Zara Hatke Zara Bachke
Onto the next release of this amazing weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi film Zara Hatke Zara Bachke starring Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan. And it won’t be wrong for me to say that I was least excited about watching this film from the weekend lineup. The reason for this was that I was left highly unimpressed with the lethargic and loud trailer of the film. Honestly, I am kind of bored to death with the portrayal of Tier-2 cities in Hindi films and the reason for it is that all portrayals feel the same. There is no individuality related to the city in terms of its vibe which otherwise should form an integral part of the narrative. And I wouldn’t agree if the argument is that ‘the vibe is the same across cities’. Secondly, the topic in itself did not quite excite me and so I had to almost drag myself into watching the film. So then does Zara Hatke Zara Bachke manage to spring up a surprise, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke follows the story of a couple who agree to undergo a divorce in order to gain access to a flat under the government scheme. And thus, the complications begin. Firstly, credit to the marketing team of Maddock on not releasing the trailer with information about key plot points of the film. The result being that the story does come across as interesting with a social commentary packaged in the form of a Rom-Com. The screenplay too isn’t bad for most of its runtime but it does stumble massively in the third act.
The drama does open on a pleasantly good note with the introduction of the two protagonists belonging to different faiths, who are married to each other. The opening sequence created of the cake comprising of eggs makes for a hilarious opening act wherein the conflict of privacy between the couple is also highlighted. From there on, there are some heartwarming moments sprinkled that had me smiling from ear to ear. There was a sense of innocence in the events that made them relatable while being affable synonymous to the films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, which were often in a similar zone. The issue of the couple finding a house for themselves does occur in the form of a conflict wherein the couple have to ensure that they are separated at the time of acquiring the flat.
The proceedings are interesting in the first and second acts wherein I was invested in the journey of the protagonists. The confusion around their divorce and the reaction of the family did make for some hilarious moments in the narrative. There was also a sense of warmth in the narrative which I hadn’t expected when I ventured into the drama. With an interesting mix of characters around the protagonists and the situations created, I was quite enjoying the film. But alas, then came the final act that made the film slide!
The final act was an indifferent creative decision in itself given that the tone of the film changes from being a Rom-Com to turning into a straight up melodrama. I would have still given a pass to these proceedings had the melodrama been controlled upto a point of not heading in a totally different direction. While the problems between the couple was still understandable, a late subplot involving a health issue of a family member was really unnecessary and it took away the froth from the drama. Amidst this, even the writing became too convenient with the couple getting the keys to their new flat just randomly. There was no head or tail to the final act wherein the writers may have run out of ideas to end the film. Barring that one moment involving the character of Sharib Hashmi, the final act falls flat and ends up spoiling the overall rating of the film too.
In addition to this, there could have been a separate story on the loopholes of the government scheme which could have taken the drama into a zone of relevancy as opposed to being frivolous throughout. That would have added a lot of meat and purpose to the drama with an interesting twist. Too much to ask for? I think not! Overall, the screenplay has its moments but ends up as a missed opportunity.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky and make for a decent impact. The music is outstanding but the placement of the songs are horrible wherein the songs just do not go with the intended emotions of the situation. The BGM featuring notes of yesteryears hits was an interesting choice and it did make for a good impact. The cinematography is good, the editing is quite abrupt and rushed but passable. Director Laxman Utegar does a good job in the first two acts but stumbles and stumbles badly in the final act making the direction a bit of a mixed bag.
The performances are pretty good here. The veterans Neeraj Sood and Rakesh Bedi stand up and control the proceedings when things are falling apart. Sharib Hashmi as Daroga starts off on a hilarious note and ends up on a heartwarming note in a job well done. Srishti Ganguli Rindani as Mehjabeen looks pretty and does a fabulous job here. Inaamulhaq as Ishwardas is hilarious and does a fine job.
Sara Ali Khan as Soumya is good too(contrary to what others have to say about her performance). If there is a scope of improvement then it is largely in the dramatic scenes where the effort is shown in her performance. This particularly amplifies when you have Vicky Kaushal who is in fine form as Kapil. He is just brilliant and hits all the right notes. But he needs to be weary of his choices and I can foresee his next film, the biopic on Sam Maneckshaw breaking many records. We shall see, but he must be weary for sure as he is a talent that will always have eyeballs on him.
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke works but only ‘Zara Zara’ in parts with the slide being due to the overtly melodramatic final act. Available in a theatre near you.