Sunday, July 20, 2014

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya -- nice movie with no good songs; musical bankruptcy of mainstream Hindi cinema

Alice in Alice in Wonderland wondered as to what is a book without pictures. So, what is a good Hindi mainstream film without good songs. And that is the tragedy of the nice film, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, starring Varun Dhawan, son of David Dahwan, and Alia Bhatt, daughter of Mahesh Bhatt. Apparently this Karan Johar banner, Yash Raj Films, production is a tribute to Aditya Chopra's Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge or DDLJ made in 1995. Aditya Chopra himself had done an update of DDLJ with Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi in 2008. Both DDLJ and RNBDJ have wonderful songs. HSKD fails on this most crucial note. But the film on its own is meaty enough. The small town Punjabi family with its own joi de vivre is portrayed well, with the Ambala girl showing greater attitude than the Delhi boy!

Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan played their parts well, though it seems a little doubtful as to where they would go in the future. At this moment, they have the strengths and virtue of youth and innocence and quite a bit of acting talent. The tenor of the film is nicely cliched but refreshing in spite of that.
The 21st century Indian, that is Hindi mainstream cinema, boy and girl, are quite conservative, and delightfully so, despite the drinking, the kissing and the sex. India is indeed changing but it is changing within the bounds of tradition. The boy and girl drink, kiss and have sex because they are committed to each other and the commitment means marriage. There is also a divrce thrown in, and a gratuitous bit about homosexuality. Of course, this is the Fox Films production as well and the Hollywood pieties about homosexuality have to find a place in the film.

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