As an after-thought, Piya Ka Ghar sounded like a better title for Zara Hatke Zara Bachke considering the central conflict of the film. A middle-class couple from Indore wants to have a house of their own. The couple lives in a joint family like most of India does. A 55-lakh swanky apartment in the city is out of their reach. So, they decide to take the ‘sahara’ of Jan Aawas Yojna from the government. The only way they can avail of this scheme is by getting divorced and showing that the wife is now ‘besahara’.
The film is produced by Dinesh Vijan’s Maddock Films, a production company not new to come up with these quirky premises. To their credit, their films with such plots have raked in huge business pre-pandemic. But sometimes, they have been high on concept but low on execution. Unfortunately, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke falls into the latter category.
You need smart writing to pull off such a bizarre plot. The dialogue offers quite a few chuckles here but you’ve heard similar ones in previous Maddock productions or even from your extended family. That’s how the makers have been marketing this film too as a story of every family or a family entertainer. I’m game for bizarre plots and dialogue-heavy films but something seems consistently off in this inconsistent film.
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You have the quirks of the characters and actors doing their sincere best to do justice to the material on hand. But the plot is predictable and their conflict doesn’t feel justified. The couple at the centre of all the mayhem is Kapil and Somya played by Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan respectively. It’s okay to have the desire to have your own home without necessarily having issues with the in-laws. In that case, you needn’t hide the desire in the first place. The problems of suspension of disbelief begin from the start itself.
The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. Although Sara Ali Khan does her sincere best to play Somya, she doesn’t look middle-class by any stretch of the imagination or the way she is presented in the film. She plays a tutor, but in every scene, she wears new designs of sarees. How can she afford them when her fight is to save money to afford a good house? One can argue that she wears those because she aspires to dream big or live a higher standard of life. But then that struggle of the hustle is not shown.
Vicky Kaushal (at his usual ease and form) who plays a Yoga teacher is given inconsistent styling too. USPA is a brand not that affordable to the strata and income group that he hails from. Especially, when his character of Kapil is a ‘chipad’ (miser). Why should these details matter? Because the central conflict is whether the couple can afford to even dream big. The writers and director Laxman Utekar opt for convenience over conflict. And when some conflict does rise it looks forced.
Vicky and Sara share some good moments of love and affection but that isn’t enough for you to stay invested throughout. There are some gags that are hilarious. It would be harsh to say that Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is a bad film. It just isn’t good enough. Maybe the film will find its audience on the OTT. That also raises a question. When the audiences are watching something like Gullak (on Sony LIV) for practically free, why should they spend hundreds to check out a version of themselves on the big screen? A small-town romance or family drama could still be watchable on the big screen, but it will need a big x-factor. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke falls short of providing that big factor.