of rusty formulas that we are used to watching in films of this genre.

Khaitan also steers clear of full-scale melodrama, loud and familiar masala and ear-splitting background score. He keeps it subtle, but makes sure the film wins you over.

The sequences between Varun and Ashutosh Rana are the highlight of the film. For example, the sequence at the railway station; it’s incredible! Of course, the scenes featuring Varun and Alia are the soul of the film and their chemistry makes it all the more interesting.

As a storyteller, Khaitan knows his fundas right and he gives his lead actors a well-knit, cohesive screenplay to peg their acting skills.

The film’s soundtrack is also great. 'Samjhawan' is hugely popular, while 'Saturday' has caught on big time, too. The vibrant colours of North India are captured proficiently by the DoP (Neha Parti Matiyani). You can't help but get sold on the charming performances given by the principal cast.

In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that Varun and Alia add strength and solidity to their respective roles.

Varun gets the attitude of the character spot-on and gives a winning act. He reveals a sharp timing for comedy, and springs a big, big surprise in the emotional scenes. In short, he makes you sit up, watch and applaud his act.

Alia seems to be making the right career choices. Highway and 2 States proved that she could transcend the glamour quotient and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania substantiates the fact that she will be the top contender at the awards season next year.

Moreover, it’s difficult to take your eyes off Varun and Alia when they’re on screen.

Siddharth Shukla makes a comfortable switch from TV to the big screen. He gets the nuances of his character very well.

Ashutosh Rana is top notch. It’s an absolute delight to watch him play a challenging role after a hiatus.

The supporting cast – Kenny Desai (Varun’s father), Jaswant Daman (Alia’s grandmother), Deepika Amin (Alia's mother), Mahnaz Damania (Alia’s sister), Aditya Sharma (Alia’s brother), Gaurav Pandey – is just perfect, but I’d like to single out Sahil Vaid (Poplu), who is simply terrific!

On the whole, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is a beautifully textured love story that wins you over. There’s no stopping this one from hitting the bull’s eye. –