Zara Hatke Zara Bachke: A Fun Ride While It Lasts

The film benefits from both Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan. Their chemistry is on point and keeps the viewers invested.

Has its moments.
Zara Hatke Zara Bachke (Hindi)
  • Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Sara Ali Khan, Neeraj Sood, Rakesh Bedi, and Sharib Hashmi
  • Director: Laxman Utekar
  • Producer: Dinesh VIjan and Jyoti Deshpande
  • Music: Sachin Jigar
  • Runtime: 2 hours 12 minutes

Before making his directorial debut with Luka Chuppi (2019), Laxman Utekar was a noted cinematographer who worked on films like English Vinglish (2012) and Dear Zindagi (2016). He was vastly appreciated for his work in these films.

In 2019, Utekar directed the Karthik Aryan and Kriti Sanon-starrer Luka Chuppi, a romantic comedy that explored the concept of live-in-relationships through the lens of comedy. The film also had some satire about moral policing and communal biases in small towns.

The director used the same formula in 2021 with Mimi, starring Kriti Sanon in the lead.

Mimi was about an aspiring actress who agrees to be a surrogate mother for a rich foreign couple as they promise her a lot of money. It is again a film with a lot of situational humor.

But, in both films, Laxman Utekar wasn’t entirely successful in maintaining the balance between humour and social commentary.

His latest, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is no exception.

The director takes the story of a middle-class couple struggling to find some space for intimacy. The wife tries to find a house of their own. This is a promising premise but the director uses dubious means to achieve this simple desire.

Synopsis

The film begins with a wedding anniversary celebration. Vicky Kaushal plays Kapil Dubey and Sara Ali Khan plays Saumya Chawla Dubey.

Apart from Kapil’s parents, there are also his nosy uncle and aunt in the house. They shift to Kapil’s house due to some personal problems.

The wedding celebration changes into something tragic as Kapil’s aunt smells an egg in the cake. This results in a huge ruckus.

Saumya decides that she and Kapil need a space of their own as their romantic life is frequently interrupted by their relatives. The mama’s son also sleeps between the two.

To achieve her dream, Saumya tries to get a flat under the government programme Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY).

Here, we are introduced to a dubious agent (Inaamulhaq). He tells Saumya that she would be eligible to get the flat under the single woman’s quota. However, for that, she and her husband need to have a fake divorce. They can remarry once the house is allotted.

What follows is your typical comedy of errors where the couple tries to pursue both the families and the judge that they must be divorced.

To make things spicier, there is also a love triangle coupled with a watchful guard Daroga (Sharib Hashmi).

Creates authentic middle-class milieu

There is no denying that Saumya’s step of faking a divorce in order to get a new flat is very drastic, but having said that, Laxman Utekar is successful in creating an authentic middle-class milieu.

A particular mention must also be made of how he portrays the relationship dynamics between Kapil and Saumya. Their romantic scenes have their share of adorable moments that are simple yet impactful.

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke also benefits from both Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan. Their chemistry is on point and keeps the viewers invested even when the plot goes off rails.

Vicky Kaushal brings certain reliability to his role as a middle-class husband who would go to any length to make his wife happy.

He particularly stands out in the pre-climax scene in a hospital when Kapil and Saumya have a heart-to-heart talk to iron out their differences.

Sara Ali Khan lends the required fire to her part of a feisty Punjabi Girl. She does go over the top in the emotional bits. But still, she makes an impact.

The film has also got some laugh-out-loud moments.

For example, there is a scene where a government official inspects Saumya’s home to ensure that she is indeed separated from her husband. Kapil is with her at that time. He decides to act like a plumber and that results in some chuckle-worthy moments.

Technical crafts

Sachin Jigar’s music is quite melodious.

Arjit Singh’s “Phir Aur Kya Chahiye” is the number that stands out the most.

Raghav Ramadoss’s cinematography goes well with the mood of the film. He creates some beautiful frames that add a vibrant tone. The art design is also good, particularly in the family’s house.

Derails in second half

However, the big issue with Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is how the plot derails in the second half. There are some subplots that the film could have easily done away with.

There are portions where Kapil and Saumya have to act like brother and sister. These scenes come across as unnecessary.

Kapil’s mami has a backstory of suffering from a deadly disease. This comes out of nowhere.

But then, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke ends on a happy note when they realise that their fake divorce is leading to real quarrels. After that, they give up on the new flat and settle in their old house.

Verdict

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is a fun ride. At the end of the day, you take away the performances, music and some delightful moments, particularly in the first half.

(Views expressed are personal.)

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